- We provide a range of courses to help pupils become computer literate. They are encouraged to become 'tool creators and designers', not just 'tool users'.
- Pupils have the opportunity to develop their own software in several courses and in the after-school Multimedia Club.
Computing Department Brochure 2011/ 2012
The Computing Department’s SharePoint area, which is accessible through the school's VLE, gives more information and examples of pupils’ work. (Note that, at present, exe files will not run on the school network)
Form I: All pupils take BEC, a course that combines elements of Computing, Economics and Business Management. They receive a basic grounding in the use of mainstream computer applications such as Word and PowerPoint, as well as learning some essential computing knowledge and jargon. They are taught about the basics of computer hardware and learn about the Software Development Process. The simulation software Crocodile Clips provides an interesting and simple introduction to programming. Bitmapped graphics are explored and created using the industry standard Adobe Photoshop ®.
Animation made by Ruairidh MacMillan 2JD last session which illustrates the economics concept of division of labour by process
Form II: Pupils take a dedicated Computer Science course which includes many useful IT topics (such as learning about ‘the law and IT’ and ‘how networks work’). They prepare the ground for the Intermediate 2 Computing course by exploring further the fundamentals of computer systems, software development and multimedia technology. The multimedia programming language SCRATCH is used as a fun way to introduce programming and a short taster course in Visual Basic is also included. In the third term the pupils enjoy a number of lessons exploring the fascinating world of Artificial Intelligence.
The Scratch Competition has become an annual event in the Form II calendar. The pupils consistently produce a high standard of entries year after year.
Scratch Competition 2011 winning entry by Andrew Roberts and Duncan Cooper
Intermediate 2: This course is a very practical course that covers far more than simply learning how to use current hardware and software. It consists of three units, Computer Systems, Software Development and Multimedia Technology. It complements the compulsory IT course in Forms III and IV and, indeed, most other courses available in Forms III and IV.
Click here for examples of some pupils work in Intermediate II Computing
ICT: This mandatory course in Form III and IV is timetabled for one period a week. It aims to provide pupils with basic Office skills and graphics editing skills using Photoshop, and leads the IT Core Skills Award at Higher level. Some pupils also embark on the seven ECDL modules at the end of Form IV. Any outstanding modules can be completed in Form VI. This means that every pupil has the opportunity to leave Dollar Academy with an international qualification in IT that is recognised by a wide spectrum of employers and institutions.
Higher Computing: Pupils receive an in-depth look at computer systems and spend more time developing problem-solving, logical and creative skills in Software Development. The department at present does Multimedia Technology as the third unit. This enjoyable and interesting section covers graphical, audio and video applications including multimedia authoring packages and web design.
Advanced Higher Computing: Here pupils build on the knowledge and understanding and practical skills developed in the Higher Computing Course. A useful bridge towards further study in higher education is provided by consolidating and extending learning, and providing opportunities for independent and investigative work. The Course is made up of two mandatory units, Software Development and Developing a Software Solution (a Project which counts 40% towards the final grade). We offer Computer Architecture as the third unit.
ECDL: The pupils in Form VI are able to build on the IT skills developed by pupils in Forms III and IV and complete the ECDL course. The school is an accredited ECDL test centre. The overall licence is obtained by gaining passes in the 7 modules:
1. IT security for users
2. Using the computer and managing files
3. Word processing
7. Using email and the internet