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Sir Jonathan North College

Sir Jonathan North College

Computing and Business Studies


In computing, students use thinking and creativity to understand how a computer works as well as how to program. The core of computing is computer science, in which students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, students use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content.

Students in every year group have the opportunity to experience ‘physical’ computing using specialist equipment such as BBC Micro:bits and Raspberry Pi; and programming using a variety of languages including Scratch, Python and HTML

Computing also ensures that students become digitally literate and safe users of online technologies. It also provides opportunities for learners to be expressive and confident users of information and communication technology at a level suitable for them to progress onto GCSE study.


Business Studies

Offered as a GCSE option in Key Stage 4, Business is the study of how to set up and run a business within the real life working industry. Students, who have an interest in potentially running their own business in the future or who are interested in the marketing, finance or legalities of business will find this course both interesting and factual.

The business sector is one of the most important in the UK at the present time and with a clear route of progression through A-Levels and university degrees, a Business GCSE could be the start of a very successful future. Students follow the Edexcel GCSE in Business course and will gain a grade ranging from 9 – 1. There are two exams which are 1 ½ hours long, taken at the end of year 11.

As well as the factual learning, sessions develop the skills necessary in the business industry such as communication, leadership and teamwork, through students working independently and in groups throughout the course. 

Programme of Study

Year 10

  • Autumn 1 - Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • Autumn 2 - Spotting a business opportunity
  • Spring 1 - Putting a business idea into practice
  • Spring 2 - Making the business effective
  • Summer 1 - Understanding external influences on business
  • Summer 2 - Growing the business

Year 11

  • Autumn 1 - Making marketing decisions
  • Autumn 2 - Making product decisions
  • Spring 1 - Making financial decisions
  • Spring 2 - Making human resource decisions
  • Summer 1 - Revision for exams
  • Summer 2 - Exams

Useful Resources and Top Tips for Business Studies 

Students can start preparing for the course by doing preliminary reading. The ideal source of information is the core textbook that we use in both years which contains everything the students need to know for all units.

Unfortunately we do not have enough copies to lend each student a textbook. If you would like to purchase the textbook you can do so from Hodder Education, Waterstones, Amazon or EBay.

  •  296 pages
  •  Pearson education
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-292-17984-1

Alternatively, there is lots of information on the Internet.

Some useful websites:

BBC – GCSE Bitesize
BBC Business Page
Business Studies online


Encourage your daughter to do the following:

Read the BBC Business Page

Read a factual newspaper

Watch the news

Watch any programmes related to businesses on the BBC, ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five

Discuss business stories with your daughter to help her to link stories in the news to learning in the classroom.

Practise key words and definitions at home.



Three students looking at iPad with Computing teacher



Using specialist computing classrooms, students complete various projects in each year group. These are designed to improve their confidence in using technology and build on skills they have acquired in Primary School. Feedback from students has been extremely positive, with around 84% of Year 7 and 8 students saying they found their projects to be good to excellent.

Collaborative working is often key to the projects and enables the students to improve their verbal communication and team work skills, whilst learning new skills, such as programming. Year 7 students commented that they enjoyed being able to work with friends and found the E-Safety Poem and Film project really enjoyable.

KS3 Programme of Study

Year 7

  • Fundamentals of Computing
  • BBC Micro:Bits
  • E-Safety Poem and film planning
  • Maze Game in Scratch
  • Student-led individual project

Year 8

  • Developing a Scratch Game from scratch: Game Design and Planning
  • Developing a Scratch Game from scratch: Game Programing
  • Intro to Raspberry Pi and Python Programming
  • Creating your own Magazine: Planning and design
  • Creating your own Magazine: creation of magazine using Adobe Illustrator
  • Creating your own website using HTML

Year 9

  • How Computers Work
  • Further Python Programming
  • Database design
  • Networks and communication
  • Preparing for GCSE (if option choice) or ICT Project
  • Adobe Photoshop project



In today’s society Computer Science is a very important subject as it underpins many careers and teaches many life-skills which are invaluable to all.

GCSE Computer Science is a new and highly recognised qualification that teaches logical and computational thinking through an introduction to computer programming. It is a highly transferrable skill and is sought after by employers owing to the problem solving and thinking skills it teaches.

Students learn basic computer programming, focusing on the language Python. The course also takes students through computational thinking, problem solving, code tracing and applied computing, as well as theoretical knowledge of computer science and computer architecture, all of which give students a deep understanding of how computers work.  During the course students have teacher-led theory lessons; small, bite-sized projects; individual and group work.

At the end of the course there are 2 written exams of 1 hour 30 minutes each. Each paper is worth 40% towards the final grade. Paper 1 is an assessment on computational thinking and problem solving on practically based scenarios. Paper 2 is an assessment on theoretical knowledge. Non-exam assessment is the production of a report over 20 hours and is 20% of the overall grade. Students develop a computer program including coding and write up the process and test their coding thoroughly and show evidence of this. 

GCSE Programme of Study

Year 10

  • Higher Python Programming: Turing Test Project
  • Computer Architecture Theory
  • Higher Python Programming: Bounce Project
  • Python challenge 1: Mastermind
  • Python challenge 2: Caesar Cipher

Year 11

  • Coursework introduction and preparation
  • Coursework development
  • Coursework hand in Recap on theory and Writing algorithms
  • Recap on theory and Writing algorithms
  • GCSE exam revision
  • GCSE exam revision and theory exams

Useful Resources

Code Academy

BBC Bitesize Computer Science

Our GCSE Revision Guide – Click here for the link

Python texts – BRIGGS JASON R., 2013, Python for Kids, San Francisco

Top Tips

Download a copy of Python to your home computer. This is free at