GCSE Computing

Public Teaching and Learning Resources

GCSE Computing textbooks

GCSE Computing Textbook by Susan Robson

The Edition 2 of this textbook by Susan Robson is endorsed by OCR and covers the full specification for GCSE Computing - theory unit A451.

Available for purchase as a colour paperback, a B/W paperback or as a colour PDF eBook.

OCR Computing for GCSE Student's Book

Written by senior examiners and experienced teachers, OCR Computing for GCSE Student's Book covers theory unit A451 and the two controlled assessment units.

Available for purchase as a colour paperback through Hodder Education.

Computing Academy eBook  Computing Academy GCSE Computer Science eTextbook.

Available for purchase as a colour PDF download or online eBook.

GCSE computing courses

Raising awareness about computing

  • www.whatiscomputing.com - an excellent introduction to what computing is all about as well as careers information

Computing hardware Representation of data A binary to denary game A denary to binary game

Computer communications and networking

  • MS Small basic - An excellent programming language for GCSE Computing with good support for graphics and file handling. Programs can be converted to Visual Basic and it also supports the LOGO programming language.
  • Little Man Computer (LMC) simulations  There are many LMC simulator versions online. The ones listed below use the same instruction set as the OCR controlled assessment investigation into low level programming.
    • Java applet versionA guide to the VB.NET LMC screen - click to enlarge - the original version recommended by OCR, offering a line-by-line output log as a program executes.
    • GCSEcomputing version - an OCR compatible downloadable version, based on the JAVA version above but with multi-line output and the ability to load and save LMC programs as text files.
    • Javascript version - an enhanced version of the above with animation and the option of OTC (Output To Character), created by Peter Higginson.
    • Javascript version - an OCR compatible version offering useful options such as a graphical version of an assembled program showing the program flow.
    • SuperDecade Version - an OCR compatible downloadable version offering a line-by-line output log as a program executes.
  • YouSrc.com  - an excellent on-line, command line programming environment that has all the basics of input/output, file handling, graphics etc. combined with the teacher administration of student accounts and teacher access to code written by students. Excellent support from the developer who is keen to support GCSE Computing.  Yousrc can now create stand-alone Android Apps.
  • Scratch  - a programming language recommended by OCR that uses simple-to-assemble blocks to create computer programs that can then be shared on the web.
    • BYOB - an extension to the Scratch language allowing you to create your own custom blocks.
    • Panther - another extension to the Scratch language.
  • StarLogo TNG - modelling and simulation software that uses the same block system as Scratch but allows users to simulate complex systems using 3D graphics.
  • Codecademy - an excellent free online JavaScript course.
  • Code.org - numerous resources to support getting pupils to start coding.
  • BBC Basic:
  • PicAxe BASIC Programming Editor
    • A free software application for developing programs in PicAxe BASIC that will run on PicAxe microcontroller chips and microcontroller simulators.
  • Logicator for PicAxe
    • Graphical flowchart-based software for quick and easy programming of low-cost PICAXE chips. Allows integration with PicAxe BASIC commands.
    • GCSEcomputing support pages
  • Progranimate - a visual problem-solving tool and code generator that allows the users to construct a computer program via an interactive flowchart. It can then generate the equivalent code in Java, JavaScript, VisualBasic6.0 and VisualBasic.Net.
  • Manufactoria - A graphical approach to designing algorithms.
  • RoboMind - a simple programming language to control a robot that can interact with a basic 2D environment.
  • Alice - a 3D programming environment recommended by OCR that can produce animations, interactive games or videos to share on the web.
  • Kodu Game Lab - game design software developed by Microsoft Research.
  • GameMaker - game software with extensive tutorials.
  • Jeroo - allows students to use the programming languages: Java, C++ and Python to learn the basic concepts of object-oriented programming.
  • Python:
    • Python - a download site for the Python programming language.
    • Pygame - a set of Python modules designed for writing video games.
  • Light Bot / Light Bot 2 - Puzzle games that uses simple programming techniques to solve the levels.
  • Compilr - an online IDE that lets you write and compile code for a variety of platforms from any major web browser.
  • Codingbat - Online code practice in Java and Python with progress graphs.
  • Code Academy - Learn to code interactively, for free.
  • Microsoft Dreamspark - the download that gives students Microsoft professional tools at no charge.
  • Rosettacode.org - code solutions to the same task in as many different languages as possible.
  • Coding at School - a review of resources for many types of software.
  • Programming Languages for teaching - advice on some of the programming languages available for teaching.
  • codebymath.com - browser-based BASIC style programming language with over 100 lessons that can teach you how to code while showing you some neat things about mathematics.

General computing resources

Lesson guides / teaching resources

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