IT & Computing

Welcome

Welcome to the IT & Computing page. Here you will find out everything you need to know about our Faculty including what we teach and how we assess our pupils.


Curriculum Intent

It is the aim of the Department to enable students to develop lifelong skills and knowledge around three key concepts relating to digital technology use. We teach students a varied curriculum comprising of elements from Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy to prepare them for a future in a world where the use of this technology is fully embodied.   We wish to enthuse students to have an understanding far deeper than the interface and devices that they currently operate.

We aim to enable students to develop a love of learning for the subject and an understanding that there are no limits to their own development in all three areas of Information Technology, Computer Science and Digital Literacy. 

An important life skill for anyone is to problem solve.  Using Computational Thinking will aid learners with their Computer Science studies and, as it is embedded within everyday life activities we aim for students to be able to apply this logical manner to everyday problems for lifelong skills and into their career choices.  Students will be continuously given guidance on how to work safely on-line in a variety of digital platforms and aspects so that it will be second nature to carry out all the necessary steps for their own safety as well as those around them.

Students will learn about Computer Coding and digital technology.  Learning the language of code is an important added bonus as students who develop their coding skills will be able to grasp the magic behind the computers.  This will allow them to take their studies into Further and Higher Education if they desire and ultimately secure a career within a large range of industries.

What will students learn in IT & Computing Faculty?

Information Technology – students are taught about various software packages including spreadsheets, databases, word processing, desktop publishing, web design, animation and video editing, collaboration techniques and as well as how to integrate the various systems into large vocational project scenarios.

Computer Science – students learn about advanced computing skills such as knowing the complexities of how computers work and computational thinking and software development using programming languages such as Python.

Digital Literacy - Digital Literacy is the ability and skill to find, evaluate, utilise, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet.  Students will develop specific digital literacy skills when reading and interacting with online content that may contain embedded resources such as hyperlinks, audio clips, graphs, or charts that require students to make choices. Students will learn how to create, collaborate, and share digital content and learn to do so responsibly.

Key Stage 3 -  Curriculum Implementation

What will our pupils study?

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum has been designed around all three areas of IT & Computing, which are Information Technology, Computer Science and Digital Literacy, and is delivered once a week by our specialist staff. 

In Years 7 and 8 students follow a spiral curriculum continually embedding and revisiting key Digital Literacy skills around topics based on Information Technology and Computer Science. Some of the key concepts covered are Security, Digital Safety, Project Management, Computational Thinking, Software Development and Communication and Collaboration skills.

In Year 9 students will continue to embed the skills and knowledge imparted during Years 7 and 8 and apply these to three vocational project based scenarios based around digital video production, digital graphics and computer games design.

Curriculum Overview


How will our pupils be assessed?

Students undertake 13 units throughout KS3 and will be assessed at the end of each unit through either end of unit internal tests based on numerical levels 4-8 or practical scenario based work.  Each assessment will focus on students’ knowledge acquisition and understanding of the topics at key stages of the course.

Key Stage 4 - Curriculum Implementation

What will our pupils study?

The Key Stage 4 Curriculum progresses on from KS3, continuing to embed skills in Information Technology and Computer Science, but students will branch into either of the two specialisms.  Both Information technology and Computer Science specialisms continue to develop and further embed and interweave Digital Literacy skills developed at Key Stage 3.


Information Technology

Students who focus on Information Technology will continue to embed their Information Technology and Computing skills based around two vocational scenario based tasks which are broken down into the following key areas; Design, Analysis, Implementation, Refinement and Evaluation. 

During Key Stage 4 student will also interleave key topics and skills within 4 key topic areas; Modern Technologies, Cyber Security, Implications of Digital Systems, Planning and Communication.


Computer Science

Students who focus on Computer Science will continue to embed their Computer Science and Information Technology skills but progress further in depth with the Computational Thinking skills required at this level.  The two core strands of Computer Science covered are Computer Systems and Computational Thinking which are both taught independently and interweaved throughout Key Stage 4.

Key concepts of Computer Systems covered are; Systems Architecture, Memory, Storage, Networking, Systems Software, Ethical, Legal and Cultural issues.  Key Concepts of Computational Thinking covered are; Algorithms, Programming (Python), Boolean Logic, Languages and IDEs.

Curriculum Overview


How will our pupils be assessed?


Information Technology

Students undertake 2 internally moderated and externally verified vocational scenario based projects graded from Level 1 Pass to Level 2 Distinction (60% total) and an externally sat examination (40%).  There may be some changes to the exams but these have not been finalised by the examination board yet.

 

Computer Science

Students will undertake two externally sat examinations graded using GCSE 1 – 9 9 – 1 numerical grading system and will also develop skills within a vocational based programming scenario task.  There may be some changes to the exams but these have not been finalised by the examination board yet.


How have our KS4 pupils progressed so far?


Information Technology

KS4 Attainment 

2021

2020

2019

Level 2 Pass +

83.0%

82.8%

96.8%

Level 2 Merit +

36.7%

45.0%

60.8%

Computer Science

KS4 Attainment 

2021

2020

2019

4+ “standard” pass

75.0%

85.7%

66.7%

5+ “strong” pass

55.0%

57.1%

10.7%


What can it lead to?

Upon successful completion of an Information Technology Course or a Computer Science GCSE, learners may progress into employment within the IT/Computing industry and/or continue their study in the vocational area (e.g. AS/A level ICT, Computing or Computer Science, BTEC Nationals Level 3, dependent upon individual post-16 establishment entry requirements).

As IT has become an integral part of learning, the ability to create professional documents, manipulate data and deliver high quality presentations is a vital skill that can be used in further learning and work placements.

IT skills are used a variety of job roles in all kinds of organisations including those in manufacturing, retail, education, hospitality, health and social care, business services, transport and public services. Students are continuously informed of the potential career opportunities throughout the delivered Curriculum, so they are able make links of the skills being leant into a wider aspect of life after their education finishes.