Anyone may take up Computing Science (or Creative Computing) in S4, S5 or S6, where we still offer the same range of accredited SQA qualifications:
- National 3 Computing Science
- National 4 Computing Science
- National 5 Computing Science
- Higher Computing Science
- Advanced Higher Computing Science
- National 4 Creative Industries :: Creative Computing
- National 5 Creative Industries :: Creative Computing
The main topics, skills and technologies to learn about in preparation for coming into the Computing Science Department are:
Programming (aka coding or software development)
We mainly use Scratch to introduce programming and the basic programming structures and then move onto Visual Basic 6.0; yes, we know it’s old but feel we can justify its use today.)
This can develop into use of other programming languages in later years but mainly through the enthusiasm of individual pupils.
We pages are introduced as involving an HTML and a CSS file. Pupils should learn to format pages using CSS right from the start.
Relational database development
Right from the start databases are introduced as involving two tables with a simple 1-to-many relationship between them. Ideally pupils would develop skills for this using MS Access. No other part of database development is looked at prior to S4, just the creation and population of simple two-table database systems.
In later years this will develop into use of mySQL (managed through php).
Knowledge about the main internal and external components of computer systems.
A working knowledge of common, standard file types for various media. Skills in HCI (human-computer interface) design. Editing and creation skills in a variety of media.
There is a lot you can do in order to prepare for coming into the Computing Department in S4. Here are some suggestions. Further curriculum items and activities will be added.
Learn Visual Basic at home
Take home VB6.0 on a flash drive and work your way through learning materials provided by the school.
Learn HTML and CSS
Use a text editor (like Notepad++ or Sublime Text) and learn to style HTML pages using an external style sheet. Use school resources to get started.
Learn to develop relational databases
We use MS Access. You can get a copy from GLOW. Use school resources to get started by creating simple 2-table databases, where the tables are linked with a 1-to-many relationship.
Graphics, animations and so on are an important part of web and program development. We use Flash to develop animations but you can download Pencil and use it in a similar way to create frame-by-frame animations, although it supports neither automatic tweening nor vector animations; however it is great to get started in 2D animation, and frame-by-frame animation not only produces the best results but also may be all you ever need.
- Watch this space… More to come, along with a structured curriculum which can be followed. There are more advanced topics you can progress onto once you have mastered these basics. See Mr Scott for details.