Information Technology (ICT)

Rationale

In this Department we are committed to give all students, regardless of ability an understanding of the role that computers play in the world in which they live alongside practical understanding of the uses of a range of applications as well as developing computational thought processes to develop skills in writing programs and creating software.  In providing students with these skills it is expected that their understanding and skills will further develop as they apply these across the curriculum.

The schemes of work are designed to give a balanced and varied content incorporating a full range of differentiation to meet all our students’ needs. Progression through the key stages leads to students being expected to apply greater understanding and develop into independent students. The Department offers a range of accredited courses to accommodate our students through key stages 3, 4 and 5.

In the ICT Department this is delivered in Key stage 3 with various topics covered using research and a logical problem solving approach which encompass the varied background and experience of the students and promotes interest and respect for the impact of computing technologies on global and local factors, embracing both religious as well as cultural differences.

Curriculum area staffing and timetables

The ICT Department is staffed with one full time member of staff and a part time member of staff.

Teaching is 1 lesson per week to all students in Key stage 3, and is on the Option blocks in Key stage 4. There is currently 1 Year 10 group and 1 Year 11 group studying for the BTEC ICT Level 2 award. The current Year 9 cohort have opted for either the Computing GCSE or the BTEC Level 2 Award.

In Key stage 5 students in year 12 and 13 study the BTEC national course.

Accommodation and storage

The Department consists of 3 dedicated computer suites each with 33 stations. They are also furnished with Interactive whiteboards. The Department has various display boards within each room. These are constantly updated and reflect both theory / interesting topics as well as a range of work produced by students.

Post 16 entry policy

Students coming into the Department post-16 are expected to have a grade B GCSE full course or its equivalent alongside a grade B, or higher, in both maths and English.

Coursework Internal Appeals procedure

In accordance with the Code of Practice for the conduct of external qualifications produced by the QCA, the ICT Department is committed to ensuring that:

  • Internal assessments are conducted by staff who have the appropriate knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • Assessment evidenced provided by candidates is produced and authenticated according to the requirements of the relevant specifications for each subject.
  • The consistency of internal assessment is assured through internal standardisation as set out by the Awarding Bodies.
  • Staff responsible for internal standardisation and assessment attend any compulsory training sessions organised by the Awarding Bodies.

Written Appeals Procedure

Each Awarding Body publishes procedures for appeals against its decisions and the Director of Examinations will be able to advise students and parents of these procedures.

Appeals may be made to the college regarding the procedures used in internal assessment, but not the actual marks or grades submitted by the college for moderation by the Awarding Body.

Teaching & Learning

Introduction to teaching within the Department

In order to assist our students to become active participants in the classroom each lesson is expected to provide a range of activities to meet individual students needs, to maintain pace and to include appropriate “Brain gym” activities.

In Key Stage 3 students are following the National Curriculum scheme of work in line with the new key stage 3 strategy. The teaching encourages variety of techniques used in the classroom, whole classroom teaching and a plenary to consolidate and extend understanding. Students have one hour per week lesson time.

In Key stage 4 students have chosen to do the course but still have a wide range of ability. Groups are selected to create a mix of gender and ability. All students are given the opportunity to take the Computing GCSE or the BTEC ICT Level 2. Students have 6 hours a fortnight for lesson time plus 1 hour per week for independent study outside the classroom.

In Key Stage 5 Students who wish to extend their knowledge as IT users, with practical applications relevant to the real world. BTEC are qualifications that are designed to provide specialist work-related qualifications. Students will gain the knowledge, understanding and skills that are needed to prepare for employment within the IT sector.

Homework Policy

Students in Key stage 3 are given approximately 3 homework tasks to complete in a module. A module lasts approximately 1 half term. The work is not expected to be completed on a computer as it cannot be assumed that all students have access to a computer. The work is intended to:

  • To encourage self-discipline and personal organisation.
  • To create additional time for structured learning.
  • To bridge the gap between home and college.
  • To allow parents direct involvement in their child’s learning.

Tasks set will vary in their nature, and will not necessarily be of a formal pencil and paper style. Homework should be set for clearly defined purposes, not for its own sake. It will rarely be appropriate for homework to be set for new work which has not been introduced in class. Homework set should be followed up in class and it should be made clear to children that, unless clearly specified, homework tasks are not optional. Failure to complete a homework task should be treated in the same way as failure to complete a piece of class work.

In key stage 4, the expectations are a little different and the homework may often be used to supplement the classroom time available to student to complete or improve upon their coursework. The practical side of their coursework (the Implementation of the system) must be completed within school.

Marking Policy

In the ICT Department, each room displays the assessment targets which have been written in student friendly language. These are shared with the students and used in feedback on work. There is a generic marking policy for the department which is used in years 7-9 for work which does not need to be levelled (e.g. homework). A personalised approach to supporting children means:

  • Tailoring learning to the needs, interests and aspirations of each individual
  • Tackling barriers to learning and allowing each child to achieve their potential

Internet Access

By default, all students have Internet Access. This may be removed by ICT staff temporarily to prevent abuse of the facility. Where the abuse is more sustained or severe (e.g. accessing images of a sexual nature), the internet may be blocked initially for an unspecified period.

Email

By default, all students have email addresses. These may be used to send work to/from home or for other academic purposes. Students may use the email facilities for social purposes provided that they do not do so during lessons, and that the standards of their behaviour are high. Students should not use their email addresses to register for web sites, mailing lists or to send chain letters. If students abuse their email privileges in a small way (e.g. repeated sending of social emails during lesson), their email access may be blocked for up to 2 weeks. All emails sent are automatically filtered for keywords.

Spiritual, moral, cultural contributions

In the ICT Department this is nurtured in Key stage 3 with topics covering research and the presentation of which encompasses the varied background of the students and promotes interest and respect for these differences, in respect of both religious as well as cultural differences.

In KS4 and KS5 the ethos in each classroom is developed in line with whole school expectations with a holistic approach to developing the student is adopted.

Cross curricular links

The Department gives students a practical understanding of the uses of a range of standard office applications. In providing students with these skills it is expected that their understanding and skills will further develop as they apply these across the curriculum.

Equal opportunities

The Department follows the whole school Equal Opportunities ethos and expectations.

Extra curricular activities to support learning

There are several initiatives to support learning in the Department.

Key stage 3 girls have the opportunity to get involved in CC4G ~ a computer club specifically for girls covering aspects of the Key Stage 3 curriculum.