Staff

Head of Department

Miss F Aiken

Subject Teachers

Mr M Mahood
Mr S McCready


Aims

In the Computing and ICT department we encourage pupils to:

  • become independent and discerning users of ICT who can make informed decisions about its use and are aware of its implications for individuals, organisations and society
  • acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of ICT in a range of contexts
  • apply knowledge and skills to develop ICT-based solutions to solve problems
  • develop programming skills to solve problems
  • develop skills in project and time management
  • develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and the social and commercial impact of these technologies
  • develop their understanding of the legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental issues raised by ICT
  • recognise potential risks when using ICT, and develop safe, secure and responsible practice
  • evaluate ICT-based solutions

Key Stage 3

All Year 8 pupils have 1 period per week to gain ICT skills in word processing, desk top publishing, spreadsheets, use of the internet and presentation software which can be used across the curriculum. There is also an introduction to Games Technology and basic programming skills using Scratch.

All year 9 pupils have a unit of computing where they are introduced to HTML coding and basic programming skills using Visual Basic 6.


Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

Two subjects are offered at GCSE:

GCSE ICT (CCEA)

This is a practical skills based qualification allowing pupils to acquire and apply creative and technical skills of ICT in a range of contexts. It also allows pupils to develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and to develop their understanding of the legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental issues raised by ICT. 

The practical content of the course (controlled assessments) is 60% of the course and the theory is 40%. More information is available on the CCEA website.

Computing (OCR)

While pupils will already have some knowledge of computers, this course will give them an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and a look at what goes on "behind the scenes". As part of this, they will investigate computer programming. This study of computer programming will help develop critical thinking, analysis and problem solving skills. This is an interesting way to develop these skills, which can be transferred to other subjects.

Pupils who study Computing at GCSE level will find this a sound basis to progress to A Level or university. They will have an advantage over other students who have not had the opportunity to study this subject. It is a good basis for computing, engineering and technology related careers. The course specification is available on the OCR website.


A-level

The following is offered at A Level:

Applied ICT (CCEA)              

This course consists of 3 modules at AS level and 3 modules at A2 level.

At AS level they are

  • Unit 1 - Information and Communication (Internal Assessment )
  • Unit 2 - Software Applications and Tools (Computer Based Examination 2.5 hours)
  • Unit 3 - Organisations and Information Systems (Internal Assessment- Case Study)

At A2 level, they are

  • Unit 7 - Investigating Systems (2 hour external examination paper based on pre-released case study.
  • Unit 8 - Database Development (Internal Assessment)
  • And either -
    • Unit 9 - Website Design and Management
    • Unit 12 - Visual Programming

Further information and the specification are available on the CCEA Applied ICT website.


Software

Free software is available from Microsoft DreamSpark. This provides students with a wealth of software including Access which can be used for AS and A2 ICT coursework and Visual Basic 6 which is used for Computing. This will enable pupils to work on their coursework both in school and at home.

This is free to all sixth form students in the department. The department pays the annual subscription and the users are managed by the HOD.

Microsoft software is available to students at reduced prices from Software4Students.

Students can also download a copy of Office 365 from the school for free. 


Facilities

The department has 3 computer suites with C2K networked computers. Other computer suites are available for cross curricular use.