The Department aims to provide the students with a wide ranging and balanced ICT experience. We aim to equip the students with the ICT knowledge, skills and understanding they will need for examination success, school life and life after school.
The students learn skills and understanding using a project based approach. This enables them to see ICT used as a tool in everyday life and also promotes other skills like decision making, team work and creativity.
The students learn the skills of the different types of software, alongside when and how to use them appropriately. We also include work on logical thinking using a variety of software to develop the approach required for problem solving, which can lead on to programming.
Students are able to choose ICT as a GCSE subject. The course followed is CCEA GCSE ICT. Information can be found at this website. http://ccea.org.uk/ict/
Additionally students can choose to study Computer Science GCSE where they will follow the OCR exam board. This information can be found here: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse-computer-science-j276-from-2016/
Key Stage 3 curriculum
The students receive a one 1 hour lesson a week at Key Stage 3.
They work in a project based programme which covers a wide variety of themes and software. These projects will cover the three strands of ICT, Computing and Digital Literacy, some of which are listed below:
Students will receive an introduction to the school system which will include; the network and good practices; E-mail, using the Internet and VLE in the form of Google Apps for Education. They will also learn about at E-Safety.
Students will work on a project which will involve creating a spreadsheet to calculate various different costs linked to music sales and how to display the results in the form of graphs/charts. Students will interrogate the data and analyse their own findings. Features used: SUM, MIN, MAX, RANK and Goal Seek.
Students will create a computer game using Scratch in order to learn about file management, problem solving, logical thinking, programming concepts and techniques.
Students will create an animation using Adobe Flash and gain an understanding of how these animations can be uploaded to websites like YouTube in order to gain revenue or as a form of self-promotion.
Students will work on a project which will involve creating 2 spreadsheets, one to teach students advanced formatting and functions such as If, Countif and Data Validation in order to create a guess who quiz. The second is to expand on the previous spreadsheet to create an online mobile phone contract selector which will include functions such as Vlookup, nested If (with Vlookups) and Isblank.
Students will learn how to create a computer game predominantly using Microsoft KODU software where they will learn about basic programming techniques, logic and design.
Students will learn about digital threats, such as: viruses, malware, phishing and hacking. They will learn how these threats could effect them personally, academically and in their future employment.
Students will work on a project based around recapping the spreadsheet skills from Year 8 but this time to create a quiz based on network types and topologies. They will also have to deliver a presentation on the differences between WAN, LAN and WLAN and include details on Bus, Ring & Star topologies.
Students will build on their knowledge from Years 7 and 8 to set up a relational database and make appropriate used of data types, validation, forms, queries and reports.
Students will assess themselves on how well they have understood the topics covered. They will do peer assessment and will be assessed on their practical work and tests by their teacher.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 GCSE ICT and GCSE Computer Science are both part of the option programme and are offered in a range option groups.
The ICT course followed is run by the CCEA examination board (Northern Ireland)
The course is made up of three units; two of which are assessed with a controlled assessment of practical work which make up 60% of the final grade and a unit which is assessed with the final examination in Year 11.
Unit one is based around a scenario provided by the exam board and involves a spreadsheet task, a database task and a presentation task.
Unit two involves producing a website, with original video and animation using the same scenario provided by the exam board. Task two is to design and produce a computer game.
The Computer Science course is run by OCR and is one of the new 9-1 qualifications and is designed to be both engaging and contemporary having “talked to companies like Microsoft, Google and Cisco, organisations like Computing At School (CAS), plus teachers and academics”.
There is a greater focus on cyber security, looking at phishing, malware, firewalls and people as the ‘weak point’ in secure systems, which students will study for the first time at this level.
There is a greater emphasis on ‘computational thinking’ were students can utilise a cloud based programming and course content platform so that they can learn the theory and apply it in real life situations, in any computing language.
The course encourages mental versatility, that is to say students use their new-found programming skills on an independent coding project by solving a real-world problem of their choice.
The course is assessed with 2 exams in Year 11 both worth 40%. The first exam is called Computer Systems and covers topics such as: systems architecture, network topologies, protocols, system security & memory.
The second exam is called Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming and includes topics such as: algorithms, programming techniques, data representation & computational logic.
The final 20% of the course is made up of a programming project which will cover programming techniques, analysis, design, development, testing, evaluation & conclusions.