xoamox
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At this point, I feel like I'll be failing the Computer Science GCSE. I don't understand any programming techniques etc, because we haven't been taught it effectively at school - and now we're getting a new teacher. I desperately require help on the algorithm questions on paper 2 - those involving pseudo code and flowcharts.
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winterscoming
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(Original post by xoamox)
At this point, I feel like I'll be failing the Computer Science GCSE. I don't understand any programming techniques etc, because we haven't been taught it effectively at school - and now we're getting a new teacher. I desperately require help on the algorithm questions on paper 2 - those involving pseudo code and flowcharts.
Unfortunately I think the teaching sometimes isn't so good at GCSE You've got enough time before any final exams to catch up if you can put the work in. At the very least, try to give yourself a couple of hours every 2 or 3 days to focus on it. After a while the pieces will eventually start to 'click' into place - the reason programming seems hard at first is that it's a new way of thinking, but it's not magic, it's just logic!

The "core" skill of programming is about being able to "think like a programmer" - also known as Computational Thinking. Flowcharts and pseudocode are just the ways of drawing/writing the answers. There's a lot of videos on here which explain the programming concepts - https://student.craigndave.org/

I would focus on using a programming language (probably Python) to solve problems to put it all into practice since it's a learn-by-doing skill, so try following some of the lessons on these:

https://www.codecademy.com/courses/learn-python - free interactive lessons - you can ignore it "nagging" to pay and just go through the lessons - it will get you writing some fairly simple code and solving some basic problems, as well as learning what the main programming constructs are.

https://www.py4e.com/ - Try the first 10 Python lessons on here, which include some really good videos and most importantly some exercises to practice with.

Remember that flowcharts and pseudocode are just like a tool really, if you can learn computational thinking by using Python, then flowcharts and pseudocode should be pretty obvious since it's the same concepts as Python, just draw or written in a different way.
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xoamox
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(Original post by winterscoming)
Unfortunately I think the teaching sometimes isn't so good at GCSE You've got enough time before any final exams to catch up if you can put the work in. At the very least, try to give yourself a couple of hours every 2 or 3 days to focus on it. After a while the pieces will eventually start to 'click' into place - the reason programming seems hard at first is that it's a new way of thinking, but it's not magic, it's just logic!

The "core" skill of programming is about being able to "think like a programmer" - also known as Computational Thinking. Flowcharts and pseudocode are just the ways of drawing/writing the answers. There's a lot of videos on here which explain the programming concepts - https://student.craigndave.org/

I would focus on using a programming language (probably Python) to solve problems to put it all into practice since it's a learn-by-doing skill, so try following some of the lessons on these:

https://www.codecademy.com/courses/learn-python - free interactive lessons - you can ignore it "nagging" to pay and just go through the lessons - it will get you writing some fairly simple code and solving some basic problems, as well as learning what the main programming constructs are.

https://www.py4e.com/ - Try the first 10 Python lessons on here, which include some really good videos and most importantly some exercises to practice with.

Remember that flowcharts and pseudocode are just like a tool really, if you can learn computational thinking by using Python, then flowcharts and pseudocode should be pretty obvious since it's the same concepts as Python, just draw or written in a different way.
Thanks for that! I'm currently watching thenesboston for programming in python, and it's quite helpful.
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winterscoming
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(Original post by xoamox)
Thanks for that! I'm currently watching thenesboston for programming in python, and it's quite helpful.
Yeah, thenewboston is an excellent channel - Bucky does a great job at explaining it all, and keeps it interesting too

Also, he uses PyCharm which is honestly 10x better than IDLE just for helping you write the code and get the basics right (guess you probably used IDLE in classes, which just makes things harder than they need to be IMO). Good luck with everything!
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xoamox
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(Original post by winterscoming)
Yeah, thenewboston is an excellent channel - Bucky does a great job at explaining it all, and keeps it interesting too

Also, he uses PyCharm which is honestly 10x better than IDLE just for helping you write the code and get the basics right (guess you probably used IDLE in classes, which just makes things harder than they need to be IMO). Good luck with everything!
Thanks! Just an additional question - have you done your GCSEs?
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winterscoming
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(Original post by xoamox)
Thanks! Just an additional question - have you done your GCSEs?
Yeah, I'm way past that - I did them before Computer Science existed at GCSE, although I've seen alot of people posting on here about how bad the teaching is. It seems like it's still a bit too new for there to really be enough good, experienced teachers in schools.

The subject which it replaced was ICT, which I did take, though it was basically a GCSE in how to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. I think going from that upto programming was a bit of a leap really
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xoamox
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(Original post by winterscoming)
Yeah, I'm way past that - I did them before Computer Science existed at GCSE, although I've seen alot of people posting on here about how bad the teaching is. It seems like it's still a bit too new for there to really be enough good, experienced teachers in schools.

The subject which it replaced was ICT, which I did take, though it was basically a GCSE in how to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. I think going from that upto programming was a bit of a leap really
Yeah, the teaching is pretty trash - my computer science teacher actually did ICT at a-levels, and God knows what he did at uni, if he event went. But hats down to you, you were able to learn programming despite not doing it at GCSE.
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(Original post by xoamox)
Yeah, the teaching is pretty trash - my computer science teacher actually did ICT at a-levels, and God knows what he did at uni, if he event went. But hats down to you, you were able to learn programming despite not doing it at GCSE.
I don't think it's actually too bad as a thing to self teach In some ways it's a bit easier learning from Bucky, Craigndave, Py4E, etc. At least there you've got people who really know their stuff, and in the end the whole thing should start to make sense and seem more logical once it's explained properly.

The other thing to mention is that A-Level Computing/CompSci has been around for a long time (teachers I had at 6th form had been teaching it a A-Level for at least 10-20 years, maybe longer), so if you pick the A-Level and go to a 6th-form who used to teach the old Computing syllabus then hopefully that'll be fine - good/bad teaching makes a really huge difference.
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