That Blue Square Thing

Syllabus content:
Note: this syllabus content is a slightly amended version of the one published freely on the web by AQA. I have made very minor adjustments to remove some content less suitable for students to use and it is presented here simply to allow the children I teach to download a usable copy of the syllabus content. It is copyright AQA and reproduced here simply to make access easier for students. No attempt to claim copyright is being made, although I could have copied the text into my own interpretation...

AQA Computer Science GCSE

September 2020: This page is the for the 2022 exam version of the AQA Computer Science GCSE course. This is for Year 10 teaching in September 2020.
These pages were copied over from the old syllabus and will get updated as I work through the new one. That means they won't always be totally up to date and I might miss something - check the updated date at the bottom of the page.

Algorithms

Algorithms show exactly how a task can be completed. Technically they are a sequence of step by step, unambiguous instructions for solving a particular problem.

You need to be able to read (and understand) and write algorithms written in:

• flowcharts
• pseudo code

In an exam you may have to write an algorithm as well as read one. There is no need for you to be able to write perfect pseudocode - you can use any form of basic English or even programming code. The key is getting the logic right, not necessarily writing with perfect syntax. So, it's important to know what pseudo code commands mean, but it's not essential to write perfect pseudo code.

Key Definitions and Ideas

The key definitions here are really important. Look at the syllabus document. If a word is included in there you must be able to define it.

Algorithm basics - key definitions and ideas

Basic flowchart symbols - you might see a flowchart in an exam so you need to make sure you know what each symbole means

There are some key programming ideas that you can use algorithms to help develop.

Algorithm Programming Constructs - an important set of key programming concepts and constructs and how they are developed in algorithms. You should have implemented all of these ideas using Python, but it's important to understand that they are key ideas in programming and know how they can be applied in non-program code algorithms. (Note: some of the pseudocode in this document is not AQA pseudocode - I might get round to updating it at some point, but the ideas are the important thing)

The Bitesize pages on algorithms and control flow are also useful - especially when you need to review sequence, selection and repetition. There are videos which might be helpful.

Exam style questions

Decomposition question - exam style question

Advantages and Disadvantages of using Decomposition - use this to help answer the last question (the 6 mark one)