I can't believe a GCSE is even covering all the basics, let along going beyond them
One of my offspring has this year started GCSE Computer Science and is currently plodding through a module using Python. He appears not to have been taught the "basics" of what variables are and their scopes, how different kinds of loops work, what a "function" is nor why it's useful to put code into functions.
They did some rudimentary Scratch in Y7 or Y8, went straight into hand-coding HTML at the start of Y10 (GCSE first year) and then jumped into Python via a very, very brief excursion into number bases and binary maths. I'm not sure he's even covered simple logic, though he did draw a diagram of a computer with "input", "processing", "storage" and "output".
Instead he is working his way through exercise after exercise with some very basic guidance and seems to be expected to pick up these key ideas by osmosis or something*. In many ways it reminds me of me in the 1980s, teaching myself the basics of programming via the Sinclair and then the BBC Welcome manuals because a: there was no internet and b: I couldn't often afford to buy magazines or books and c: I needed to write the software I couldn't afford to buy.
It has to be said that at the open evening where the pupils were given the chance to talk with teachers about their optional subjects (at this school, top stream only has three options) a huge emphasis was put on "Comp Sci is hard and you'd really be better off taking ICT because it's still a GCSE and counts exactly the same", all of which had the effect of giving me the impression that it was really the teacher who was finding it difficult. As a result, only five started Comp. Sci in Y10 this year and two have already swapped for ICT.
*My eldest is doing maths A-level and has three teachers. Two of them are fine, but the third seems to have a similar attitude; here's some basic info (often in the form of a self-made video), here are some exercises, now get on with it, no we won't have a feedback session next week. I struggled with my own A-level maths, and am struggling to help at home 30 years later.