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 […]

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 […]

GCSE Computer Science Programming Misses the Mark?

How well does GCSE Computer Science prepare students to become good programmers? I know, programming is not everything, and the other aspects are important too, but still, in the modern world the ability to program well is likely to to give a major advantage in many career paths, and be indispensable in others. So, does […]

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, […]

A Puzzle About Socks

Here’s a puzzle to help practice your computational thinking skills. Don’t forget to take it slowly and think through your answer carefully before committing. A sock drawer contains ten pairs of black socks and ten pairs of white socks. If you are only allowed to take one sock from the drawer at a time and […]

So You Want to Teach Computer Science?

Computer Science is an exciting and important subject where the demand for competent teachers outweighs the supply. This makes it an appealing option for many considering choosing it as a subject for initial teacher training or as a new subject within an existing teaching career. In this article we will look at some points to […]

Better Typing for Computer Science GCSE and A Level

How good is your typing? This thing with typing is, if you type badly, you will get a lot of practice at typing badly, whereas if you learn to type properly, you will practice typing well every time you do it. The difficulty comes in making the transition from being a bad typist to a […]

Python Nested FOR Loops for Computer Science GCSE and A Level

Why do I Need Nested Loops? Nested loops are a very important concept in Python programming and Computer Science GCSE and A Level, and are used in many algorithms. For example sorting algorithms such as Bubble Sort and Selection Sort rely on them, as does iterating through a 2D list. Sometimes while loops are used […]