IT & Computing

At St Mary’s we believe that the future workforce will need technical expertise in areas such as IT and Computing, plus skills which robots cannot replace – flexibility, empathy, creativity and enterprise. The Digital Revolution was prompted by the Bank of England’s prediction that up to 15 million jobs are at risk of automation across the UK economy including professions such as law and accountancy. The economy is changing at an unprecedented pace. Every day, jobs are being lost in professions we used to regard as careers for life. Artificial intelligence, robots, 3D printing and driverless vehicles will impact on sectors as varied as the legal profession, transport and construction.

In the Digital Revolution, knowledge is as necessary as ever, but it is not enough. It has to be connected with the real world through practical applications. This is why we are offer all pupils at Key Stage 3 1hr a week IT & Computing lessons and all Key Stage 4/5 pupils the opportunity to study IT & Computing at a higher level.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 pupils follow the programmes of study set out by the national curriculum.

Year 7

·          Introduction to computers

·          Binary

·          Online safety

·          Scratch

·          Modelling

Year 8

·         Graphics

·         Web Development

·         Modelling

·         Database Development

·         Programming with Scratch to Python

Year 9

·          Understanding Computers

·          Festival Project

·          Python

Key Stage 4
Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA)

The Pearson Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA) has been designed to teach digital design skills and to enable young people to use digital tools to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way. It aims to equip young people with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to design and make effective digital products for others to use, and to support future learning and exploit opportunities in the creative digital industries.

The qualification has been developed to reflect the increasing use of creative digital computing in everyday life, with a greater emphasis on creative design and development.

·         Developing Web Products 25% Practical examination, 2.5 hours


·         Creative Multimedia 75% Summative Project Brief (SPB) Internally assessed/externally moderated

Exam Board: Edexcel Pearsons

For further details please visit:


Key Stage 5
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology

This qualification is designed for learners who are interested in an introduction to the study of creating IT systems to manage and share information, alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in IT. Learners will develop a common core of IT knowledge and study areas such as managing and processing data to support business and using IT to communicate and share information.

Equivalent in size to 1 A-Level

You will study 4 units. A mix of written exam, controlled assessment and internally marked coursework.

Course Details and Assessment

You will study a total of four units over the duration of this two year course:

Unit 1: Information Technology Systems

Information technology (IT) systems have a significant role in the world around us and play a part in almost everything we do. Having a sound understanding of how to effectively select and use appropriate IT systems will benefit you personally and professionally.

You will explore the relationships between the hardware and software that form an IT system, and the way that systems work individually and together, as well as the relationship between the user and the system. You will examine issues related to the use of IT systems and the impact that they have on organisations and individuals.

This unit is assessed through a 2 hour written examination. The result in this unit contributes to 33% of the final qualification grade.

Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information

In order to produce information to support many business processes as well as our social lives, relational databases are widely used to manage and process data. From the smallest in-house systems to stock control systems for large online retailers, databases are repositories of information that are a significant part of organisational operating requirements.

You will examine the structure of data and its origins, and how an efficient data design follows through to an effective and useful database. You will examine a given scenario and develop an effective design solution to produce a database system. You will then test your solution to ensure that it works correctly. Finally, you will evaluate each stage of the development process and the effectiveness of your database solution.

This unit is assessed through a 10 hour examination board set task that you will completed over a 1 week period. The result in this unit contributes to 25% of the final qualification grade.

Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business

Social media websites are a popular way for people to communicate and share information with friends and family. People spend a lot of time on social media websites and they give businesses opportunities to interact with people, for example to promote their business or to encourage people to visit their e-commerce site and buy. You may be familiar with social media for personal use and in this unit you will discover how it can be used in a business context.

You will explore different social media websites, the ways in which they can be used and the potential pitfalls when using them for business purposes. You will develop a plan to use social media strategies for business purposes to achieve specific objectives. You will then implement the plan, developing and posting content and interacting with others. Finally, you will collect data on the business use of social media and review the effectiveness of your efforts.

This unit is assessed through an internally set assignment that you will complete during your timetabled lessons. The result in this unit contributes to 25% of the final qualification grade.

Unit 4: Data Modelling

In all aspects of life, individuals are constantly faced with situations where they must weigh up the available information in order to produce alternatives and make decisions. In the working environment, effective decision making can ensure the successful development of organisations. Poor decision making can have significant negative consequences and can even lead to the demise of an organisation.

In this unit, you will investigate the fundamentals of the decision-making process. You will find out how using data modelling provides the computational ability to compare consequences, and determine a preferred course of action. You will develop the skills and techniques necessary to create complex spreadsheets in order to produce accurate information that informs decision making. You will examine a scenario and then design, develop and test a spreadsheet; you will review your spreadsheet and make refinements based on user feedback, providing an evaluation of the effectiveness of the alternatives produced.

This unit is assessed through an internally set assignment that you will complete during your timetabled lessons. The result in this unit contributes to 17% of the final qualification grade.


Exam Board: Edexcel Pearsons

For further details please visit:

For further information about the ICT & Computing curriculum please contact: Mr S Gannon (Head of Department)

For further information about the ICT & Computing curriculum please contact:

Mr S Gannon (Head of Department)