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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Ultimate Guide to Free Python Resources for Beginners

Learning to program with Python is both fun and challenging. For some, it could mark the beginning of a life-long journey of discovery and creation. In many professions a knowledge of Python will give you a distinct advantage. We have covered some of the advantages of studying Computer Science in a previous article. Many of […]