Subject Information - Computing Science

National 5

Head of Department: Mr David Proudfoot

Course Progression: Information Technology

Computing Science National 5

This is a two year course leading to the National 5 examination in S4. The course covers a common core of the concepts which underpin the study of Computing Science and explores the role and impact of contemporary computing technologies. The course develops both practical and thinking skills which will be of benefit to every pupil no matter what career path is followed after leaving school.

All pupils will begin to study for the National 5 qualification, although some pupils may find the demands of National 5 too challenging and therefore, the National 4 qualification may be more suitable. For these pupils there will be an opportunity to transfer to the National 4 course at some point during S3/S4.

The aims of the Course are to enable pupils to:

  • develop computational thinking skills across a range of contemporary contexts
  • develop knowledge and understanding of key concepts and processes in computing science
  • apply skills and knowledge in analysis, design, implementation and evaluation to a range of digital solutions communicate computing concepts and explain computational behaviour clearly and concisely using appropriate terminology
  • develop an understanding of the role and impact of computing science in changing and influencing our environment and society

Course Units

Software Design and Development
The aim of this Unit is for pupils to develop their programming and computational thinking skills by developing, implementing and testing practical solutions, using various contemporary software development languages/environments. This includes real world applications, such as learning how to create mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices

Web Design and Development
In this Unit pupils will learn how to develop multimedia information systems, acquire the key skills of web design to create professional looking websites. Learners will be given range of practical and investigative tasks including creating a user interface, writing or editing simple code using scripting (JavaScript), gaining an understanding of markup (HTML & CSS) languages, and integrating different media types.

Database Design and Development
In this Unit pupils will learn how to design, develop and interrogate sophisticated databases, using a variety of industry standard development tools including SQL. 

Computer Systems
In this Unit pupils study of the architecture of modern computer hardware and develop an understanding of how data and instructions are stored in binary form. The Unit also covers computer network infrastructure, as well as addressing security, legal and environmental implications caused by increased use of technology in the world today.

The Assignment

In addition to the units, pupils in S4 must undertake an assignment (issued annually by SQA), where they will apply knowledge and skills from both Units to develop a software solution to an appropriately challenging Computing Science problem.

Assessment

The Units are internally assessed. To gain the award of the Course, the pupil must pass both the Units. The final grade for the Course is reached through a combination of the Computing Science assignment (31%) and the final examination paper (69%).

(Please note that Core IT cannot be considered a substitute for Nat 5 Computing Science. In Core IT, with only one period per cycle, we aim only to help pupils to refresh practical skills acquired in S1/S2.)

Progression

Progression would be to Higher Computing Science.

 

Higher

Head of Department: Mr David Proudfoot

Course Progression: Information Technology

Computing Science (S5/S6) Higher

This is a one year course leading to the Higher examination. The course covers a common core of the concepts which underpin the study of Computing Science and explores the role and impact of contemporary computing technologies. The course develops both practical and thinking skills which will be of benefit to every pupil no matter what career path is followed after leaving school. This course is a natural progression from National 5 Computing Science.

The aims of the Course are to enable pupils to:

  • develop computational thinking skills across a range of contemporary contexts. 
  • develop knowledge and understanding of key concepts and processes in computing science. 
  • apply skills and knowledge in analysis, design, implementation and evaluation to a range of digital solutions
  • communicate computing concepts and explain computational behaviour clearly and concisely using appropriate terminology. 
  • develop an understanding of the role and impact of computing science in changing and influencing our environment and society.

Course units

Software Design and Development
The aim of this Unit is for pupils to develop their programming and computational thinking skills by developing, implementing and testing practical solutions, using various contemporary software development languages/environments.

Information System Design and Development
In this Unit pupils will learn how to develop multimedia information systems, acquire the key skills of web design to create professional looking websites. Learners will be given range of practical and investigative tasks including creating a user interface, writing or editing code using scripting (JavaScript), gaining a deeper understanding of markup languages (HTML & CSS), and integrating different media types.

Database Design and Development
In this Unit pupils will learn how to design, develop and interrogate sophisticated databases, using a variety of industry standard development tools including SQL. 

Computer Systems
In this Unit pupils study of the architecture of modern computer hardware and develop an understanding of how data and instructions are stored in binary form. The Unit also covers computer network infrastructure, as well as addressing security, legal and environmental implications caused by increased use of technology in the world today.

The Assignment

Pupils in Higher must undertake a practical assignment (issued annually by SQA), where they will apply knowledge and skills from all units to develop a software solution to an appropriately challenging Computing Science problem.

Assessment

The final grade for the Course is reached through a combination of the Computing Science assignment (31%) and the final examination paper (69%).

Recommended Entry

Pupils would normally be expected to have attained an A or B pass in National 5 Computing Science. It is also possible for an able pupil to take the Higher without having studied the National 5, but this requires a commitment to much hard work, and teacher-directed independent study.

Progression

• Progression would be to Advanced Higher Computing Science

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Advanced Higher

Head of Department: Mr David Proudfoot

Course Progression: Information Technology

Computing Science (S6) Advanced Higher

Computing Science at Advanced Higher builds upon the knowledge and understanding of computing concepts gained at Higher level, allowing candidates to extend the breadth and depth of their knowledge. Candidates further develop their problem-solving skills in a practical context through undertaking a substantial project which involves the development of a solution to a real computing problem.

Computing at Advanced Higher level allows candidates to make the transition from a structured learning and teaching environment to more independent, flexible learning. The project allows emphasis to be placed on developing personal study skills and on encouraging an analytical approach to problem-solving. The course develops practical competencies and an understanding of generic computing concepts which are applicable to a range of contexts and activities. This provides the opportunity for candidates to consolidate and extend their experience and to prepare for further study or for a career involving computing.

Pupils considering a university course including Computing are strongly advised to undertake Advanced Higher Computing Science.

Course Details

Software Design and Development
The aim of this Unit is for pupils to develop their programming and computational thinking skills by developing, implementing and testing practical solutions, using various contemporary software development languages/environments. This includes real world applications, such as learning how to create advanced mobile apps and software solutions, database scripting and server programming.

Information System Design and Development
In this Unit pupils will learn how to develop advanced multimedia information systems, develop the key skills of web design to create professional looking websites, interrogate sophisticated databases, using a variety of industry standard development tools. Learners will be given range of practical and investigative tasks including creating a user interface, writing or editing code using scripting languages and integrating different media types. The unit also includes the study of computer hardware, networks, security, legal and environmental issues.

The Assignment

In addition to the units, candidates will undertake an assignment/project, where they will apply knowledge and skills from both units to develop a software solution to an appropriately challenging computing science problem.

Assessment

The Units are internally assessed. To gain the award of the Course, the pupil must pass both the Units. The final grade for the Course is reached through a combination of the Computing Science assignment (60%) and the final examination paper (40%).

Recommended Entry

• Higher Computing Science (A or B pass)

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