The aim of St. Mary’s ICT Department is to make learning, interesting, exciting and to make all students enthusiastic about learning new ICT concepts. The department is well resourced with access to four ICT suites. Additionally there are another 2 IT suites in the school. In total over the school there are over 480 stations. Almost every classroom in the school has an interactive whiteboard and the school also makes use of digital presentations in assemblies.
Why do we think that ICT is important?
Organisations look for people who have the following characteristics.
- They are information literate and can manage the masses of information being directed at us every day.
- Global communication skills are vital to survival. You need to be aware be able to participate in the global teams that now exist.
- People need to be self-directed.
We feel that I.C.T. offers opportunities for pupils to:
- prepare themselves for participation in a rapidly changing world where activities are increasingly transformed by access to I.C.T.
- develop initiative and independent learning skills
- gain rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures.
These skills are acquired through four aspects of the National Curriculum for I.C.T.
- finding things out;
- developing ideas and making things happen;
- exchanging and sharing information;
- reviewing modifying and evaluating work as it progresses.
We want pupils to enjoy I.C.T as a subject because it is in context, varied in its content, and it offers different learning experiences and realistic opportunities to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding. There are a range of approaches to teaching and learning used within the department, these include:
- direct teaching, through whole-class and small group sessions;
- opportunities for pupils to apply their learning, either on their own or with others, with support when required;
- Opportunities for pupils to reflect on their own learning.
The acquisition of I.C.T. skills and knowledge should not be a chore and the department strives to provide an appropriate learning atmosphere.
In the first three years at the school pupils will cover all aspects of the Key stage 3 programme of study. The Scheme of Work is designed to cater for pupils working at levels 3-7. It is also designed to be challenging and to raise expectations. The work at Key Stage 3 is consolidated via close links with other departments. In all years pupils are encouraged to use the I.C.T. skills gained across the curriculum.
The key stage is envisaged to culminate with the award of ICT Functional skills Level 1
The department runs a GCSE course in Information and Communications Technology, which pupils can choose as one of their options at Key Stage 4. Pupils investigate and study I.C.T. at GCSE level in a variety of contexts. In these contexts, candidates are given opportunities to acquire competence, capability and critical skills. The main focus of the course is on the pupils using ICT in context to solve real life based problems that face most organisations.
The key stage is envisaged to culminate with the award of ICT Functional skills Level 2 and a GCSE and for the more able students an additional qualification of the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) is being trialled.
An AQA AS and A2 in Information and Communications Technology is currently offered with a planned future option of ECDL