Emerson Park Academy

Endeavour, Persevere, Achieve


Full course title: OCR GCSE Computer Science (J277)

Curriculum at Emerson Park Academy

At Emerson Park Academy, our Computing curriculum prepares our students for the real world. We give our students an accurate understanding of Digital Literacy such as emails and Word; Computer Science such as programmes and systems; and Information & Technology such as programming.

Our Computing curriculum raises awareness of the social, economic, environmental, and political triumphs of today’s modern society as well as the benefit of living well together. Students analyse theories and concepts as well as find a passion for software to help establish ways in making the world a better place. Students will develop a depth of exceptional knowledge and deep interest in the current affairs of the world of modern technology and they will have the opportunity to further develop their knowledge in either Information Technology or Computer Science.

What is Computer Science?

Computer science is a fascinating and rapidly growing field that is shaping the way we live, work, and communicate. It offers many exciting career opportunities and is a valuable skillset to have in today's digital age.

Computer science is the study of computers and computational systems. It includes the theory, design, development, and application of computer software and hardware. Computer science is a broad and rapidly evolving field and it encompasses many different areas of study such as: programming, algorithms, databases, networking, artificial intelligence and more.

In Year 9, students are introduced to the fundamentals of computer science. This will include learning how to write code in a programming language, understanding how computers work and how they communicate with each other, and exploring some of the many applications of computer science in various fields.

As you progress in your studies, you will learn more advanced topics such as data structures, algorithms, and computer architecture. You will also have opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills in projects and competitions that involve designing and building software and hardware systems.


The Computer Science qualification offered at EPA is relevant to the modern and changing world of computer science. It is a practical subject that allows students to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world problems. Computer Science is an intensely creative subject that involves invention and excitement. It values computational thinking and helps students develop the skills to solve problems and design systems that do so.

Students who complete the Computer Science course will be well-prepared to study Computer Science at AS and A Level and beyond. The qualification also provides a good grounding for other subject areas that require computational thinking and analytical skills.


There are numerous reasons why you should take the Computer Science course, including:

  1. If you have enjoyed the programming and control units you have experienced so far in KS3.
  2. If you are interested in the building blocks of computing and technology and are interested in how it all works!



Completing the Computer Science qualification opens up a range of job opportunities, including:

  • Computer Engineer
  • Software engineer
  • Systems analyst/designer
  • Web developer
  • Computer Programmer


OCR J277 is a GCSE qualification, which means it's typically studied by students in Year 10 and Year 11 (ages 14-16). In this booklet, we'll explore the different units that make up OCR J277, so you can get a better sense of what you'll be studying if you choose to pursue this qualification.


Unit 1: Computer systems (J277/01)

The first unit of OCR J277 is all about computer systems. In this unit, you'll learn about the components of a computer, how they work together, and how to maintain and upgrade computer systems. Topics covered include:

  • Types of computer system
  • Input and output devices
  • Storage devices
  • System software and application software
  • Networking and the internet
  • Health and safety


Unit 2: Computational thinking, algorithms, and programming (J277/02)

The second unit of OCR J277 is focused on computational thinking, algorithms, and programming. This unit is all about the fundamentals of computer programming, including the logic and algorithms that underpin it. Topics covered include:

  • Algorithms and programming constructs
  • Data types, structures, and arrays
  • Input/output and file handling
  • Programming techniques and concepts
  • String manipulation
  • Pseudocode and flowcharts
  • Testing, evaluation, and maintenance


Unit 3: Programming project (J277/03)

The third and final unit of OCR J277 is a programming project. This unit is all about putting your programming skills to the test and developing your own software project. You'll have the opportunity to choose your own project, design and develop it, and then evaluate and test it. Topics covered include:

  • Planning and designing a programming project
  • Developing code using a chosen programming language
  • Testing and debugging code
  • Evaluating and documenting a programming project



The course is assessed as follows:

  • Two written papers, each worth 50% of the final grade

The written papers are 1 hour and 30 minutes each, with no calculators allowed.


Overall, the OCR GCSE Computer Science course at Emerson Park Academy is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world. By completing this course, students will be well-prepared for future study and careers in the field of computer science.


