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Data structures in A Level computer science

CP512 Face to face course

During this course, you'll explore how various data structures are used to organise and store data.

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Data & information Programming Post 16 Teach secondary computing certificate
Face to face course 5 hours

Almost all programs process data in some form, data therefore needs to be stored in ways that mean it can be easily manipulated by program code. During this CPD you’ll learn how various data structures are used to organise and store data. You’ll learn about static and dynamic data structures; stacks and queues; and how hash tables are used.  
You’ll explore how data structures are mapped to the A Level computer science curriculum, discuss strategies of how to teach data structures effectively and explore exam style questions and the expectations required of your students.

Who is it for?

This course is aimed at teachers delivering A Level computer science. It is advised you have some basic knowledge of data structures from GCSE computer science specifications, i.e. one and two dimensional arrays, the differences between static and dynamic structures etc. 

During this course you’ll access the Isaac Computer Science platform, it is advised you sign up for a free, teacher's account ahead of the course.

Topics covered

  • 01 | Introduction to data structures – during this session you’ll explore why data structures are used within programs, you’ll explore the differences between static and dynamic data structures.
  • 02 | Stacks and queues – during this session you’ll explore how stacks and queues are used, you’ll learn about the main operations of both stacks and queues.
  • 03 | Programming stacks and queues – during this session you’ll get hands on with Python programs, you’ll develop functions to push, pop and peek stacks, you’ll also implement linear queues.
  • 04 | Hash tables – during this session you’ll develop an understanding of how to use and the subsequent need for hash tables, the main requirements and how values are inserted and retrieved from hash tables.  
  • 05 | Exam questions – during this session you’ll consolidate the learning from the previous sessions and explore several A Level exam questions, reviewing the knowledge required of your students in an exam context. 

How long is this course?

This course will last approximately 5 hours, these sessions maybe split across multiple days.  

How will you learn?

Scheduled live, interactive online sessions led by an experienced practitioner. Flexible Professional Development Leader-supported, participant-led tasks, involving deep exploration of the subject content. 


By the end of this intensive CPD pathway you will be able to:

  • To identify what is meant by a data structure, including the differences between static and dynamic data structures
  • Understand the features of stacks and queues, trace their states and recognise practical applications of stack and queues
  • Explore how to use hash tables, including identifying the main requirements and how values are inserted and retrieved.
  • Explore how the Isaac Computer Science platform can support your student's learning about data structures.

This course is part of Teach secondary computing

Teach secondary computing

Our nationally recognised qualification will give you confidence to take your computing teaching to the next level and to apply those skills in the classroom.

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