"Everybody should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think"
We're not here to teach the kids how to code, or become programmers – we're here to teach them to think. Its about practicing the act of deconstructing their thoughts in a clear and structured way. At the heart of our goal is to develop problem solving and pupils being able to think out the processes in a logical, critical way, this will allow them with the development of their programming language knowledge the ability to code their solution. It's about bringing down the curtain by allowing them to see complex things in a simple way (abstraction). Our end goal is to underpin all the key ideas and concepts introduced at KS5 throughout each year from 7-11, building on ideas and knowledge learnt before, so when they leave us they leave us with the skills and knowledge needed in an ever changing digital world. We want our students to leave us as masters of technology and not slaves to it, with informed choices on which platform or software to choose, to being able to create a range of ICT solutions, our learners will leave with the ICT skills to allow them to thrive after school.
In Year 7 we combine ICT with Computer Science. Students will learn about some of the dangers and how to value and manage your behaviour and self worth online. Students will develop their ICT skills needed to access and use the colleges google cloud services to enrich their learning experience at St Marys. Students will learn about the origins of computers and how they have developed and learn and develop their coding skills across four languages. Students will finish the year with an insight into electronics and develop and code a computer system using a Microbit.
In Year 8 students main focus is on Computer Science, starting with algorithms and problem solving and then developing their programming skills and knowledge. They learn about the architecture of computers, understand data representation in computers and binary maths and explore storage devices. They also learn to create and edit vector graphics.
In Year 9 the pathway splits between ICT and Computer Science, all students will do ICT and will do the following: Students develop their ICT skills in creating and editing bitmap and vector graphics, they will explore developing a multimedia product, developing their spreadsheet skills and develop their theory knowledge in ICT.
Computer Science option students will do the following: Develop their programming knowledge and ability across scratch, small basic and visual basic, solving a range of problems. They will develop their knowledge of data representation and computer architecture and logic gates.
Developing Vector Graphics
Developing Bitmap Graphics, Multimedia Product
At the time of writing students taking KS4 ICT study for a BTEC certification. This is an excellent hands on qualification that builds pupils confidence in a range of skills; this includes spreadsheet manipulation, data interpretation and modelling, user interface design, report writing and many areas that link to exam theory.
There are two units of coursework that are delivered in year 10 and an examination in January of Year 11 with the option to resit in the summer term of Year 11.
The coursework elements provide valued skills needed in today's world. The exam element provides students with a wider understanding of how IT influences all areas of life and provides context with how IT support businesses and impacts the world.
User Interface Design
Spreadsheet Data Modelling
Examination Theory & Exam
Resits if required & improving coursework if required
At the time of writing students taking ICT in 6th Form study the Extend Diploma pathway of the Cambridge Technical qualification.
The course is comprised of two exam units and three coursework units. The examination content introduces students to a broad range of topics most of which can be found in industry standard certifications and so provide an excellent entry point to those looking at going into IT infrastructure or a similar role.
The coursework enables pupils to develop strong report writing skills with Harvard referencing used to accurately cite sources of information to back up their arguments. This is an essential skill for university studies and we have been commended by the examiner for our approach to teaching students how to do this.
The units we chose for coursework currently focus on mobile technology, virtual and augmented reality, and computer systems. There are several hands-on tasks and practicals that users partake in to develop their understanding of computers and software.
Exam Unit 1
Exam Unit 1 & Exam Unit 2
Exam Unit 2 & Examinations
Coursework Unit 18
Coursework Unit 5
Coursework Unit 12