What our current Year 11 students say about the Computer Science Subject.

 Sara: I took computer science as one of my options for GCSE. I’ve always been interested in computing and I decided to take computer science as I thought it would be good to expand my knowledge on the subject.

I definitely recommend taking computer science as it goes into a lot of depth about so many aspects of computing, including programming, software and hardware, and networks, giving you a broader understanding. Since Year 10, I’ve learned so much about computers that I never knew before, which has been really helpful.

What I enjoyed the most was programming, because it gives you a lot of opportunities for the future, and it’s fun! You can create programs about anything, and everything you learn in school, you can make programs about whatever you like.

 Conor: Hello, my name is Conor and I am a student at Emerson Park Academy. I have always been drawn to the field of computer science for several reasons, including my passion for coding, my curiosity about how computers function, and my fascination with the software development process.

What I enjoy most about computer science is the challenge of coding and the opportunity to improve my logical thinking skills. Through coding, I am able to create practical solutions to real-world problems and build useful applications.

One of the most captivating aspects of my studies has been learning about how computers work. From understanding the inner workings of hardware components to exploring the intricacies of operating systems and software applications, I find it all incredibly fascinating.

Overall, studying computer science has been an exciting journey for me, and I am eager to continue learning and exploring this dynamic field.

 George: I was drawn to Computer Science for its problem-solving challenges and combined it with my interest in physics to develop programming skills for visualising physics problems and simulations. Studying Computer Science also sparked my interest in Robotics, providing a solid foundation in understanding their workings and programming.

In addition, learning computer architecture and hardware has been beneficial to my understanding of the topic and will be invaluable in pursuing a career in the tech industry.


ICT SOW - 2022-23


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Autumn 1

MS Basics

Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Print, Copy, Save, Folder Structure, Uploading Files, Google Classrooms, Show my Homework

Pre-Production Skills

Mood board, Mind Map, Storyboard, Visualisation Diagram, Gantt Chart, Vector, Bitmap, File formats, Uses & purposes of graphics, effects of graphics, Colour scheme, Target Audience etc.

    1. - 1.2.3 - Systems Architecture

Computer System, Input Output, Storage, Embedded computer, Purpose and components of the CPU, Von Neumann, FDE, CPU performance factors, Primary Storage, Secondary Storage

Autumn 2

Digital Communication

E-Safety, Cyber Bullying, Poster, Social Networking, Dangers of computers, Spam Email & Phishing, PowerPoint & Leaflet

Digital Graphics (Animation)

Types of Animation, stop frame, Effects of Animation, Uses of Animation, Planning and animation, Draw Plus Tools, Planning, Storyboard, Evaluation etc.

1.2.4 – Data Storage

Units (Bit, nibble, byte, KB, MB, TB, PB), Binary to Denary Conversion and Vice Versa, Binary to Hex Conversion Vice Versa, Denary to Hex Conversion Vice Versa, Binary addition, Sound, Image etc.

Spring 1


Algorithms, Flowcharts, Algorithms Vs Flowcharts, Computational thinking, Abstraction, Decomposition, Pattern Recognition & Algorithmic Thinking.


Introduction, Uses of Micro:bits,  Variables, IF Statements, Counter, Iteration, Number generator game, Compass project, Light Detector



Algorithms, Data Types, Flowcharts, Pseudocode. Print Statement, Variables, If Statements, Mini interactive program, Concatenation, Comments, Syntax Error, Logic Error

Spring 2

Computer Systems

Input & Output, Hardware & Software, Fetch-Decode-Execute and Storage

Impact of IT on Society

ICT in workplaces, at home, in education, E-waste, Digital Divide, ICT in transportation, Social Media & Communication, Laws of IT

Python Programming

Variables, Elif statements, For Loop, While Loop, Comparison operators, Next Steps Continues…  Turtle

Summer 1



Cells, Workbooks, Worksheets, Formulas, Functions, Goal Seek

Creating digital graphics (DVD Cover)

Intro to Graphics design, Mood board, Visualisation diagram, Victor vs Bitmap vs Raster.

Scenario-Based Project: Research, Plan, Create (Visualisation Diagram, Mood board, Mind Map, Review.

