Information & Communication Technology
ICT is a continually changing and expanding subject and we as a department aim to ensure that our pupils are fully prepared for the technology of tomorrow. We provide a positive learning environment that allows our pupils to become confident and autonomous users of ICT. They develop transferable skills that will support their learning across the curriculum and equip them for life beyond school.
Our courses are designed to ensure pupils learn far more than practical ICT skills. The department has developed programmes of study that allow pupils to have a greater understanding of social and ethical issues surrounding the use of ICT and encourages them to develop work that is appropriate for its intended purpose and audience.
The ICT department are also keen to deliver computing skills across the Key Stages in preparation for the computing curriculum that has already been introduced in England. We are a department that is constantly evolving in order to provide the most relevant and up to date ICT and computing skills to our pupils.
Key Stage 3
The Information and Communication Technology course in KS3 has been designed to equip pupils with the ability to use technological tools to find, develop, analyse, exchange and present information, as well as to model situations and solve problems. The increasing use of technology in all aspects of society makes confident, creative and productive use of ICT an essential skill for life. During Key Stage 3, pupils develop their understanding of how ICT can assist them in other subjects and increase their ability to judge when and how to use ICT, and where it has limitations.
Year 7 pupils will have planned, drafted, created and evaluated their own six mini projects by the end of their first year. The topics for these projects are as follows:
- Introduction & E-Safety
- Interactive multimedia presentations in PowerPoint on the Harry Potter theme
- Word processing and Desk Top Publishing
- Introduction to spreadsheet modelling
- Introduction to databases
- Introduction to game making using Scratch programming software
- Computer graphics and web page creation using Macromedia Fireworks and Dreamweaver
Year 8 students will build on their skills from year 7. They will plan, draft, create and evaluate a further six projects on the following topics:
- Introduction & E-Safety
- Creating publications using Desk Top Publishing
- Spreadsheet modelling
- Database systems and mail merge
- Vector and bitmap graphics
- Introduction to programming using Kodu software
- Flash Animations
The year 9 course is designed to prepare the pupils for both the world of work and Key Stage 5. The idea of this course is to give the pupils a ‘real life’ scenario in which they must plan, draft, create and evaluate suitable ICT solutions. There are three large projects for the pupils to complete this year.
- Introduction & E-Safety
- Project 1 – Business Solutions (desktop publishing, word processing, website creation and relational database systems)
- Project 2 – Advanced Spreadsheet concepts and modelling techniques
- Project 3 – App Design and Creation
Key Stage 4 (GCSE) - years 10 & 11
Studying ICT at Key Stage 4 enables pupils to develop and apply the creative and technical ICT skills that they have developed in Key Stage 3. The aim of the course is for pupils to become independent and discerning users of ICT, able to make informed decisions about its use and aware of its implications for individuals, organisations and society.
GCSE ICT Course Content
Pupils will look at current and upcoming technologies, what ideas and resources are needed to create the latest technology and how to solve problems using ICT tools and techniques. Pupils will look at a variety of ICT tools such as; communication tools like social networking websites, control systems such as Sat Nav and business tools like word processing, data handling, spreadsheet modelling and DTP. Pupils will look at the many uses of the Internet, such as the mechanics behind booking movie tickets and downloading music. Even ICT tools used in predicting natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis are covered in this course. Pupils will also explore the impact of ICT on society. They will examine real life situations that ICT has an effect on including: legal, social, economic and environmental scenarios. Pupils will examine how teams can work together using ICT and looks at how people can work together if they are in different offices in different countries. Most aspects of ICT are covered in this comprehensive course, there is something for everyone and it is a perfect foundation to any career.
- Unit 1 – Understanding ICT, written exam (1.5hrs) 20%.
- Unit 2 – Solving Problems with ICT, controlled assessment (22.5hrs) 30%.
- Unit 3 – ICT in Organisations, written exam (1.5hrs) 20%
- Unit 4 – Developing Multimedia ICT Solutions, controlled assessment (22.5hrs) 30%
GCSE Computer Science Course Content
Pupils will gain practical experience of designing, writing, and testing computer programs. They will use new technologies such as Raspberry Pi and software such as Python, Kodu and Scratch. Pupils will quickly learn to develop the ability to reason, explain and evaluate computing solutions and develop awareness of current and emerging trends in computing technologies. They will also develop awareness of the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment and explore topics that look at ethical, legal and ownership issues within computer science. Pupils will have the opportunity to design and create their own mini computer game.
- Unit 1 – Understanding Computer Science, written exam (1.5hrs) 45%.
- Unit 2 – Solving Problems Using Computers, on-screen tasks (2hrs) 30%
- Unit 3 – Developing Computer Solutions, controlled assessment, ( 15hrs) 25%
Vocational Trip – The students will have the opportunity to visit the famous Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes. The students will learn about the original ‘codebreakers’ and visit The National Museum of Computing.
Key Stage 5 (‘A’ level) - years 12 & 13
BTEC ICT Level 3 Course Content
This BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in IT is a practical, work-related course. Pupils learn by completing projects and assignments that are based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands. Pupils develop a range of specialist ICT skills and knowledge.
This course is aimed at pupils wanting to develop their ICT skills in a similar BTEC format that they are used to. They will build on their prior understanding and will now utilising these skills in real world scenarios. The units of work are both varied and creative. They include: Effective communication and employability skills in ICT; computer systems including hardware, software and computer maintenance; website production and management; designing and creation of professional computer graphics.
The course is made up of course work, there is no exam element.
100% Course work
- Unit 1 - Communicating and Skills in IT
- Unit 2 - Computer Systems
- Unit 30 - Digital Graphics
- Unit 18 - Database Design
- Unit 28 - Website Production
- Unit 42 - Spreadsheet Modelling
Extra Curricular Activities
- Break time homework club – Open every break time, this homework club is open to all pupils who wish to use ICT to complete homework. This takes place in the ICT suite (L32 on the Cwmdare site).
- After School Coursework Session – Every week there is a one hour session after school for pupils to catch up with coursework or complete ICT homework.
- Coding Club – For all pupils in Key Stage 3. This club runs after school with an aim to encourage pupils who have an interest in computer programming. They are taught informally and encouraged to take a hands on approach, lots of fun guaranteed! The students will use Scratch, Kodu and Raspberry Pi’s to create programmes, design mini games and create apps.
- Year 10 Essential Skills (WJEC Level 2) – There are after school sessions for all year 10 pupils to enable them to achieve an extra qualification in ICT.