That Blue Square Thing

Syllabus content:
PDF iconUnit 4 content - PDF doc to download and print
Note: this syllabus content is a slightly amended version of the one published freely on the web by AQA. I have made very minor adjustments to remove some content less suitable for students to use and it is presented here simply to allow the children I teach to download a usable copy of the syllabus content. It is copyright AQA and reproduced here simply to make access easier for students. No attempt to claim copyright is being made, although I could have copied the text into my own interpretation...

AQA Computer Science GCSE

September 2018: this area of the site is being built just now. There are areas where there is no content yet. That will get added over the next 6 months or so.

Computer Systems

This area is all about the ways in which computers work. That includes what goes on inside the "black box" of the computer system and how things fit together.

I break the syllabus here down into six parts, although these are a little different to how the syllabus actually reads. It will be developed as I teach it in late 2018/early 2019:

  1. Hardware and Software - on this page
  2. Boolean logic - there is some more to add to this
  3. Software types
  4. Systems architecture
  5. Storage types
  6. Embedded systems

There are some parts of this unit which crossover with the last part of Unit 2 - the ways in which programming languages work.

Hardware and Software

Computer systems are made up of hardware and software.

Hardware is simply any physical component that makes up the computer system. This might include the monitor, keyboard and mouse on a PC as well as the circuit boards and memory inside the machine. Not every system has all of this hardware - simple, embedded systems (such as those in a microwave oven or a supermarket till) might have much less hardware that a user can interact with.

Software is the programs that run on the hardware.