Hi! Welcome to Cambridge IGCSE Computer Science.
We will go though:
1. What is Cambridge IGCSE?
2. What will you learn?
3. How you will be graded?
4. Extra things
5. What types of career you can have?
6. Common Questions
IGCSE stands for International General Certificate of Secondary Education
Many millions of students around the world study IGCSE.
Cambridge IGCSE is an IGCSE thats approved by Cambridge University.
The reason this is good is because when you finish your IGCSE you will have a qualification that Universities and workplaces around the world recognise and respect.
Most IGCSE’s take two years to finish. Year 10 and Year 11.
Then once you finish IGCSE, you will move onto Advanced Subsidiary Level, this is also called AS Level in Year 12.
When you finish AS Level in Year 12, you will move onto Advanced Level, also called A Level in Year 13.
After Year 13, you will have finished your time at Yinghua International School.
Does Computer Science teach me how to use a computer?
Nope. You have been around computers since you were born, you already know how to press keys on a keyboard, move a mouse – all of those easy things.
Computer Science teaches you HOW a computer works.
Just remember that any computer, tablet, smartphone, smartwatch, even smart glasses is just a box with electricity going through it.
In Computer Science you will learn how can we do so much with just a box with electricity.
So we already said that every computer is just a box with electricity and you can either have electricity on or electricity off.
There’s a language to represent this. Binary
(its actually a number system not a language)
Binary uses just two numbers 0 and 1.
0 means electricity off, 1 means electricity on
Binary will be your first topic and we will teach you how to convert every letter, number, symbol, sound, image, video, animation….everything you see, into binary.
We will also teach you another number system called Hexadecimal, this uses 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, A, B, C, D, E and F
Its all super cool. Dead simple too.
Once we do Binary, we can touch on Quantum Computing too…this is where something can be on and off at the same time!!
So you’ve done Binary and can understand how you can manipulate electricity into showing something useful. Next we will teach you how that information gets processed between all of the different parts of your computer.
This process is called the Fetch – Decode – Execute Cycle. If it sounds complicated or hard…. don’t worry, its pretty simple and once you learn it then you will have an awesome understanding on how to make your computer faster.
Up next is logic gates. You’ll do this in IGCSE Physics too, but in Computer Science it is far more useful.
A logic gate is just a way to show how electricity flows. If you are looking at the image and think OMG too complicated, I need to be good at Maths and Physics – you really don’t. Logic gates is probably the simplest thing in Computer Science and the best thing is once you learn it for IGCSE Computer Science it is exactly the same in AS Level and A-Level. Learn it once, use it forever (well at least until Year 13)
In IGCSE Computer Science, you will learn all of these languages:
Maybe a bit of JAVA
Maybe a bit of Visual Basic
And if any of that makes you nervous because you don’t even know what any of those are – no problem. If you are an expert in those languages or you never even heard about these languages before, we will teach you from the very start of each language. So if you know nothing, its no problem.
Security. Listen carefully, security sounds boring… but it is so amazing.
You will learn how to protect your data, you will learn different ways that data gets protected.
So, because you know how to protect data, you will also have the knowledge into how to unprotect data (hint, hint)
So you’ll learn binary code, you’ll learn how your computer handles that data, you’ll learn how electricity flows, how to create your own programs using code, you’ll learn how to keep your data safe (and how to make other people’s data unsafe) and next will be how you can move this data from one computer to another in a local area (LAN – Local Area Network) and also in WAN’s (Wide Area Networks)
In IGCSE Computer Science, you will actually make your own computer program.
Before you do this, we will teach you how to design your program and how to follow a set of instructions – called algorithms. So you will also learn Algorithm Design.
Super simple, very useful and it’ll help you make an awesome program.
A lot of Computer Science looks complicated but its really easy, they just use a lot of complicated words. Now, Databases is probably the most boring topic in Computer Science, it is not even that boring, but compared to the others topics, Database’s are the least interesting.
So why do we do it?
1. Because Cambridge says so
2. Loads of money!!
It was even a shock for me when I was a student, I thought that learning code and making programs will make me super rich….it does, but knowing Databases will make you super, super rich.
And what’s even better is that its simple! Really easy to understand and learn so even though Databases might not be exciting, what you can do with Databases is pretty awesome.
At the end of Year 11, you will sit two exam papers.
One exam paper is based on the Theory you learnt, the second exam paper is based on your Programming you learnt.
Now you will notice that its at the end of Year 11, but what about your first year of study? What about Year 10?
In Year 10, you will get practice tests from all your subjects so you are used to how Cambridge exams are conducted.
For IGCSE Computer Science, both exams are done on paper.
+ Learn how a computer works
+ Super strong understanding on how computers do things
+ Create your own program
+ Learn how to make your data secure and other data less secure
Things to think about
If you are good at Maths or if you have a logical mind, it helps, but it’s not required.
Even if you know nothing about Computers, its okay. We will teach you from the very start.
You do NOT need to be super smart, but you cannot be lazy!
After IGCSE Computer Science you can do:
AS Level Computer Science
A-Level Computer Science
Computer Science at University and other computing based courses like Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Programming, Computing Engineering and much more…
When you start Computer Science, you will be treated as if you know nothing.
This is because we want to make sure that you know everything you need to know so it’s just easier to start from the beginning and not to rely on your past experiences.
If you are lazy, yes. If you are willing to work, then you can get a good grade.
Well, it really depends how good you are at other subjects. What I would say is that since you was a baby you would learn Maths, you would have also leant English since childhood. But for many of you, this is the first time you are doing Computer Science. So, I cannot say it’s harder than other subjects, but there is a lot to learn so you cannot be lazy.
Maybe, depends on your grades, depends on your Univeirsty, depends on your job.
What you should do is ask your parents how many computers they had when they was 15.
Now, look at your life, laptop, tablet, smartphone maybe even a smart watch – you alone have many devices.
Now think in 7 – 8 years time, when you finish University, the number of devices and the way humans rely on technology will be even more than now.
So, if you understand Computers and Computing Science, it is pretty useful.
Yes. It doesn’t have to be powerful, as long as it can run a web browser then that’s all you need.
No, if you only have an iPad then its fine. You may want to get a keyboard and mouse for your iPad though.
You will make your own program.
You will learn how to design programs.
For Cambridge, there is no requirement to design a video game, but in your free time you can start the process of designing a game.
They are my favourite colours
Ask me. Send me an email on: