The Computing department is well equipped with three suites of modern multimedia PCs attached to the school network. The department provides courses in Computing and Information Technology from first year upwards.
Mr D Park (PT)
Mr D Jack
Mrs L Kerr
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".
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.
S3 Computing Science
CfE broad general education covers the following topics at Level 3 & 4.
- Computer Systems (Hardware & Software)
- Database Design
- Software Development using Scratch & Visual Basic
- Web Design using Dreamweaver & HTML
- Internet Security & Safety
National 4 & 5
The course consists of two units:
Software Design and Development
In this unit you will be using a programming language to design, create and test a variety of computer programs. You will also learn about how computers store information and how processors are designed.
Information System Design and Development
In this unit you will be designing an creating a variety of information systems including databases, networks and web sites and studying the computer hardware and software which are needed to make them safe, secure and easy to use.
You can see a list of topics covered in the National 4 and National 5 course in this document:
National 4 and National 5 Comparison
Learners who opt for the National 4 or National 5 Computing Science will be taught in the same class with both National 4 and National 5 content and skills being covered throughout the course. You will be certified in just one level (either National 4 or 5) on successful completion of the appropriate SQA assessments. Which level you are finally assessed in will depend on your performance in assessments and class work throughout the year. The decision as to what level you should aim for will be made following the prelim exam.
Each unit will be assessed using a series of short tests and practical activities.
If you are sitting National 4 then the course will be assessed by the Added value unit which takes the form of an extended project.
If you are sitting National 5 then the course will be assessed by an exam and an assignmen
Regular homework excercises will be set, based on the theory part of the course.
Course Content for 2 Mandatory Units:
1. Software Design and Development
How computers store information:
Units of Storage – bit, byte, Kb, Mb, Gb Tb & Pb
Introducing Binary - binary system of storing numbers
Storing numbers - how computers store integers and real numbers
Adding binary numbers - how to add binary numbers
Storing Text - how computers store text
Storing graphics - how computers store graphics
The CPU - the basic structure of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and how it communicates with memory
Software Design and Development:
Translating Computer Languages - history of computer languages, how computers translate high level languages into binary
Types of Computer Language - different types of programming languages
Stages of Software Design - different program design notations
Program Errors - understanding programming error messages
Data types and Structures - different data types (string, integer, real & boolean) and 1-D arrays
Input Validation - different types of Input Validation
Computational Constructs - data types, fixed and conditional loops, simple and complex conditions logical operators and pre-defined functions
Testing and Documentation - different types of test data and how to make code more easily understood
2. Information System Design and Development
Networking and the Internet:
Web Authoring and HTML - web authoring and simple HTML editing
Web Site Design and Navigation - what makes a good website?
Standard File Formats - different file formats text, graphic, audio and video
Standard File Formats worksheet - why they are necessary and gives examples of how they are used.
Multimedia file sizes - determination the file size of graphics, sound and video files, with some calculations.
Computer Networks - how computer networks are designed and used
Malware and computer security - different types of malware and how to counteract them
Storage Devices - different types of backing storage devices
Operating Systems - describing how operating systems work with examples of different types
Computer Categories - variety of computer types available from mainframes to smartphones
Environmental Impact - the environmental impact of computers and mobile phones and their carbon footprint.
What is an Information System?
What is a database? - the basics of databases.
Databases - explaining Databases and Database Management software, field types, key fields and linked tables.
Computer Legislation - different legislation affects computer use and misuse
CfE Higher Computing Science
A pass at National 5 or the equivalent.
On-line course materials are provided by the Interactive University Scholar project which can be accessed from home as well as school.
Regular homework is used to assess progress throughout the course.
Each unit is divided into two Learning Outcomes. The learning outcomes are assessed by a short multiple choice end of topic test and a practical exercise.
Coursework on the two mandatory units is assessed with a 10 hour practical test. The coursework counts for 30% of your final mark.
The external examination in May covers all three units and counts for 70% of your final mark.
Homework should take at least 1 hour a week, and may be consolidation exercises, revision, research or exam preparation.