National 5 Computing Science Teaching Resources & Lesson Plans

​N5 specification

​GCSE Document Reference

​Additional content

​1

​Software design and development

Cell
Cell
Cell

​Development methodologies

​Describe and implement the phases of an iterative development process

Cell

​Analysis

​Analysis

Cell

​Design

​Structure diagrams

​Describe, exemplify, and implement user-interface design, in terms of input and output, using a wireframe

Cell

​Implementation (data types and structures)

Cell
Cell

​Implementation (computational constructs)

​​Round function

Cell

​Implementation (algorithm specification)

Cell
Cell

Testing

​Evaluation

​fitness for purpose, efficient use of coding constructs

​2

Computer systems

Cell
Cell
Cell

​Data representation

​Describe the vector graphics method of graphic representation for common objects with attributes

Cell

​Computer structure

Cell
Cell

​Environmental impact

​Energy use of computer systems and how these could be reduced

Cell

​Security precautions

Cell

3

​Database design and development

Cell
Cell
Cell

​Analysis

Cell

​Analysis

Cell

​Design

​General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — Regulation (EU) 2016/679

​Data dictionary

​Query for multiple tables & sort order

Cell

​Implementation

​Referential integrity &
SQL operations for pre-populated relational databases, with a maximum of two linked tables

Cell

​Testing

Cell

​Testing

Cell

​Evaluation

Cell

​Evaluation

​4

​Web design and development

Cell
Cell
Cell

​Analysis

Cell

​Analysis

Cell

​​Design

​Website structure.

​Describe, exemplify and implement, taking into account end-user requirements, effective user-interface design (visual layout and readability) using wire-framing.

​Describe, exemplify and implement prototyping (low-fidelity) from wireframe design at this level.

Cell

​​Implementation (CSS)

​​Implementation (CSS)

Cell

​​Implementation (HTML)

​​Implementation (HTML)

Cell

​Testing

Cell

​Testing

Cell

​Evaluation

Cell

​Evaluation

​​Welcome to Teach Computer Science! If you’re reading this page, then you’re most likely preparing to take your Computing Science National 5 exams. These exams will help you get your National 5 diploma, essential for continuing your education or seeking work. Needless to say, they’re a pretty big deal! As you begin to flip through your syllabus and your notes, it may feel like you’ve got such a vast amount of work to do that it isn’t possible to get ready for your exams in time. This is definitely not true. The key to succeeding in your National 5 Computing Science exams is preparation. For that reason, we’ve created this page bringing together all the necessary materials to prepare you for your assessment.
Firstly, it’s important to understand what the SQA seeks from you in these exams. Unlike your friends in England or Wales, you don’t have to worry about exam board differences and approaches. But it is always good to remain aware of what the key to acquiring your SCQF is, especially as you revise for your exams. The National 5 requires that just under a third of your marks come from a practical assignment. Bear that in mind as you prepare – not all revision is about merely learning content!

About the SQA

The Scottish Qualifications Authority, also known as the SQA, are the people who essentially create and mark your National 5 Computing Science course. They are the executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government which is responsible for accrediting educational awards. SQA assesses the Computing Science National 5 as a so-called ‘linear subject’. Therefore, all of your assessments are scheduled for the end of your course at the end of the academic year.

How Long Will the Course Take to Complete?

Your National 5 Computing Science course can take varying amounts of time according to how your school or college works. All that the SQA specifies is that the notional length of time to complete the course is 160 hours. This roughly translates into 2 years if you’re taking this course alongside 7 or more others, as is the norm.

Is Any Prior Knowledge Required?

Although it is not expressed as a strict requirement, the SQA states in their specification that students ought to have the National 4 in Computing Science prior to starting this course. However, they also note that accepting students starting this course is solely at the discretion of the center in question (i.e. your school or college). Therefore, it is always good to speak to them to discuss your options ahead of making these choices.

What Will I Study?

Overall, the SQA states that the National 5 in Computer Science aims to high that computing professionals are problem-solvers and designers and to help students understand computational processes and thinking. To do that it combines theoretical learning with practical tasks. The course focuses on four areas of study which are 1) software design and development; 2) computer systems; 3) database design and development, and 4) web design and development. Within these broad fields, you’ll be learning more specifically about software design, implementation, testing, evaluation, computer structure, environmental impact, security precautions, database design, web design, CSS language, HTML, JavaScript and more.

What is the Examination Process Like?

The National 5 Computing Science examination process is divided into two parts: your written assessment and your practical assignment. Your written assessment will consist of a question paper which will count for 69% of your final mark and last 2 hours. The question paper will contain two sections: the short-answer section which will account for 23% of your paper’s mark, and the structured answer section which will count for 77% of the paper and allow you to demonstrate the application of your knowledge by answering context-based questions. In addition to your written assessment, you will be tasked with completing a practical assignment. This assignment must be completed with 8 hours and shall count for 31% of your final National 5 Computing Science grade. Bear in mind that it is not anticipated that these 8 hours are all utilised in a continuous session, but rather that the assignment is completed through several shorter sessions. The assignment is conducted under a high degree of supervision of the candidate and control and after that evidence is submitted to the SQA for marking.

Study Tips

While studying for your National 5 exams may seem daunting, by following a few easy guidelines and making use of study tips you can make the whole process a lot more accessible and enjoyable than you may think. First of all, start by planning. Bearing in mind that you have to complete both a written assessment and a practical one, make sure that you are revising both theoretical and practical skills. A good way to revise your theoretical skills is to use flashcards to memorise definitions and programming language. Another way to revise how different aspects of a computer relate to one another is by using mind maps and charts to draw them and link them up. Meanwhile, in order to be ready for your practical, you’re advised to mainly practice. When it comes to learning any new language it’s all about acquiring new terms and ways to use them. So once you’ve learned your theory and computing language terms head over to your computer to practice using them. This will give you an edge come exam time.

You’ll also want to make use of past exam papers once you feel confident. The SQA releases both written assessment and practical exam papers from former years of examinations. This means that you can use these past papers for practicing under timed exam conditions. Lucky for you, you don’t have to spend hours on the internet browsing for all these studying materials. We’ve compiled all you need for National 5 Computing Science revision and made them available on our website. So there’s no need to wait around, take a look and get going right away!