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Welcome to the ICT Department

Computing Department Vision

Technology is constantly changing and we have a responsibility to keep our students up to date. The world revolves around technology and we aim to give students the best possible chance to thrive in such an environment.

We teach the basics of Computer Science through our KS3 rotation and offer students the chance to study ICT at KS4. Where possible, our courses are linked to industry and aim to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in that context.

Meet the Computing Team

Mr O Ellwood - PE/Computing Teacher

Computing Curriculum

In KS3 we have focussed projects that give students exposure to the basics of IT and Computer Science. These projects build on one another and give students the chance to experiment with programming techniques within a project that mirrors the IT software life cycle of Design – Implement – Test.

Currently we offer the L2 BTEC First in Information and Creative Technology at KS4. This is equivalent to a GCSE. The BTEC Firsts in Information and Creative Technology have been developed to inspire and enthuse students to become technology savvy – to become producers of technology – and computer-based products and systems, rather than just consumers of them.

The course is made up of 4 units; 2 mandatory and 2 optional units. Unit 1 and Unit 2 are mandatory units and we have selected Units 6 and 9.

Unit 1 – The Online World

How do websites work? How do emails reach your computer? How does the use of computer applications affect your daily life? This unit provides an introduction to the modern online world. Starting with your own experiences, you will extend your knowledge of online services and investigate the technology and software that supports them. This unit will help you understand the main technologies and processes behind the internet and investigate how they come together to let you view websites and send information across the world.

The internet and web of tomorrow will be even more powerful, more connected, more intuitive and a more important part of our lives. This will result in an internet of services, objects and infrastructure (ubiquitous computing) which will radically change our lives. For example, smart appliances will be able to talk to each other, clothes will monitor our health and retailers will access social media to gain insight into shoppers’ preferences.

You will explore a range of digital devices, such as smart phones and digital music players and consider the technology that enables these devices to share and exchange information. This technology has created new concerns regarding security and privacy. You will investigate these concerns and consider how users should behave online to safeguard themselves and respect others.

This unit is essential if you are considering a career in the IT sector. Online systems and technology have become part of everyday work, so being able to understand and work with this technology is relevant in many roles in the industry.

Unit 3 – Digital Portfolio

This unit is your chance to show off! A digital portfolio is an exciting onscreen way to showcase your achievements to potential employers or when applying for a course.

It is all about:

·         The projects you have created and developed

·         Your use of communication and presentation skills

·         Your capabilities and potential

Digital portfolios can be viewed by anyone with a computer and an internet browser. You will learn how to create a digital portfolio that includes a series of web pages with links to content that you have created. You will learn how to make use of multimedia assets such as images, sound and video to make your portfolio appealing and engaging.

For this unit, your digital portfolio will have a clear purpose and audience to show them who you are and what you are capable of. It should have a structure that is logical and easy to navigate and must be in a format that can be uploaded and viewed on the web.

You should think of your portfolio as a shop window, carefully selecting a range of content including work done on this BTEC course as well as any other appropriate content. Every item should be clearly introduced, explaining why it is included and what it demonstrates to the viewer.


Unit 6 – Creating Digital Graphics

You will see graphics at work whenever you surf websites, play computer games, go shopping or read a user manual. Graphics are used to communicate messages in every part of our lives, such as advertising, music, fashion, interior design and architecture. It is the job role of a graphic designer to create digital graphics that bring colour, information and interest to our lives for a wide range of industries.

In this unit you will investigate a range of applications and features of existing graphic products and consider their audience and purpose. You will be able to apply some of what you discover to your own digital graphic products.

You will design, create and test graphic products in a similar way to how it is done in industry and be introduced to the technology and techniques used by professionals.

You will need to think about the creative aspects of the product as well as the technical (both vector-editing and photo-editing). Once finished, you will review the products, having obtained feedback from others, and evaluate possible improvements.


Unit 9 – Spreadsheet Development

Spreadsheets are used to store, manipulate and analyse data and to present it in easy-to-understand ways. They are invaluable for collecting and manipulating data of all types. Spreadsheets can be formatted to create clear, concise reports and can be sorted, filtered and updated with the touch of a button.

Spreadsheets are used extensively in many organisations to help people carry out their job roles. For instance, accountants use spreadsheets to keep track of the money going into and out from a business, and scientists use them to analyse the results of their experiments and record the data for use in the future.

In this unit you will understand the many uses for spreadsheets and the tools and techniques that are available and become skilled at using them. You will be able to apply some of your findings to your own spreadsheet solutions.

In this unit, you will understand the many uses for spreadsheets. You will discover the many tools and techniques that are available in spreadsheet software and will become skilled at using them. You will investigate some of the ways spreadsheets used in real-life. You will design a spreadsheet solution for a brief. You will then develop and test your spreadsheet solution to store, manipulate and analyse a large amount of data and present the output data in easy-to-understand way. Once completed, you will review the finished spreadsheet solution having obtained feedback from others, and evaluate possible improvements.

How do we assess students in Computing?

In KS3 students are given feedback throughout their projects to help them develop their work. Students’ projects are then assessed at the end of the rotation cycle.

In KS4 students are assessed each Learning Cycle (4 in a year) based on the content they have covered in that cycle. Apart from unit 1, which is assessed with an online externally marked exam, all other units have assignments to be completed.

Each assignment is split into a number of tasks that have clear criteria which the students need to meet to achieve a Pass/Merit/Distinction. Each task has a hand-out and hand-in date. There is then a period of time where the teacher will return the work marked to the student and they have a set period of time to make improvements and re-submit.

Unit 1 is the only examined unit:

·         This unit has the same grades as internally assessed units

o   Level 2 – Pass, Merit, Distinction

o   Level 1

o   Unclassified

·         This unit is externally assessed using an onscreen test

·         Edexcel sets and marks the test

·         The assessment must be taken under examination conditions

·         The assessment is 1 hour

·         No. of marks is 50 marks

·         The assessment can be taken multiple times throughout the course

Examination Information

Unit 1 is the only external exam. All information can be found in the section above.

Homework Expectations

Homework is set regularly on Show My Homework in line with the Academy policy. Students may type or write their homework and are able to return via email or in person.

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Leader of ICT

Mr. O. Ellwood

01482 879967