CfE descrete Computing Science course

  • chalove

    Our pupils now make course options in S1 and then select courses for S2/S3. I was wondering if this is common? How are people structuring their CfE courses and tagging/planning them against the Es&Os.

    It would be really useful if we could share some of that information here.

    Charlie Love

    Chris Wilson

    Hi Charlie,

    In Renfrewshire we’re certainly not doing course options at the end of S1 and I have not heard of any plans to do so. In fact, it’s still undecided as to when they’ll actually make their choices. In the meantime it’s business as usual and they’ll be continuing to do this at the end of S2 for the time being.

    As for Es and Os, my own school is starting to use an online system I developed (and tried selling without much success!). If you want to see my Computing Science CfE course details you can have a look via

    Just log in using the demo user, click Computing Science on the menu and in the ‘Subject Network’ section you can view my own course content with Es and Os. My school is St. Benedict’s High.



    We have the same model, with choices in S1 for our S2-3 courses. As we are an early presentation school it was always likely to be that way anyway.

    I have a structure for S2-3 in place. The topics I am planning across the 2 years are:
    Video editing
    Audio editing
    Multimedia presentations
    Systems Investigation and project
    Image editing
    Applications project
    Internet Safety
    The Internet
    Games Design
    Programming / Software Development
    Mobile phone app development
    Collaborative learning environments
    Web design

    Andy McSwan

    Same here, option choices in S1 and three periods a week computing in S2/3. At the moment we’ll be doing Animation, Computer Systems, databases, webpages and programming.

    Robert Young

    In the sunny Borders all schools are doing completly different things. At present we get pupils once a week in S1 and S3. On top of that we have have 1 period a week option in S2. At present we are doing Game Design but the course is certainly developing as we go along. My main problem with only getting them 1 period a week in S1 is the fact that the school expects the department to set up thier e-mail, glow account and glow blogs (being used for achievement recording) on top of covering our own E&O’s


    Each to their own here in Fife – to my knowledge each school has their own model
    In S1 Pupils follow much the same course as they always have – they come to ICT for two periods per week with ICT being delivered by either a computing or a business education specialist.
    In January, S1 get to select a technology unit and a creative one as well as two electives.

    Within Computing, we have pupils for two periods per week. Computing consists of units in Animation, Digitial Photography, Web Page Design, Robotics and Control and Computer Games Design. Our electives this year are based on the digital photography, games design and animation units – same backbone but in much greater detail.

    S3 . . . who can say?

    Peter W Donaldson

    In Perth and Kinross each school has their own model. For our school we currently have 1 and a half periods a week of Computing (mixture of ICT and Computing Science) in S1.

    The units for S1 are
    System Software
    Basic System Hardware
    Animation Programming
    Green Machine? (inspiration taken from the Pathways to Excellence book but we use different online resources, including some good short videos)

    Towards the end of S1 pupils get to pick the subjects they want to study in more depth during S2/3 for three periods a week.

    In Computing we’re planning to deliver the following topics in S2 this year.

    Intermediate Hardware
    Basic Animation
    Image Editing
    Basic Web Design
    Basic Games Programming
    Intermediate Animation
    Social Implications
    Intelligent Systems

    We’ve not finalised the topics for S3 yet as we’re waiting for more details about National 4 and 5 content and assessment. We also kept a mixture of ICT, Digital Media and Computing Science topics to keep the course broad and allow progression to a range of different creative and technology subjects.

    Darren Brown

    In Inverness High School despite having an S1/2 computing science course with ICT embedded (as well as a business enterprise) covering CfE we have been given no S1/2 classes. Very worryingly we had an HMI inspection in January and ICT/Computing concerns did not even register.

    Computing will be an option in S3, 4pds a week, covering I suppose 3rd level outcomes and 4th as well as basic ICT the pupils have not actually done. 3 units: Devices & Systems, E-Communication & Saefty, Game Design. Looks like 2 classes in senior school running N4/5 and N5/H options. With a few classes of PC Passport or possibly other units???

    Highland region have stepped up the cutting of Computing. 3 teachers retired in the area not replaced. A few schools telling pupils that this is the last few years of being able to choose Computing. At my count we have around 16 Computing teachers for 29 secondary schools. In the Inverness area 3 of the largest schools have no Computing.

    Chris Wilson

    Gob-smacked at this!

    Do all pupils not have an entitlement to cover cover Es and Os in Computing Science BEFORE making any kind of course choice?

    A minutes silence please for Computing in Highland region.




    Anecdotally, it seems in many local authorities that “entitlements” are being conveniently abandoned in favour of savings. I don’t know, if under the new inspection regime, Education Scotland (previously HMIe) will be that concerned about learners who are not receiving full exposure to all the level 3 outcomes – especially given that they will be specialising at level 4. Does anyone have any recent feedback from inspection relating to Es&Os?

    It is very disappointing that such a significant number of computing posts are being dis-established and that many will soon be senior phase only departments.

    On the other hand, some might say that if we’d made a great job of teaching a contemporary computing curriculum rather than continuing with out dated content and courses with their roots in the 1970s we wouldn’t be in the dire position we are now…


    Chris Wilson

    Hi Charlie,

    totally agree with your last comment. Bit of a shame that there is and always has been some really good and up to date stuff going on in some places too. All of that is unfairly put at risk if we’re all hunted to extinction.


    Darren Brown

    HMI inspection in January I had to visit the inspectors to talk about ICT. It was clear in the whole 3 day process they avoided questions about CfE as much as possible. “All pupils to cover the 3rd level outcomes” has been my mantra for a while now but I am being frustrated having to explain ICT is not the same as Computing and Business.

    I wouldn’t mind but even the ICT outcomes aren’t being addressed – my colleagues in this school and in primaries are being honest with me in saying they are not looking at them.

    Alan McGregor

    Here at Clydebank High, pupils have just started new S2 courses after choosing options at the end of S1. We offer a 3 period Computing Science course and a 2 period Games Design course, and both have been very popular choices.

    Rather than GLOW we are going down the Edmodo / Wikispace route just now regarding recording work and communicating.

    Jeremy Scott

    I’ve recently been seconded The Royal Society of Edinburgh & British Computer Society to exemplify some of the Computing and Information Science technologies outcomes in CfE. The focus for the RSE/BCS project will be mainly level 3 by there will be also be some coverage of levels 2 and 4 also.

    The idea is that the project will deliver materials which can be used and adapted to suit local circumstances across Scotland, saving us all reinventing the wheel.

    Charlie has kindly set up a dedicated group on CompEdNet for this, so please join and get posting if you haven’t already done so. I’d really like to hear your views on what it is that’s needed.


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