Education = Transforming + Informing


Also see  www.teachingcomputing.com for comprehensive resources

An introduction to ward off the weak willed  and lazy :=)


Hello! I should start by wishing you good luck! Programming isn’t a walk in the park but it is one of the most important and dynamic disciplines in  Science today.

The more functional brain cells you have the better but even if you are somewhat deficient in that area, methodology, hard work and lots of practice can make you just as good (or nearly as good) as one of those annoying “natural” programmers.



Handy tip: If you aren’t prepared to spend a few hours a week consolidating your programming skills you can merrily prepare to do other things such as – fail the exam and the upcoming coursework unit. There’ll be points where you’ll wish you had never bothered to start learning a language (a programming language, that is) but if you stick with it, you’ll be glad (in some strange way) that you did. :=)

Free Downloads and Tutorials (C#, Greenfoot (Java), VB.Net)

Depending on what your centre / teacher suggests, download the relevant resources …

Download Visual C# Here (Free) and a great place to start (with tutorials) is home and learn c#

Download Greenfoot Here and check out some Greenfoot samples and scenarios here. Home and Learn’s Java Tutorials are here.

Download VB.Net Here and the tutorials to get you started here.

Before you do anything else, or indeed have any “fun” with all this, you need to understand some fundamentals of programming. Stuff like:

WHAT  DOES A PROGRAMMER DO? (How is Computing different from ICT?)

HOW DO PROGRAMS WORK? (How does a computer (bunch of circuits) understand programming “language”?)

WHAT’S A VARIABLE? (understand the importance of global and local variables)

WHAT’S A PROCEDURE AND WHAT IS A FUNCTION? (what’s the difference?)


SEQUENCE (Series of Statements one after the other)


ITERATION (LOOPS – While Loops, For Loops, Repeat Until Loops *also called Do –While loops)

RECURSION (strange sort of function that calls itself)

STRING MANIPULATION (working with strings to do cool things)

You can learn these in any language or in no language at all (pseudocode) but once you understand the principles you can move on to do just about anything as a programmer.

Vast variety of computing courses …




Click here for a series of simple and wonderfully easy C# tasks to get you ahead.


C# Task 1 – Introduction to C# and creating a simple “Canteen Menu – What’s for lunch” system. Takes 5 minutes

C# Task 2 – Using CASE or SWITCH statements instead of the IF statement. (Another form of Selection)


C# Task 3 – Use of a WHILE loop and understand how it actually works. Stopping condition is @ the START!

C# Task 4 – Here you’ll use a REPEAT – Until Loop – Stopping condition here is at the END.

C# Task 5 – And finally, here’s an example of the use of a FOR LOOP. A known amount of iterations are pre-defined.

Let’s start here (Click below for the theory power points)

At this point I need to (re) bring your attention to this fantastic website called Home and Learn.  Whoever created and maintains it is very benevolent indeed as it appears to be free.  They do make a sly promotion of the book version though – not very expensive and I’d buy it if I were you. If you want to be a pro at all the above and get ahead, you need to work through the tutorials provided on the home and learn site. It provides useful background and current information and step by step instructions that help understand the code you are writing.

As we are also promoting Greenfoot (Java) the use of C# would be preferable simply because, as mentioned, the syntax is similar.

Assuming you now fully understand what a variable is, how to write simple if and case statements as well as loops (the three different types) we can dig a little deeper and get in to some of the harder stuff.

  • Arrays (we’ve looked at them) but let’s look at them some more. These can get VERY complex and give you a headache
  • Recursion (mysterious concept that is sometimes hard to get – if you figure it out first time round, you’re clever)
  • String Manipulation (doing clever things with strings)

Theory Power Points A2 Computing

(The course work project (F454) and the last exam (F453)


F453_Chapter 14_Translators_LexicalAnalysis

F453_Chapter15_computer architecture

Chapter 16 Pracitce Papers_withanswers

Chapter 16 Pracitce Papers_withanswers

Understanding Assembly Code

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