ICT and Computing
The Information Technology (IT) Department’s aims are:
- To develop, maintain and stimulate students’ curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Information Technology.
- To develop appropriate flexible Information Technology skills students may use across the Curriculum.
- To make Information Technology a natural tool for all members of the school to use and to allow them to integrate it into their daily activities.
Why do we need to teach IT and Computing?
The IT department plan to develop student’s IT skills and their ability to utilise these skills as a universal ‘tool set’. Students will be able to select and use appropriate IT applications and transfer this knowledge and confidence to other areas of their learning. Our aim as a department is to develop individuals who are well prepared to meet the demands of modern IT technology in all aspects of work and social life.
In the modern age there are very few careers or jobs that do not require the use of IT in some format. In the years to come it will be assumed by employers that all students will be capable of using and implementing the main types of software. Confidence in being able to use an IT based system, even when it is unfamiliar, is a very useful skill to have developed at school.
IT is also becoming important in the home and during leisure times. Being able to access information from the internet and communicating with friends or colleagues are time saving skills that need developing to ensure that the correct and most efficient techniques are used. IT allows students access to a great wealth of knowledge and communication across the globe, but with this comes a huge responsibility to make sure that students are equipped with the ability and integrity to use that source morally, efficiently and effectively.
Year 7 & 8 Computing
In years 7 and 8 students follow a course which has a diverse range of topics that includes exploring online safety which increases students' awareness of the issues surrounding computer viruses, poor password security and their ever increasing digital footprint to binary counting and algorithm design.
Year 9, 10 and 11
GCSE Computer Science
Try to imagine a world without computers. There would be no PCs or laptops, and so no word processing or spreadsheets, no communication using the web, no online shopping or photo enhancement. There would be no mobile phones or digital cameras, because these are computers at heart. There would be no internet or phone system. There would be no modern cars, trains or aircraft: computers control how they work and guide their safety on rails or in the air. There would be empty shops: all their stock is computer-controlled. There would be very few goods: many are made by robots, which themselves are computers. Food would be scarce: supermarkets' distribution systems rely on computers and computers often control food production itself.
Computer science teaches you how to use computers to make the world work as it does. You will learn how to make a computer behave how you want - this might be making a robot move something from one end of a room to another, it might be making a calculation which saves someone's life in a medical ward, or it could be creating a whole new world through building pictures or sound or building a computer system so that other people can do this.
You will learn how computers work together in building networks like the internet, how teams of people build systems worth hundreds of millions of pounds, and how computers can be made to behave like people, among many other topics. You will also learn about how to work together in groups, and what your professional responsibilities are to your colleagues, clients, and society.
There are 2 exams and a practical programming project.
- Exam 1 – (40%) Computer systems
- Exam 2 – (40%) Computational thinking, algorithms and programming
- NEA – (20%) Programming Project controlled assessment
Year 9 & 10
The UK is a world leader in the creative digital industries, such as in the creation of visual effects for films and computer games. However, there is growing recognition that we need to build on and improve the UK’s capability and capacity for technical innovation and creativity in this area.
The Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications has been designed to engage and enthuse young people with an interest in creative computing, for example digital graphics and animations, interactive multimedia products and computer games.
The course will teach you how to create web sites for a specific organisation, taking into account house style, planning, structure and evaluation for the finished project.
There are 2 units within the course.
- Unit 1 - Developing Web Products (externally assessed)
- Unit 2 – Creating multimedia products (internally assessed, via online portfolio)
Year 11 BTEC in Information and Creative Technology
BTECs are vocationally related qualifications, where learners develop knowledge and understanding by applying their learning and skills in a work-related context.
Additionally, they are popular and effective because they engage learners to take responsibility for their own learning and to develop skills that are essential for the modern-day workplace. These skills include: team working; working from a prescribed brief; working to deadlines; presenting information effectively; and accurately completing administrative tasks and processes. BTEC Firsts motivate learners, and open doors to progression into further study and responsibility within the workplace.
- Unit 1 The Online World - External Exam
- Unit 2 A Digital Portfolio - Internal assessment
- Unit 6 Creating Digital Graphics - Internal assessment
- Plus an Optional Unit - Internal assessment
Year 12 Computing
Computer Science is a practical subject where you can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the natural world through a digital prism.
The aims of this qualification are to enable you to develop:
- An understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
- The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so
- The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
- The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
- Mathematical skills.
There are 2 written exams at the end of year 12.
- Computing principles (01) 50%
- Algorithms and problem solving (02*) 50%
Year 12/13 BTEC Information Technology
Today’s BTEC Nationals are demanding, as you would expect of the most respected applied learning qualification in the UK. You will have to choose and complete a range of units, be organised, and take some assessments that will be set and marked externally, and keep a portfolio of your assignments. But you can feel proud to achieve a BTEC because, whatever your plans in life – whether you decide to study further, go on to work or an apprenticeship, or set up your own business – your BTEC National will be your passport to success in the next stage of your life. Good luck, and we hope you enjoy your course.
- Unit 1 Information Technology Systems - External Exam
- Unit 2 Creating Systems to Manage Information - External – set assignment task to be completed during a defined window
- Unit 3 Using Social Media in Business - Internal assessment
- Plus an Optional Unit – Internal assessment