Key Stage 3

Students at Ricards Lodge are taught that computers are a tool; a means to an end. It is important to understand the role that computers play in our modern, hi-tech society. Students also learn the knowledge, and develop the key skills, that they will need if they choose to continue studying IT in Years 10 and 11.

During Key Stage 3 students learn to: make computer games and animations; design and build websites; understand the binary notation system; create algorithms to solve computational problems; write simple computer programmes in several languages; efficiently use word-processing, presentation and DTP software; produce digital graphics to enhance and improve communication & presentation; design and manipulate spreadsheet models; use relational databases to store, edit, query and retrieve information; and safely and effectively use the internet for research

How parents can help:

Because computers are so widely used in most businesses, IT experts must have the ability to communicate with complete beginners. To help students develop this essential skill parents could ask students to teach them how to use computers, as well as asking them to explain their technical knowledge in a way that anybody could understand.

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.


Key Stage 5

Students can study the BTEC Extended Certificate in Information Technology. This course gives them an introduction to the study of creating IT systems to manage and share information. They develop a common core of IT knowledge, such as the relationship between the hardware and software that form an IT system; managing and processing data to support business; and using IT to communicate and share information. The units include: Information Technology Systems; Creating Systems to Manage Information; Using Social Media in Business; and Website Development. Students may progress to further study in IT or Computing at university, and/or to working in IT, but they will develop skills that will allow them to progress to a wide range of other higher education courses and careers outside of IT.


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