Key Stage 4
Students can study the Edexcel GCSE in ICT. There are two units: one is theory-based and ends with a written exam at the end of Year 11; the other is a practical unit, with controlled assessments throughout the course. This GCSE explores how different technologies (e.g. digital devices, social networking and online shopping) impact on every aspect of our daily lives: learning and earning, leisure, shopping and money management, health and well being and on the move. Students learn to be ‘savvy IT users’, who understand the risks as well as the benefits and use ICT safely and responsibly. The emphasis is on ‘doing’ rather than ‘writing about’, so it helps develop important transferable skills including problem-solving, creative thinking and collaborative working. Of course, not all students will want to pursue the subject further. Nevertheless, they will find that the skills they have gained will help them succeed in whatever they wish to do in the future.
We will also soon be introducing a GCSE in Computing, which will give students a real, in-depth understanding of how computer technology works, including computer programming. This will provide excellent preparation for higher study and employment in the field of computer science. The increasing importance of information technologies means there will be a growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this area. However, the course will also be excellent preparation for students who want to study or work in areas such as engineering, finance, science and medicine. Students will develop critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving skills which can be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life.
Key Stage 5
Students can study the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in IT. This course allows them to gain a thorough understanding of computer systems and the management of information technology, and to learn how computers are used in the world of business. Students may progress to studying IT and computing at university, and/or to working in IT. There are two compulsory units and four options chosen from a wide range. In the compulsory units students learn about the IT industry, as well as learning how to set up and maintain computer systems. The optional units include Digital Graphics; Information Systems; Website Production; and e-Commerce.