Head of Faculty: Mrs S Lindsay
Staff: Mr Quinton, Mrs Weir & Mr Jones
Understanding current and emerging technologies has an important place in the school curriculum. The study of Computing Science plays a central role in developing the skill set that will enable learners to become creators, not just consumers, of technology.
Broad General Education
S1-S3 learners follow a board general education with Computing Science lessons covering a range of topics including programming and software development, graphics and animation, technological devices, security and online safety, multimedia and systems for information retrieval and presentation.
As of August 2015, all S1 and S2 will pupils follow a core Computing Science course. At the end of S2 learners will make choices for deeper learning in S3 in their preferred subjects, in addition to following a core course in all subjects.
S3 Deeper Learning Descriptors
Computing – Leading to N4/N5/Higher Computing Science
This course is designed to develop knowledge and skills in Digital Technology and Computing Science. Pupils will design and create information systems, digital media, games and apps, learning to write code in a range of programming languages. They will learn how computers work, investigate emerging technologies such as wearables, consider the environmental impact of technology and the challenge of cyber security. Pupils will be given challenging projects to undertake and will evidence their skills in a portfolio of digital solutions.
As of August 2015, we will offer an S1 elective called Code Club, which will enable learners to experience software development and robotic control in more depth. The elective has two components:
1. Apps for Good - a programme designed to teach, through doing, the App development cycle
2. Robotics with Lego Mindstorms – designing, constructing and programming Lego robots to solve real world problems
All learners can choose to study Computing Science at National level in S4. Those coming into the subject not having taken the deeper learning elective in S3 will still have covered sufficient Computing Science content to enable them to succeed in a National level course.
• National 3 Computing Science
• National 4 Computing Science
• National 5 Computing Science
• Higher Computing Science
National courses N4, N5 and Higher, comprise two core units of study:
1. Information Systems Design and Development
2. Software Design and Development
The range of software learners are exposed to in our courses is extensive. Much of the software used is open source, and available to download from the Internet.
Current software used in our courses:
• Audacity – audio editing software
• Pivot Stickfigure animator – stop frame animation software
• Serif Suite - video editing, graphics and animation, web design
• Paint - graphics
• Windows Movie Maker - video editing
• Kodu Games Lab – games design and development
• Scratch - programming
• Visual Basic - programming
• Terrapin Logo - programming
• Microsoft PowerPoint - multimedia presentation
• Microsoft Access - database
• Construct 2 - games development
• MonkeyJam – stop frame animation
• Codecademy.org - python programming, HTML coding
• Prezi - online presentation tool
• Classmarker.com - homework, class tests
• Office 365
The Faculty makes use of RM Unify and Glow to provide a virtual learning environment for learners, where they can find National course notes, homework, video clips, access to Office 365 applications and other useful tools to support their learning at home. In the classroom, we are increasing the use of Glow as a collaborative working tool. Some learners will already have uploaded and shared their work with both teachers and peers. Learners will need their Glow login to access resources.
During the year learners taking National courses are encouraged to make use of the computing rooms at lunchtime and after school, where appropriate, to ensure they keep up to date with practical tasks and other outcomes from their course. We understand that some learners will not be able to access the Internet from home, and when a homework activity or a coursework task requires Internet access, learners are encouraged to make use of the computing rooms for this purpose.
Teachers in the department run a Computing Club on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes, open to all year groups.