Computer Science

In our increasingly technological world, it is essential we equip learners with the knowledge and skills to operate effectively.

With technology changing rapidly, and its position in and effects on society constantly under scrutiny, it’s more important than ever that, as well as being able to operate the technology we have, pupils develop an understanding of the underlying principles, emerging technologies and their implications, and the processes needed to design and engineer the technologies of the future.

The department constantly monitor developments in the relevant sectors and update courses accordingly to reflect that development and progress. We are fortunate to have multi-disciplinary experience within the department covering computer science, embedded systems, engineering science and graphic design.

From T2 to S2, pupils receive a broad introduction to both computer science and graphic design. They explore the use of word processors, spreadsheets and presentations software; learn basic programming creating structured programs to explore concepts and approaches taken in software engineering and complete a CISCO certified course on the Internet of Things. From S3, pupils have the option to pursue their studies in Computer Science at National 5 and Higher.   

Computer Science is a discipline that seeks to understand how best to represent and interact with digital information. In an increasingly digital and connected society, the skills and abilities gained from studying Computer Science are in high demand and often cited as key to the future development of successful economies and industries.

 Computer Science does not stand in isolation and the skills gained in computation thinking and analysis, as well as a better understanding of the technology society uses every day, are transferable to many other STEM areas. With the arrival of industry 4.0, and the increase in technology use in many other work environments, experience of computing science is becoming ever more relevant and essential to more careers than ever before.

Computer Science - National 5

At National 5, pupils focus on four areas of study which develop the pupil’s ability to apply computation thinking across a range of contexts, analysing problems and then designing and implementing solutions for them using a variety of digital approaches.

  • Software Design and Development: pupils will develop programming and computational-thinking skills by implementing practical solutions using suitable software development methods and
  • Computer Systems: pupils learn about the underlying hardware in computer systems, and how data and programs are stored and operate within this hardware. Pupils also gain insight into environmental, social and security issues surrounding the use of computer
  • Database Design and Development: pupils undertake a range of practical and investigative tasks to analyse, design, implement, test and evaluate database solutions using development tools such as SQL
  • Web design and Development: pupils design and implement web-based solutions to communicate to, and meet the needs of, end users. They will learn to make use of HTML, CSS and Javascript as part of the development of their designs.
Computer Science - Higher

At Higher level, pupils are provided with an introduction to an advanced range of computational processes, where they learn to apply a rigorous approach to the design and development process across a variety of contemporary contexts. They also gain an awareness of the important role that computing professionals play in meeting the needs of society today and for the future.

The same four areas of study exist as at National Five:

  • Software Design and Development: pupils will develop programming and computational-thinking skills by designing, implementing, and testing practical solutions and explaining how these programs work. Pupils will learn to create efficient programs and learn about standard working
  • Computer Systems: pupils will develop their understanding of how data and instructions are stored in binary form and how computer architecture factors can affect system performance. They will also gain an awareness of the environmental impact of intelligent systems, as well as the security risks, precautions and laws relevant to computer
  • Database Design and Development: pupils will develop knowledge, understanding and advanced practical problem-solving skills in database design and development. Through a range of practical tasks using SQL, pupils will apply computational thinking skills to analyse, design, implement, test, and evaluate practical solutions, using a range of development tools.
  • Web design and Development: pupils can develop knowledge, understanding and advanced practical problem-solving skills in web design and development. They do this through a range of practical and investigative tasks where they design, implement and test practical solutions to web-based problems, using a range of development tools including HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and


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