Being Online & Web Design:

E-Commerce, Legislation, Target Audience, Client requirements, Visualisation Diagram, Research, Plan, and elements of a website.


Summer 2


Game Design

Introduction, How Programs Work, Exploring Kodu environment and behaviors, Terrain, Characters, Instructions, Controls, Planning and developing a game


Wi-Fi & Wired Networks

What is a network, Wired performance, bands & channels, Wi-Fi performance, error rate, Latency, Client Server, Peer to Peer Networks, Hardware Needed, DNS, IP addressing, Web hosting and the cloud, Virtual Network

Web Design

Web Design (Using Serif WebPlus)

Plan a website (Scenario Based) Designing a website, developing a website, Evaluating a website



Year 10

Year 11

Autumn 1

Autumn 1 - Networks

Types of network, Performance factors, Roles of computers, Hardware needed, Internet technology, Network topology

Network Protocols and layers

Modes of connection, Encryption, IP and MAC addressing, Common Protocols

Autumn 1 - Programming Fundamentals (Techniques)

Variables and others: variables, constants, operators, assignments, input-output

Arrays: One dimension, Two dimensions, Static, Dynamic, Array functions

Sequence Selection Iteration: Sequence, Selection, Iteration, Conditionals – IF, Conditionals – Case, While iteration, For iteration

Data Types: Integer, Real, Boolean, Character, String, Casting

Autumn 2

Autumn 2 - Network Security

Malware, Social engineering, Phishing, Brute force attack, Denial of Service, Data Interception, SQL injection

Prevention Methods

Penetration testing, Anti-malware software, Firewalls, User-access rights, Passwords, Encryption, Physical security

Autumn 2 - Defensive Design Methods

Defensive design: User interface choice, Screen widgets, Repeat data entry, Input boxes, Validation, Authentication. Maintainable code: Comments, Headers, Whitespace, Indentation, Naming.

Syntax & Logic Errors - Spotting errors: Logic errors, Syntax errors, Arithmetic order, Debugging tools, Runtime errors, Authentication. Types of Testing: Test plan, Test data, Black box strategy, White box strategy, Iterative testing, Final testing

Spring 1

Spring 1 - Systems Software

Purpose & use of the operating system: User interface, memory management, multitasking, Peripheral management and drivers, User management, File management

Utility software: Encryption software, Defragmentation, Data compression

Spring 1 - Computational / Boolean Logic

Boolean Logic:

What is logic, Simple Logic Diagrams, Complex Logic Diagrams, Binary logic, Logic gates, Logic Operators, AND, OR & NOT Gates, Combining Boolean operators, Creating Logic Diagrams, Truth tables, Standard symbols, Applying logical operators in truth tables to solve problems,

Spring 2

Spring 2 - Ethical Legal Environmental Issues

Ethical issues: digital divide, genetic screening, whistle-blowers.

Environment: E-waste, Sustainability, Recycling, Energy, Earth.

Privacy issues: DNA profiling, National ID cards, CCTV, E-tracking, Personal data.

Cultural issues: Anonymity issues, Use of social media, Health issues, Citizen, Journalism.

Legislation: Data protection ACT 2018, Computer misuse ACT 1990, Copyright Design & Patents ACT, licenses

Spring 2 - Translators and facilities of languages

Characters and purposes of different levels of programming language.

Languages: Machine code, Assembly language, High-level language, Low-level language, Purpose of translators, Compilers & Interpreter, IDE features, Error diagnostics

Summer 1

Summer 1 - Computational Thinking

Principles: Abstraction, Decomposition, Algorithmic thinking, Structure diagrams, input-process-output practice.

Writing Pseudocode: Pseudocode, Python Practice, Flowcharts.

Summer 1 - 1.2.4 - Data Representation

Characters – ASCII, Character sets, Unicode

Images – Storing pixels, Metadata, Quality of image, Size of image file

Sound – What is sound, Sample rate, Bit depth, Size of a sound file

Compression – Lossy, Lossless

Summer 2

Summer 2 - Algorithms

Search algorithms: Binary search, Linear search

Sort algorithms: Bubble sort, Merge sort, Insertion sort

Summer 2

 Catch-up, Revision, Mocks & Exams