Department Information

ICT

Members of the Department

Mrs Geraldine Mulholland (Head of Department)
Mr Ian Parker
Mrs A Connolly
Ms Bell
Mrs Petrina Morgan

Aims

ICT is changing the ways in which we learn, communicate, enjoy leisure time and live our lives. Our aim within the ICT department is to equip students with the knowledge and digital skills to enable them to participate in today's technology driven society. 

The ICT department is fortunate to be very well resourced in terms of facilities, hardware and software. We have four PC suites with between 24 and 30 Dell computers in each, and an Apple Mac room. The rooms are fully equipped with a range of scanners, printers and interactive whiteboards. All rooms are fully air conditioned to provide a safe and comfortable environment. Two of the ICT rooms have Apple TV where the teacher can use their iPad to promote teaching and learning. 

The school achieved the NAACE ICT Mark in February 2014.

New Software and Equipment

We've recently purchased new software and hardware: 

  • Balsamiq for designing Apps
  • Inspiration Mind Mapping Software
  • Python Coding software
  • Google Apps for Education
  • Digital Cameras
  • Microphones
  • Headphones
  • 6 digital voice recorders
  • 4 Digital Camcorders

This equipment is used from Year 8 to Year 14 by ICT students. We also plan to work next year on a cross curricular project with the Design and Technology Department using the BBC Micro:bits.


Key Stage 3

Year 8 Programming Course

Since September 2016, Year 8 students follow a programming module using the BBC Micro:bits. This is in addition to the one hour of discrete ICT. Teaching children at an early age the fundamentals of computing helps provide them with the programming skills and the computational thinking skills they will need to function in the 21st century workforce. The BBC Micro:bit will introduce children to the joy of computing. 

As well as ICT being embedded across all departments, students in years 8, 9 and 10 are also given discrete ICT classes (1 hour a week) to promote and develop their skills in using a wide range of software including:

Year 8

  • Microsoft Office Packages
  • Scratch
  • Mediator
  • Logo
  • E Safety
  • Moviemaker/Photostory

Year 9

  • Microsoft Office Packages
  • Scratch
  • Balsamiq App Design
  • Apps for Good Programme
  • Video Conferencing
  • Python Programming Module 1

Year 10

  • Access Databases
  • Frontpage Web Design
  • Python Programming Module 2
  • Game Maker

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

In Year 11 and 12, students study the CCEA GCSE ICT course. The course provides a good range of both theory lessons and practical experience for them and is a very good foundation for anyone who wants to choose ICT at A-Level. One of the key resources for the ICT department is the schools Virtual Learning Environment - Fronter. This provides students with access to all class notes, revision notes podcasts and discussions associated with the course, in school or anywhere they can access the internet. 

Uptake of ICT in sixth form is usually very high. Students will have the opportunity to enrol on the new GCE in Digital Technology in September 2017.


Key Stage 5 (GCE)

CCEA GCE Applied ICT (Sept 2016)

AS Unit 1:  Information and Communication (Coursework Unit)

This unit will help candidates understand the importance of information and communication within an organisation. Skills in writing, in the use of language, in the ion and manipulation of data as well as in the use of different modes and styles of presentation will be developed. The unit will focus on the nature of information in organisations, on how it is gathered, presented, communicated and used effectively to support the organisation. Candidates will be required to examine and apply standard ways of working in this context.

AS Unit 2: Software Applications and Tools (Exam Unit) 2.5 hour exam

This unit will develop skills and understanding in the most commonly used software applications and communications technology. Candidate will be required to use these applications to support business functions in a given context. Candidates will be required to research, , evaluate and use software to provide solutions to given problems. Candidates will be required to understand issues relating to their choice of software. Candidates will be required to examine and apply standard ways of working in this context.

AS Unit 3:  Organisations and Information Systems (Coursework Unit)

This unit will help develop an understanding of organisations and the information systems necessary for their support. It will examine the nature of organisations and how they are structured and managed. The unit will help candidates understand how information and ICT systems support the business function. Management information and its use in a business environment will be considered. The unit will look at how information is gathered, managed, communicated and exchanged effectively to support an organisation. It will also consider how information and the surrounding ethical, legal and health and safety issues impact on an organisation. Candidates will be required to examine and apply standard ways of working in this context.

A2 Unit 7:   Information Systems (Exam Unit)  - 2 hour exam

In this unit candidates will learn why it is important to fully understand the systems development process, the role of Systems Analysis and Design and the importance of the User, in the creation of the best working solutions to business problems. This unit will help develop analysis and design skills using a range of tools and techniques that can be applied in the investigation of systems. Candidates will examine the stages involved in the systems development process and consider the associated documentation including, project plans, feasibility reports, systems specifications and test plans.

A2 Unit 8:  Database Development (Coursework Unit)

This unit will examine database technology and develop database skills. It will introduce database and modelling concepts. Candidates will be required to understand normalisation to third level, relational database structures, queries and the development of a relational database to implement a model. Candidates will be required to design, implement, test and document solutions to given problems. Candidates will be required to develop and apply project management skills to their work. Candidates will be required to examine and apply standard ways of working in this context.

A2 Unit 9:  Web Design and Management (Coursework Unit)

In this unit candidates will learn how to develop and design websites using appropriate tools.  Candidates will study a number of different site models and evaluate site structure, ease of navigation and dynamic content where applicable. They will learn how to determine user requirements, to develop, test, document, maintain and evaluate websites. Candidates will be required to develop and apply project management skills to their work.