Computer Science Read, Watch, Listen

Enjoying Computer Science in the real world!

Recommended Reads: Quality newspapers/magazines will all have sections on Technology and are a good start for any students who are interested in reading around the subject of ICT and Computing.


Recommended Key Stage 3 Reading

Zenobia July is starting a new life. She used to live in Arizona with her father; now she's in Maine with her aunts. She used to spend most of her time behind a computer screen, improving her impressive coding and hacking skills; now she's coming out of her shell and discovering a community of friends at Monarch Middle School. When someone anonymously posts hateful memes on her school's website, Zenobia knows she is the one with the abilities to solve the mystery, all while wrestling with the challenges of a new school, a new family, and coming to grips with presenting her true gender for the first time. Timely and touching, Zenobia July is, at its heart, a story about finding home.
Gamer Army: After Rogan Webber levels up yet again on his favourite video game, Laser Viper, the world-famous creator of the game invites him to join the five best players in the country for an exclusive tournament. The gamers are flown to the tech mogul's headquarters, where they stay in luxury dorms and test out cutting edge virtual-reality gaming equipment, doing digital battle as powerful fighting robots. It's the ultimate gaming experience. But as the contest continues, the missions become harder, losing gamers are eliminated, and the remaining contestants face the growing suspicion that the game may not be what it seems. Rogan and his gamer rivals must come together, summoning the collective power of their Gamer Army to discover the truth and make things right…in a dangerous world where video games have invaded reality.
Day in Code Python: This story of an epic day describes real-life situations with Python computer programmes presented next to beautiful full-page illustrations. You will see how activities like adding toppings to a waffle breakfast and playing a game of balloon darts are described with Python programmes. You will learn important programming concepts and Python programming fundamentals from the story's Python programmes and code explanations. Variables and operators, conditional statements, loops, functions, classes, strings…it's all covered in this entertaining tale. You can run each programme in the book on your computer, play with the code, and gain the knowledge to write your own Python programmes! For all ages.
Day in Code 01001: Learning to code in the C programming language has never been this fun…or fast! This story of an epic day describes real-life situations with C computer programmes presented next to beautiful full-page illustrations. You will see how activities like making a pancake breakfast and playing a game of bowling are described with simple C programmes. You will learn important programming concepts and C programming fundamentals from the story’s C programs and code explanations. Variables, functions, for loops, while loops, if/else statements…it’s all covered in this entertaining tale. You can run each programme in the book on your computer, play with the code, and gain the knowledge to write your own programs! For all ages.

Recommended Key Stage 4 Reading

Ready Player One: It is the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We are out of oil. We have wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS – and his massive fortune – will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.
The Six: Adam's muscular dystrophy has stolen his mobility, his friends, and in less than a year it will take his life. Virtual reality games are Adam's only escape from his wheelchair. In his alternate world, he can defeat anyone. Running, jumping, scoring touchdowns: Adam is always the hero. Then an artificial intelligence programme hacks into Adam's game. Created by Adam's computer-genius father, Sigma has gone rogue, threatening to kill Adam – and the entire human race. Their one chance to stop Sigma is using the technology Adam's dad developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son.
Computational Fairy Tales: Have you ever thought that computer science should include more dragons and wizards? Computational Fairy Tales introduces principles of computational thinking, illustrating high-level computer science concepts, the motivation behind them, and their application in a non-computer-fairy tale-domain. The goal of this book is not to provide comprehensive coverage of each topic, but rather to provide a high level overview of the breadth and excitement of computer science. It is a quest that will take you from learning the basics of programming in a blacksmith’s forge to fighting curses with recursion.
Little Brother & Homeland: Marcus Yallow is seventeen years old when he skips school and finds himself caught in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his friends are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they are brutally interrogated for days. When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state. He knows that no one will believe him, which leaves him one option: to take down the DHS himself. Can one brilliant teenage hacker actually fight back? Maybe, but only if he is very careful…and if he chooses his friends well.

Recommended Websites,
Podcasts and Videos

eRevision: Online learning tool to help with retrieval practice of key exam content for OCR Computer Science J277.
BBC News: Excellent news website with everything you need to learn about what is going on in the world today.
Seneca: some of the topics overlap with Information Technology.
Smart Revise: A paid for platform that will help with the retrieval practice for GCSE and A Level Computer Science.
BBC Radio 3 Sound of Gaming: Radio 3's regular jaunt into the latest, brightest and best gaming soundtracks.
BBC Radio 4 The Digital Human: Aleks Krotoski explores the digital world.
BBC Radio 4 Elon Musk – The Evening Rocket: Jill Lepore untangles the strange sci-fi roots of Silicon Valley's extreme capitalism.
BBC Radio 4 One to One: Series of interviews in which broadcasters follow their personal passions by talking to the people whose stories interest them most.
YouTube: Really useful YouTube channels with wide range of revision videos. Mr Weir’s Computer Science Channel

TV programmes recommended
background knowledge

BBC Click: a comprehensive guide to all the latest gadgets, websites, games and computer industry news.
BBC News: the latest news from around the world.
BBC Newsnight: British current affairs documentary programme.
Panorama: key national and international news stories.
Dispatches: Channel 4 programme that explores current issues such as ‘Is my social media habit killing the planet?’
The Apprentice: programme about entrepreneurs working in teams and being interviewed so they can gain the backing of Sir Alan Sugar for their business idea.

Exams and Revision

BBC Bitesize GCSE
Cambridge GCSE Computing: a resource from the exam board to support GCSE Computer Science.
Craig n Dave YouTube channel for GCSE
AQA A level
isaac computer science: support for GCSE and A level
Practice Python
Seneca: some topics overlap with Information Technology


(Some of these films may include mature themes so please check the ratings before watching.)

Pirates of Silicon Valley: This is a semi-humorous biographical film about the men who made the world of technology what it is today. Their struggles during college, the founding of their companies, and the ingenious actions they took to build up the global corporate empires of Apple Computer Corporation and Microsoft Inc.
Sneakers (12): A security pro finds his past coming back to haunt him, when he and his unique team are tasked with retrieving a particularly important item.
The Imitation Game: During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma Code with help from fellow mathematicians while attempting to come to terms with his troubled private life.
The Social Network: As Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, he is sued by the twins who claimed he stole their idea, and by the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.
The Internship: Two salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital age find their way into a coveted internship at Google, where they must compete with a group of young, tech-savvy geniuses for a shot at employment.
Wreck it Ralph – Ralph breaks the internet: Six years after the events of ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, Ralph and Vanellope, now friends, discover a wi-fi router in their arcade, leading them into a new adventure.
Steve Jobs: Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicentre. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.