Python and GCSE Related News

Teaching Materials

Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language whose design philosophy emphasizes code readability. Its syntax is said to be clear and expressive. Python has a large and comprehensive standard library. Python offers an interactive environment in which to explore procedural, functional and object oriented approaches to problem solving. Its high level data structures and clear syntax make it an ideal first language, while the large number of existing libraries make it suitable to tackle almost any programming tasks.

Python is the most popular language used for GCSE computing at the moment and is well supported with materials.

Python Official Website
Download Python here

How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

An excellent interactive online ‘book’ to learn Python. The website has regular questions to check understanding as well as a number of test algorithms that can be run in the browser without having to install Python on the machine. Could be an excellent homework resource for students.

Python Summer School

An invaluable resource for both teachers and students to brush up their Python. Put together by Anglia Ruskin University and made available at no cost, this website offers a number of video tutorials and tasks that slowly introduce you to Python, but get quite advanced towards the end. I recommend signing up for an account and taking a look at the GCSE Computing with Python course.

Codecademy: Python

Codecademy proved very popular when it first launched and provided a great resource to learn Java. In July 2012 they released a Python section to the site. Course completion offers badges and the website tracks your progress making it a good homework resource for students. A very good site to enable students to learn Python at their own pace.

Google App Engine

Easily build web applications using Python and Google’s App Engine. This could be for more advanced students who wish to experiment with other uses of Python.

This video shows how Google App Engine works:

Google’s Python Class

This is a free class for people with a little bit of programming experience who want to learn Python. The class includes written materials, lecture videos, and lots of code exercises to practice Python coding. These materials are used within Google to introduce Python to people who have just a little programming experience.

Invent Your Own Computer Games With Python

A great resource for students who have an interest in developing their own games. It is written for students as young as 10 to get into programming with Python and although you can choose to purchase a physical copy of the book via Amazon, Albert Sweigart (the author) has kindly let you read an online version for free.

Khan Academy – Computer Science

Khan Academy has a number of good online video lectures covering a number of topics on Python in their computer science section.

KS3 Python Workbook by Dan Aldred

A well put together workbook to aid learning Python at KS3.

Learn Python

A basic online learning website which is similar in style to Codecademy, but nowhere near the same amount of depth. It is useful as it allows students to program Python in a browser setting, but there are better options out there.

Learn Python the Hard Way

An online free book which instructs you in Python by slowly building and establishing skills through techniques like practice and memorization, then applying them to increasingly difficult problems.

It lacks the interactive elements that other online books have which is a shame.

Official: Getting Started with Python

Certainly worth a look as it is the official documentation. It is kept up to date and there are quite a few resources on here. However, compared to others listed, these resources aren’t the most student friendly.


Pygame is a set of Python modules designed for writing games. Pygame adds functionality on top of the excellent SDL library. This allows you to create fully featured games and multimedia programs in the python language. Pygame is highly portable and runs on nearly every platform and operating system. Pygame itself has been downloaded millions of times, and has had millions of visits to its website.

Python Learn

A free online book and resources aimed at helping university level students learn Python on their own. With slides, lecture audio and videos available it provides a good resource for teachers to set up their own SoW.

Udacity – Intro to Computer Science

A beginners Udacity course which claims that by the end of it you will have a rock solid foundation for programming in Python and built a working web crawler. We have been hearing a lot of good things about Udacity and the quality of the courses they offer for free online – this could be an excellent one for enthusiastic students to do outside of class.

A website aimed at students learning Python for OCR or AQA computer science GCSE. Full of good explanations and tasks – with the challenges password locked so students can’t cheat! It is a very useful website which has been put together with a lot of thought and could be used as a potential scheme of work for teachers wanting to teach Python.

  1. Hi, here’s a good website I found for learning Python programming for GCSE Computing:

  2. There was a typo in my first comment! It should be

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