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ICT Department

We aim to empower children with the digital creative skills that will be required to close the ever widening gap between “users” and “creators” that is becoming more and more obvious in the IT industry today, with a worldwide shortage of skilled programmers. It’s no longer enough to be able to use a computer; we want the computer users of tomorrow to be the creators of their own information-rich digital media.

In the ICT department we are concerned with the digital world in all its forms.  Being digitally literate is an increasingly vital attribute of the 21st Century global citizen. As well as teaching the use of the standard Office type applications like Excel and PowerPoint, we are increasingly moving towards teaching computer programming skills to reflect the importance and benefits of coding as a higher order cognitive skill. Students are introduced to programming concepts early on in the form of Small Basic and Kodu game development.  They then use graphical programming applications such as Scratch, Alice and Greenfoot to more easily facilitate development of their coding skills using non-threatening, attractive interfaces. In Key Stages 4 and 5, students will learn to program in “real” programming languages such as Java and Python

At Key Stage 3 pupils work on a project-based curriculum, gaining experience in using a variety of types of application. Each year they will complete four projects, at least one of which is a programming project.  Projects are based on a flexible Assessment for Learning framework; pupils are provided with outcomes and success criteria and encouraged to be as creative as possible.  Peer assessment, evaluation and feedback are used as part of the assessment tools.  Pupils use online tools to maintain a website portfolio of work and use Cloud technology to backup and access their work.

In Key Stage 4 pupils can choose to take a course in IGCSE ICT. This course has both a practical and theoretical component and is assessed by two different exams. We also plan to offer an IGCSE in Computer Science, as soon as it becomes available.

In the Sixth Form, pupils can choose IB Computer Science as one of their Group 4 Science subjects. There is a completely revised and up-to-date computer science curriculum starting in September 2012. The new course includes a choice of optional units and highlights the need for Computational Thinking in all aspects of the subject. Programming remains as a central component of the course.

The ICT department has three well equipped computer rooms, containing a total of 62 modern Windows-based workstations. All workstations are connected to our local school network and have filtered Internet access. The department office houses some higher-spec Windows and Macintosh workstations.  We are very well provisioned with software; each workstation carries a wide range of installed programs.

All pupils are provided with a local network login and storage space and also a free Google Apps account giving them access to web mail, web space, Cloud storage, online chat and contacts sharing.

Please contact Steve Vickers, Head of ICT, for more information.

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