So what is the point of a Raspberry Pi when you already have computers which are more powerful than a Pi and can do much the same thing? After all, if Python is your chosen choice of programming language for KS4 Computer Science GCSE and a PC will run Python, why do you need a Raspberry Pi?
The simple answer is GPIO and Minecraft.
Students will reach a certain point within Python on a PC and start to yearn for more. After all, which 14 year old computer science student will not want to make a Fart Detector, Grandpa Scarer or Tweeting Babbage Bear? All available as projects using the GPIO pins on a Raspberry Pi from Raspberry Pi website
Once complete, students can also use a Pi to hack the popular Minecraft game in Python using resources from the Raspberry Pi website or from the excellent book Adventures in Minecraft. Minecraft, normally a paid for game, is not only ‘hackable’ on the Pi, it is also free.
This will keep your Computer Science GCSE students engaged and allow them to become more proficient in the Python programming language in preparation for their exam. You can also use GPIO and Minecraft together; after all, which Computer Science student would not want to blow up a block of TNT in Minecraft using a physical button on the desk or make a metal detector light an LED in front of you to show underground gold hidden in the game? The possibilities are endless.
Now get your Computer Science students a set of Raspberry Pis.