Python Coding Environments

When learning (or teaching) python for GCSE or A Level Computer Science, one of the first decisions you will need to make is which coding environment to use. This is actually no easy task as there are so many options to choose from. In this article I’m going to give an overview of some of […]

Book Review – Grokking Algorithms by Aditya Bhargava

Understanding algorithms for A Level Computer Science can be tough, and any resource which makes the job easier has to be a good thing. I expect you are familiar with the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” One of the main strengths of Bhargava’a book is the extremely clear (and sometimes quirky) pictures […]

Insertion Sort for Computer Science GCSE and A Level

Insertion sort is one of the standard algorithms you will come across studying Computer Science for GCSE and A Level. There are many different versions of the code for it scattered across the internet, but there are basically three common “flavours” you will find. In this article we will look at some Python implementations. First […]

Cambridge A Level Computer Science Trace Tables Exam-Style Question

The Cambridge International AS and A Level Computer Science Coursebook is generally a fantastic resource, covering the entire 9608 syllabus in depth. However, there are a few frustrating issues with the book, including some errors. For example, on page 245 as part of an exam-style question, the following pseudocode is given for an algorithm to […]

Python Type Annotations for Computer Science GCSE and A Level

Most exam boards offering Computer Science GCSE and A Level courses allow students a choice of which programming language to use. This usually includes Python along with other options like Java, C# or Visual Basic. In some ways Python is less strict than the others, and this can cause problems for students. For example in […]

Codewars

Looking for fun challenges to sharpen your Python coding skills? Codewars is the site for you!   Sometimes it’s hard to know what to work on, even though you really want to do some coding. Codewars provides a structured way to practice your skills with a huge collection of graded challenges. This is an excellent […]

Caesar Cipher – GCSE Computer Science

A common question in GCSE Computer Science exams involves encoding or decoding a message using a Caesar Cipher. This is a simple device named after the famous Emperor who used it to encrypt military messages. It involves “shifting” each character in the original message (plaintext) by a fixed amount to create an encoded message (ciphertext). […]

Python Circle Sector Challenge

Maths and Computer Science are often taught very separately, and yet they make excellent companions. Writing a program to explore a topic from maths can really help to understand the topic deeply as well as providing a great opportunity to practice your coding skills. Here’s a challenge: use the Python Turtle Module as described here, […]

The Sound of Maths 1 – Prime Numbers

Have you ever wondered what the first 500 prime numbers sound like? (Of course you have). Well, wonder no longer, as with the help of Python, it’s easy to find out! The is no known pattern to the primes, a fact which has tantalized mathematicians since ancient times, since there are nonetheless hints of pattern […]