Course Aims

When this course is over, what are you going to be able to understand and do? Aims provide a bulleted list of core ideas and skills. It would be great idea if you became curious about the aims on this list.

The following course aims are used with gratitude from the IB DP computer science subject guide:

Diploma Programme computer science students should become aware of how computer scientists work and communicate with each other and with other stakeholders in the successful development and implementation of IT solutions.

While the methodology used to solve problems in computer sciencemay take a wide variety of forms, the group 4 computer science course emphasizes the need for both a theoretical and practical approach.

It is in this context that the Diploma Programme computer science course should aim to:

  1. Provide opportunities for study and creativity within a global context that will stimulate and challenge students developing the skills necessary for independent and lifelong learning
  2. Provide a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize computer science
  3. Enable students to apply and use a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize computer science
  4. Demonstrate initiative in applying thinking skills critically to identify and resolve complex problems
  5. Engender an awareness of the need for, and the value of, effective collaboration and communication in resolving complex problems
  6. Develop logical and critical thinking as well as experimental, investigative and problem-solving skills
  7. Develop and apply the students' information and communication technology skills in the study of computer science to communicate information confidently and effectively
  8. Raise awareness of the moral, ethical, social, economic and environmental implications of using science and technology
  9. Develop an appreciation of the possibilities and limitations associated with continued developments in IT systems and computer science
  10. Encourage an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method.



In addition to IB assessment, the course has substantial amounts of summative and formative assessment. Everything you do "counts". 

Paper 1

2 hour 10 minutes is allocated for an examination paper consisting of two compulsory sections:

  • Section A (30 minutes approximately) consists of several compulsory short answer questions. The maximum mark for this section is 25.

  • Section B (100 minutes approximately) consists of three compulsory structured questions. The maximum mark for this section is 75.

You can earn a maximum of 100 marks for paper 1. It is weighted for 40% of your final grade.

Paper 2

1 hour 20 minutes is allocated for paper 2 which is an examination paper linked to the option studied (which is web science).

  • The paper consists of between three and seven compulsory questions.

  • The SL/HL core questions are common and worth 45 marks. The HL extension is worth 20 marks.

You can earn a maximum of 65 marks for paper 2. It is weighted for 20% of your final grade.

Paper 3

Paper 3 is an examination paper of 1 hour consisting of four compulsory questions based on a pre-seen case study.

  • You can earn a maximum of 30 marks for paper 3. It is weighted for 20% of your grade

Internal Assessment

  • Internal assessment is an highly challenging, authentic solution to a problem.

  • You can earn a maximum of 34 marks. It is weighted for 20% of your final grade. 

Having followed the computer science standard level course, students will be expected to:

Know and understand:

  • Relevant facts and concepts
  • appropriate methods and techniques
  • computer science terminology
  • methods of presenting information.

Apply and use:

  • Relevant facts and concepts
  • relevant design methods and techniques
  • terminology to communicate effectively
  • appropriate communication methods to present information.

Construct, analyse, evaluate and formulate:

  • success criteria, solution specifications including task outlines, designs and test plans
  • appropriate techniques within a specified solution.

Demonstrate the personal skills of cooperation and perseverance as well as appropriate technical skills for effective problem-solving in developing a specified product.



Topics are big ideas, essential questions, and important skills in our course. All topics are assessed, formatively and summatively. Clicking the links below will bring you to a page which details the topic, and offers resources to help you understand them. Many courses share the same topics, but especially in the IB courses, the rigor and depth of the topics are more pronounced.

  1. Networking
  2. System fundamentals
  3. Resource management
  4. Course orientation
  5. Computer organization
  6. Computational thinking
  7. Abstract data structures
  8. Control
  9. Web science
  10. Programming
  11. Development
  12. IA
  13. Case study
  14. Revision

Teacher: Bill MacKenty, M.Ed.
Teacher email:

American School of Warsaw
Bielawa. 202 Warszawska Ul.
05-520 Konstancin-Jeziorna

Required materials include a school-issued computer with all software updated as directed in our getting started guide.

Exam re-takes

I do not allow students to retake exams. Many students get the idea that they don't have to take a test seriously until the retake. Students and parents are reminded a grade is a single data point, not to be considered as a single point upon which all success and failure rests.


I want you to work hard and learn. There are times when you may want to earn extra credit. Extra credit does not automatically improve your grade. Here are some things to think about before you accept an assignment for extra credit:

  1. The assignment will be graded with the same rigor as other assignments (extra credit isn't easy)
  2. You must treat an extra credit assignment as a regular assignment. If you do not turn it in, or do not meet the standard, you may further harm your progress
  3. You will have clear criteria (a rubric) for your extra credit
  4. Extra credit is almost always service-oriented. Your teacher alone determines what qualifies for extra credit.
  5. You must always ask for permission for extra credit prior to doing the work.

You are responsible for understanding and following these guidelines.

From the Student Handbook:

Academic integrity is an expected trait in all students of ASW and is afforded the utmost value by all members of the faculty. The academic reputation of our students and the school in the wider community depend on it. Academic integrity expectations extend to all assessed and non-assessed school work and to all documentation produced for university and college applications. It is the expectation at ASW that all work and documentation submitted by students is entirely their own.

To ensure that high school students understand what constitutes academic honesty, teachers explicitly address the issue with all students at the start of each academic course.

Academic integrity means:

  1. Citing appropriately those whose work is used in the preparation of school work completing school work without the input of others whose knowledge of the task might advantage the student unfairly
  2. submitting work for assessment that is representative of the student's own learning and not that of others
  3. individually or collectively maintaining a level of confidentiality and personal ownership of one's own work, both assessed and non-assessed

Conversely, academic dishonesty means:

  1. Presenting the work, ideas, words, images, data or arguments of others as one's own without citation (plagiarism)
  2. copying or sharing work with others (unless specifically allowed) in any form (e.g. digitally sharing, downloading, in person) in a way that misrepresents a student's ability or is intended to mislead the intended audience
  3. presenting work as one's own which has been completed with the assistance of others (such as parents, other students or tutors) in a way that misrepresents a student's ability
  4. making up or altering references, quotations, statistics, etc. (fabrication or falsification)

When a faculty member determines that there has been a breach of academic integrity, the faculty member is required to inform the Principal of the incident.

  1. Do not disrupt our learning environment
  2. Work hard
  3. Be curious
  4. Be kind
  5. There are no cell phones allowed in our class - they must be out of your zone of control

Students must have completed IB computer science year 1.

Under the following conditions, teachers will communicate with students and families about their academic progress:

  • Trend (2 or more times) in Achievement Grades in Progress getting lower
  • Trend (2 or more times) toward missing deadlines or unproductive work habits
  • 3 or below on individual summative assessments
  • Other academic concerns



Speak to me in person

  • Advantages: You can gauge my reaction to an initial idea. This method is good for quick, yes/no questions. I'll tell you if your question isn't quick to answer.
  • Disadvantages: Most problems are complex. It takes time to understand them and solve them.

Send me an email In-depth questions, with evidence that you have followed our guide to asking good questions will get replies.

  • Advantages: Messages are private.
  • Disadvantages: I don't respond to emails very quickly, and if your question is complex, it will take me more time to answer it. Also, if there is a lot of back-and-forth between us about your question, emails might make it hard to follow.

Ask a question in our ask-for-help system

  • Advantage: Other people can learn from your question. You can see where you are in a queue of students. 
  • Disadvantage: Answers to your questions might take a bit longer, especially if they are complex.


Week Starting Topic