ICT has 3 main strands running throughout the curriculum across all Key Stages at Level 1 and above. These are:
- Creative Design
- Technical IT
- Office and Business Skills
Our focus is to make learning as fun as possible through the use of engaging software, up to date hardware and a range of activities for all levels of learners. All young people are fully engaged in their learning path through the use of AfL ladder tick lists, which accompany every topic of work in each learner’s portfolio. Our low level learners follow a different curriculum and the 3 main strands are:
- Experiencing ICT
- Accessing ICT
- Making Choices using ICT
We use P Scale Progression Maps to track progress of each young person in their student portfolio.
Pupils will be using the computer to enter and alter text. This involves software such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint but also more bespoke software such as 2 Create a Story. Pupils gain skills in using the mouse and keyboard to format the text and graphics on screen, creating menus, lists, posters and pictorial stories. Pupils then go on to learn about Control Technology, gaining an understanding of the way we use technology in everyday life. This involves the use of simulation software such as Flobot, 2GO and Mission Control, as well as using iPads to control robotic devices like Sphero. Finally pupils will learn about coding at an early stage, entering commands in Logo software to design basic shapes. In the final term pupils learn about combining text and graphics to create posters, design logos, produce business cards, etc. The software used is Microsoft Publisher and 2 Publish.
Pupils are developing an understanding of email. Pupils are made aware of different ways to send messages to others and some of the dangers involved in using email. Most pupils will access their own email account and send and receive email with software such as Microsoft Outlook or specialised software such as 2 Email and Email Detectives. Learners then learn how to safely use the internet, considering issues around e-safety and how to use web browsers and search engines safely. Pupils then go on to learn about how to handle data on a computer looking at entering specific information using Microsoft Excel and 2Count software and presenting the information in different charts. Some learners will be able to apply formulas to model certain situations. The final topic in year 8 looks at photo and web design. The software used is Serif Photo Plus and Serif Web Plus. The young people find out how to manipulate images, apply filters and effects and understand key terms like import and export picture files. Web design is a topic the students love and they get to research and create a website of their favourite hobby.
Pupils learn about video editing and animation, understanding the difference between the two and using appropriate software to create projects of their own. The software used is Serif Movie Plus, I Can Animate it or iMotion. The use of iPads is key to the progress pupils make and this is a topic enjoyed by everyone. Learners then look at what a database is used for and how to create a new database of their own. Pupils understand key terms like fields and records before sorting information for a car store. Software used is Microsoft Excel and 2Investigate. Finally pupils are asked to bring all their skills and knowledge they have gained over Key Stage 3 and apply them to a project of their choice. This topic is where learners are to identify the appropriate software for the task end demonstrate their skill levels before moving on to an accredited course in Year 10.
Years 10 and 11
Pupils undertake accredited qualification at either entry level or GCSE level. Students studying the Entry Level ICT will complete 3 units:
- Communication skills – Using email, accessing the internet, planning and designing a poster then evaluating their work.
- Video Editing skills – Researching adverts, importing video and images, creating an advert for a fizzy pop drink, then evaluate their final product.
- Logo Programming – Researching children’s toys, sketching a toy shape, entering code to design a toy shape, evaluating work.
Years 12, 13 and 14
Students are undertaking the OCR Entry Level ICT qualification and the units being studied include:
- Communication Skills – Using email, researching online, designing flyers, evaluating work.
- Imaging Skills – taking photos, importing images, manipulating photographs, adding filters and effects, exporting as new image files.
- Animation skills – researching online animated adverts, gathering assets for an advert, creating a motion tween animation, exporting as an animation file.
As with all other risks, it is impossible to completely eliminate risks that arise from use of the internet. It is therefore essential, through good educational provision to build students’ resilience to the risks to which they may be exposed, so that they have the confidence and skills to face and deal with them. The school can demonstrate that it has provided the necessary safeguards to help ensure that staff have undertaken everything that could reasonably be expected of them to manage and reduce these risks.
Our e-Safety policy explains how we intend to do this, whilst also addressing wider educational issues in order to help young people (and their parents/carers) be responsible users and stay safe while using the internet and other communications technologies for educational, personal and recreational use. We strive to ensure that pupils do not access inappropriate materials online whilst at the school. The policy outlines the specific roles and responsibilities of how this will be achieved.
Whilst in school a filtering system is used. There is a requirement to ensure that pupils and students are able to use the internet and related communications technologies appropriately and safely.
We involve all stakeholders in a pupil’s education and see the internet as a source to enhancing learning. Students are made aware and have appropriate learning opportunities to know how to keep themselves safe through e-Safety lessons and taking part in ‘safer internet’ national projects. We also deliver a new and innovative approach to e-Safety education within our e-Safe Award, which some of our young people study as part of the intervention programme. The e-Safe Award is a course of six sessions including a test to ensure pupils are fully equipped to deal with the dangers and risks involved with using a range of technology. As part of this award students are allowed to bring personal devices (iPads, tablets, laptops, mobile phones, etc) in to school. This is only available for young people who have been given permission by parents to do so and the privilege can be taken away if pupils don’t adhere to the e-Safe rules. Please visit the SHARP to see exactly how we deliver the e-Safe Award.
We work with parents and carers to ensure they are equipped to support their children in relation to internet usage at home through termly e-Safety Parent Workshops. Staff can also undertake termly e-Safety Staff Workshops and everyone receives e-Safety Policies and Procedures training annually to ensure they are at the forefront of knowledge.