N4 Computing Science
The National 4 Computing Science course builds on the work done in S3 Digital Media Computing. As well as engaging pupils in problem-solving activities and providing them with a wide range of practical IT experiences, it also provides opportunities to enhance their literacy and numeracy skills.
The course consists of two units - Information Systems Design and Development and Software Design and Development.
Teacher-led discussion and cooperative group work are used to give pupils the opportunity to demonstrate and improve their knowledge, understanding and practical skills throughout the course.
Information Systems Design and Development has two outcomes which are assessed at appropriate times during the course. The first outcome involves developing a simple information system using appropriate development tools. The second outcome is a written report which considers the factors involved in the design and implementation of an information system.
Software Design and Development has three outcomes which are also assessed at appropriate times. The first outcome is a short test designed to allow the pupils to draw on their understanding of basic concepts in software development and explain how simple programs work. The second outcome involves developing short programs featuring a range of data types and constructs. The final outcome is a written report which describes in detail a contemporary software-based application.
As there is no external examination for the National 4 course, there is no need for pupils to undertake additional end-of-topic tests to re-inforce their knowledge and understanding of the concepts. There is, however, a Value Added Unit that must be satisfactorily completed. This unit encompasses elements of both Information Systems Design and Development and Software Design and Development.
Homework is set when appropriate to support and consolidate classroom experiences. Some homework assignments will require pupils to carry out research in their own time.
Recording and Reporting
The unit assessment outcomes and form the basis for the information in the pupil tracking reports issued to parents in September, November, February and March while the S4 parents night in late November provides an opportunity to discuss successes and/or concerns.