A Key Distinction for Better Understanding of Computer Science GCSE and A Level

Do you mean the thing or the container for the thing? In this article I want to discuss a key distinction which crops up again and again throughout Computer Science GCSE and A Level. It is a distinction which might sound trivial or obvious, but many years of teaching have shown me that getting ultra-clear […]

Python Sets and a River Crossing Puzzle

Have you heard of the puzzle about the farmer, the wolf, the goat and the cabbage? You can play it here (click the “run” button to start): There are many different ways to implement the logic, but here I chose to use Python Sets. My goal here is to teach about Python programming. If you […]

A Bit of Fun with Python

Every now and then I look at a syllabus or textbook for GCSE Computer Science and it strikes me how much more interesting the content could be. Fun with Python for Computer Science GCSE I mean, look what’s possible with some fairly basic Python code. Python International Space Station Tracker How about this international space […]

We Need to Talk About Pseudocode

Pseudocode for Computer Science GCSE and A Level Pseudocode for Computer Science GCSE and A Level is supposed to provide a way of describing algorithms which is simple, clear, unambiguous and language-agnostic. However, we have a language which meets 3 of these criteria already – Python!! As for the fourth, Python syntax is so clear […]

Learning Bubble Sort for Computer Science GCSE and A Level

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that is probably true, IF you are ready to understand the picture! When this is the case, we often experience those wonderful aha moments where understanding happens almost instantaneously, as if someone has switched on a light in our mind. However, there is usually a […]

Eight Queens Puzzle in Python

Click me to play The Eight Queens Puzzle is a classic problem whose goal is to place 8 queens on an 8×8 chessboard in such a way that none of the queens share a row, column or diagonal. The version discussed here allows exploration of not just an 8×8 but an arbitrary size nxn board, […]

Running Python Scripts from a Command Line

There are many ways to run Python code. Many learners begin with IDLE which comes bundled with the standard Python installation. You can go a long way with IDLE but eventually you will want to progress onto different environments. A very common setup for small Python projects is the use of a text editor such […]

Exploring Random Walks with Python Turtle Graphics

In this post we will be looking at an idea from mathematics called a random walk. In a random walk, each step in a process is determined randomly and we are interested in the state of the process after a given number of steps. There are examples of this phenomenon happening all around us. For […]

Generating Random Graphs in Python

Random Graphs in Python for A Level Computer Science and Beyond The jupyter notebook below shows an implementation of an algorithm for generating a random undirected, unweighted graph. The algorithm uses the Erdős–Rényi model, but you don’t need to know about that to understand how it works – the pseudo code makes is quite clear, […]