The Faculty aims to provide the youngsters with a wide ranging and balanced IT experience focused on the IT National Curriculum. This entitlement supports the students in gaining IT knowledge, skills and understanding required for examination success and life after school.
These statements describe how IT is used in our school:
- IT is a valued environment in our school; it assists students in developing a positive self-image and promotes the public image of the whole school.
- IT has the flexibility to meet the individual needs and abilities of each student.
- IT should seek to promote skills in decision making and the establishment of control.
- IT should empower its users.
- IT gives students immediate access to richer source materials.
- IT can present information in new ways which help students to understand, assimilate and use it more readily.
- IT can motivate and enthuse pupils – IT should be fun.
- IT should help children to focus and concentrate.
Accommodation and Resources
Our school is superbly equipped with more than 450 workstations on a local network within the school. Currently we have 400 fixed workstations (computers), 20 netbooks, 50 laptops housed on trolleys with wireless connection, video conferencing facilities, digital cameras, music workstations and projection facilities. Our 8 main computer rooms have interactive white boards as do all classrooms throughout the school. All workstations have Broadband Internet access, and students are able to logon and gain access to their work in all areas of the school and use a wide variety of software.
Our 8 main Computer Rooms have 28-32 computers in each and these are used mainly for discrete IT lessons. There are also clusters located within Maths, Graphics, Art, Music, Learning Support and the School Library. We have an ICT support team of four experienced individuals.The remaining computers are available in classrooms across the school and all computers have either a laser or a colour printer available to them.
Every computer is capable of supporting a number of ‘Integrated Learning Packages’, such as ‘Sam Learning’ and ‘MyMaths’. These allow the learners to progress at their own pace and their own level.
Some of the other facilities available allow students and staff to:
- Use office professional and Adobe CS5 Software.
- Save work centrally on the file servers.
- Print in colour, laser b/w and laser colour.
- Use scanners in many areas.
- Produce pictures using the digital cameras.
- Create videos using flip cameras
- Have fast internet access at every workstation.
- Use careers and revision software.
- Develop on-line curriculum materials and use curriculum support materials.
- Use video motion analysis using digital video.
- Use interactive whiteboard technology in every department.
Key Stage 3
In year 8 and 9 IT is delivered in one 50 minute discrete lesson. Students learn a mix of digital literacy and computing, covering a range of topics including website design, APP creation, basic coding and use of proprietary programmes. The topics are heavily influenced by the latest thinking about computer science and are updated regularly.
Key Stage 4
At KS4 we offer two courses. The first is a GCSE in Computer Science. This is a mixture of computer science theory and computing programming. Students studying this specification will learn how to create applications that could run on mobile devices or operate in a web enabled environment. They will be able to create interactive web-based applications as opposed to just being end users of these.
The alternative course is City and Guilds IT users. Learners will gain the ability to plan and review their use of IT tools for a wide range of activities that may include learning how to set up a PC, secure use of ICT and Microsoft Office suite.
Key Stage 5
We offer BTEC Level 3 in IT in our Sixth Form and it is a popular option. Subjects include communications and employability, computer systems, computer networks, E-commerce, digital graphics and multimedia design.
Students often enjoy getting involved with ICT outside of lessons too and we run many sessions including:
- Digital leadership programme
- ICT booster sessions – ICT staff are available throughout the week to support Key Stage 4 students to reach their maximum potential
- Digital leaders club. Our digital leaders run clubs including: Kodu club, Scratch programming and Raspberry Pi club
- Tech Future Girls – it helps girls develop their skills in IT through a series of carefully graded challenges, themed around their interests – like fashion, music, sport and celebrity