That Blue Square Thing

Syllabus content:
PDF iconUnit 5 content - PDF doc to download and print
Note: this syllabus content is a slightly amended version of the one published freely on the web by AQA. I have made very minor adjustments to remove some content less suitable for students to use and it is presented here simply to allow the children I teach to download a usable copy of the syllabus content. It is copyright AQA and reproduced here simply to make access easier for students. No attempt to claim copyright is being made, although I could have copied the text into my own interpretation...

AQA Computer Science GCSE

May 2019: this area of the site is being built just now. I’m making progress but there are areas where there is no content yet. That will get added over the next 6 months or so.


Modern computer systems almost always work as a part of a network of devices.

This can be true even of a simple standalone machine - if it's connected to a printer or scanner, for example, it's part of a network. If it's connected to the internet then it's certainly part of an incredibly powerful network.

Networks are everywhere:

School networks connect devices together throughout a site. They allow you, usually, to move from machine to machine and pick up your work, access printers and other resources and generally make things a lot easier.
I remember using computer rooms which didn't do this: you had to physically take your work with you from machine to machine (using floppy disks) and it was only possible to print from one machine. Nothing was connected to the internet and software had to be installed one each machine separately.

There are three main parts of the syllabus here:

  1. Network basics - definitions and types of networks
  2. Network protocols
  3. Network security

There are quite a lot of key terms to learn in this unit, but none of it's all that complex. There are links to units 6 and 7 which deal more with security.

Multiple-choice Test

Try an online multiple choice test to check your understanding of key points:

Test iconNetworks Multiple Choice Test

This should work for anyone. It's a Google form, but you don't need to be signed in to do it and can do it as many times as you want (I think). If you are signed in to Google then it's possible that it might send me your e-mail address, although I really don't know if it will. I assume that it will tell me how many questions each person got right, but I doubt it will tell me anything else.

If it doesn't work, please tell me!