Computing

Computing Science CfE

Computing Science at the centre of the Curriculums for Excellence
"Curriculum for Excellence aims to achieve a transformation in education in Scotland by providing a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum from 3 to 18. The curriculum includes the totality of experiences which are planned for children and young people through their education, wherever they are being educated".

Computing Science
Within Curriculum for Excellence, the technologies curriculum area relates particularly to contexts that provide scope for developing technological skills, knowledge, understanding and attributes through creative, practical and work-related activities. For this reason, the framework provides experiences and outcomes which can be applied in Computing Science, business, food, textiles, craft, design, engineering, graphics and applied technologies. 

The technologies framework offers challenging activities which involve research, problem-solving, exploration of new and unfamiliar concepts, skills and materials, and the rewarding learning which often results from creating products which have real applications. Children and young people will develop their creativity and entrepreneurial skills and be encouraged to become innovative and critical designers of the future. These attributes are essential if, in the future, our children and young people are to play a major part in the global economy and embrace technological developments in the 21st century.

What skills are developed in the technologies?

The technologies provide frequent opportunities for active learning in creative and work-related contexts. Learning in the technologies thus provides opportunities to continually develop, use and extend skills that are essential components for life, work and learning, now and in the future, including planning and organisational skills. Learning in the technologies therefore makes a strong contribution to achieving the aim clearly articulated in Skills for Scotland: a Lifelong Learning Strategy of ‘…ensuring that Curriculum for Excellence provides vocational learning and the employability skills needed for the world of work and is the foundation for skills development throughout life’.

What is the difference between Computing Science and ICT?


ICT brings together different forms of technologies and applies them to communication and learning, whereas computing science, as an area of specialised study, provides deeper theoretical and practical understanding of how hardware and software can be developed and applied in a range of contexts. This area of specialist study has particular relevance in preparing children and young people for the challenges of rapidly changing digital technologies. It will enable learners to prepare for more advanced specialised study and careers within computing science.

Well-designed practical activities in computing science offer children and young people opportunities to develop:

  • curiosity and problem-solving skills, a capacity to work with others and take initiative
  • planning and organisational skills in a range of contexts
  • creativity and innovation

  • skills in using and creating software
  • skills in collaborating, leading and interacting with others

Computing Science: principles and practice


  • critical thinking through exploration and discovery within a range of learning contexts
  • discussion and debate
  • searching and retrieving information to inform thinking within diverse learning contexts
  • making connections between specialist skills developed within learning and skills for work
  • evaluating systems, software and its use in the modern world

  • presentation skills.