That Blue Square Thing

Syllabus content:
There is no direct syllabus content for this part of the course that needs to be learned for an exam. The ideas I've developed in these pages will come into the exam - particularly paper 1, but the content is covered in the Unit 2 section of the syllabus.

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.

Programming project

The aim of the programming project is to allow you the chance to do some "proper" programming. Everyone seems to agree that this is really, really important but, unfortunately, no one (other than me) seems to want to give you any marks for doing it.

Which is a shame.

So, I see it as a chance to revisit all the complicated bits of Unit 2 that you forgot all about. In particular, dealing with complex Boolean operators (multi-layered True/False statements). complex loops (including nested loops), random numbers, list manipulation and validating user input.

The pages linked from here are just the sort of thing you might need in a real programming project and are exactly the sort of stuff you need to be aware of for the more obscure questions on Paper 1.

The Report

You need to write a report. This will be submitted on paper. It needs to include four things:

  1. designs - where you take apart the problem(s) in the project and plan how you're going to deal with them. I would suggest:
    • breaking the problem down into smaller bits
    • for each bit writing a "strategy" for how you might deal with it
    • turning this into pseudocode or flowcharts (or some of each to get practice for Paper 1)
  2. program printout - literally your final program code
  3. testing - a test table showing the results of your tests (using expected, extreme and erroneous data entry)
  4. evaluation - including suggestions for improvements to your code

Now all someone associated with the government needs to do is to decide that this stuff is actually worth some marks and then to find a way of dealing with it so that teachers can't cheat. They can contact me for details of how to do this anytime...