Level 1
Unit No:
Guided learning hours:
48 hours


Learners will learn about the basic principles of computer programming to understand how programming works. They will develop graphic-based programming skills to design and develop their own computer program.

Unit Learning Outcomes


Know the basic principles of programming.

AC 1.1:

Understand that computers are based on a two-value logic system – 1/0, on/off, yes/no, and that they perform calculations using computational logic and of logic gates, And, Or, Not, input/output, truth tables.

Understand how computers use logic to make decisions and run programs, how computers solve problems with logic, how computer programs store data, how functions work.

AC 1.2:

Languages: Python, Java, C++, Visual Basic, PHP, Perl (text-based), Scratch, Tynker, Blockly (graphical/block-based).

AC 1.3:

Text-based programming languages: write lines and lines of code which can be time consuming, higher level of technical knowledge required to understand the syntax (the set of rules of how to combine instructions so the computer can understand them).

Graphical programming languages: visual therefore less intimidating to learn, commands to choose from so no need to memorise, easy for beginners to start coding, no syntax errors.

Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1

    Describe the application of logic in programming.

  • 1.2

    Identify different programming languages.

  • 1.3

    State the main differences between graphic-based and text-based programming languages.


Be able to design a simple computer program in response to a client brief.

AC 2.1:

Coding requirements: intended purpose and user requirements (as defined in client brief), a problem definition statement.

AC 2.2:

Designs should include: a proposed solution using design tools, e.g. a description of the main program tasks – input and output format (such as to add/multiply two numbers together and display a result), screen layouts and navigation, including programs (e.g. initial splash screen or main activity screen), algorithms with a description of the method of solution (flowcharts, pseudocode), data structures, data storage, control structures, data validation, error handling and reporting.

Assessment Criteria

  • 2.1

    Outline programming requirements.

  • 2.2

    Produce design documentation.


Be able to develop the program using a graphic-based programming language.

Graphical programming or block-based as opposed to text-based programming, where instructions are issued by dragging and dropping blocks which helps to prevent syntax errors, users do not need to memorise syntax to write code.

Assessment Criteria

  • 3.1

    Develop the program using a graphic-based programming language.


Be able to test, document and review the program.

AC 4.1:

Test the program: produce a test plan, record results, apply corrections and improvements, screen shots to evidence any changes.

Testing: test strategy, test data, test plan structure, e.g. test, date, expected result, actual result, corrective action, error messages.

AC 4.2:

Documentation: annotate code, user guide.

AC 4.3:

Review the program against the client brief: learner should include reflections on their design documentation and program, along with strengths and areas for development, taking into account user feedback, own self-assessment, feedback from others (peers, tutors), suggested improvements to own work should include more efficient or effective ways of working, ways to improve their program, develop own skills, etc.

Assessment Criteria

  • 4.1

    Test the program for functionality, making refinements where necessary.

  • 4.2

    Create documentation for the program.

  • 4.3

    Review how well the program meets the client brief, making suggestions for further improvements.