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

Computer Systems:
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