How do you fancy a subject that’s certain to boot up a great future for you? Computing and ICT gets on the inside of the single most powerful tool the world has seen. Computers figure in all our lives; in science, technology, manufacturing, research, medicine, – you name it, computing influences and affects everything we do. There’s a world out there just bursting with invention and opportunities and 90% of it is driven by a computer.
The academic department houses five IT Rooms, each holding the latest Lenovo computers with a number of software applications. All rooms have scanners, printers and internet access -100Mb leased line. All pupils can remotely access their files and software via a secure remote login system. The school currently has a virtualised system with 53 servers which are replicated between buildings for resilience and security.
ICT/Computing is taught as a core subject from year 7 to year 9, whereby all elements of the National Curriculum are covered. Pupils' skills are developed over the years in each of the main applications of programming, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, graphics/DTP, presentation, web page design, video editing and control technology.
In year 10 and 11(GCSE), pupils may choose Computer Science as an option. This follows the AQA examination board. Having studied this specification, candidates will be able to create their own mobile applications to gain additional functionality from their mobile devices, such as mobile phones or tablets, rather than being restricted to the applications available from other sources. They will also be able to create interactive web-based applications as opposed to just being end users of these. In the context of gaming, candidates will be able to create their own simple games instead of being restricted to those produced for them by others. In essence, studying this specification will free the candidate from dependency on other people creating applications for them to use. They will have developed the skills and understanding which underpin the creation of their own applications.
Students not following a GCSE will follow a short course to maintain their awareness of ICT in the world and improve their ICT skills.
For the AS and A2 we will be introducing Computing completed through the AQA examination board. The first part of the course (AS) will explore the basics. What is a computer? What’s programming and data all about? How can a computer solve problems? This is where you learn that programming has languages of its own, instructing the computer to perform tasks from straightforward things to jobs of mind-boggling complexity. You’ll surf lots of stuff about systems, hardware, the Internet and the design of websites. You’ll then switch on in the following year (A2) to the more advanced and complicated things computers can do. The great thing is, because the technology moves as fast as you can study it, there’s always going to be new and interesting things to learn.