Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts

Computing & ICT

Head of Department: Mr Terry Barker

Information technology and Computing are arguably the fastest developing areas of the curriculum, which makes studying this field especially exciting. At Salesian we follow a twin-track approach, offering students the opportunity to learn about both the application of computer hardware and software (ICT) and the development of new technological solutions (Computer Science). Our goal is to help students develop a full range of computer skills that will enhance and broaden their lives, develop their problem-solving skills and ensure they are both safe and fit for the rapidly evolving study- and work-place.

Key Stage 3 ICT

Students study ICT for 2 hours per fortnight during Key Stage3. The curriculum is designed to enable students to transfer into either ICT or Computer Science courses at Key Stage 4.

In Year 7, students begin their studies by learning about safe use of the Internet and email, plus rules for appropriate use of computers at school and home. They learn how to use mainstream software packages like word processing and image editing, and investigate different ways in which they can handle and use data. They will also be introduced to both a text based and graphical based programming language.

In Year 8, we broaden our horizons by exploring how technology is developing; students present their own research findings using Prezi presentation software. They learn spreadsheet modelling through a 'theatre tickets' project, and develop their own basic website using Dreamweaver web software. They will study the basics of computers and learn how to write their own computer code using the Python programming language. The year will end by understanding the use of Cryptography.

In Year 9, students develop their creative use of ICT through a range of stimulating projects including animation creation, Game development and the development of applications ('apps') for mobile devices. They will also study the theory of computing as well as furthering their coding skills.

Extra-curricular opportunities include: Lunchtime Computer Club

Key Stage 4 Computer Science

This exciting GCSE in Computer Science gives you an excellent opportunity to investigate how computers work, how they are used and to develop computer programming and problem-solving skills.

Students develop their technical understanding of the science and theory of computing and how computers work. This includes learning how to program, and devise two software solutions to a programming investigation (A452) and programming project (A453).

We launched the OCR syllabus in September 2014. Learning combines theoretical and practical approaches, but the emphasis is on using the material learned to solve problems and design software solutions. Assessment is through a mixture of examinations and controlled assessment tasks in which students design software solutions to problems set by the exam board.

Extra-curricular opportunities include: Lunchtime Coding Club, Trip to Bletchley Park.

For more information, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.

Progression opportunities

From 2015, students will be able to progress to a Computer Science A Level at Salesian Sixth Form. We also offer a Level 3 OCR ICT course (Cambridge Technicals). More information will be available about this new course in the Sixth Form pages of our website later in the year.

Key Stage 4 ICT 

The ICT 'Cambridge Nationals' qualification is equivalent to one GCSE. The four units of work we will cover will equip students with a solid foundation for understanding and applying this subject in their future working lives.

Students develop their technical skills with a range of business applications such as email, modelling spread-sheets, and databases as well as using graphics. This learning is put into practice through a series of creative projects, such as:

  • Creating professional looking documents for use in a business environment
  • Developing a web-based multimedia interactive product for a specific task which promotes a business.
  • Designing a dynamic product using sound and vision, including animation as a promotional product

They also learn the theory of different types of computer systems

We follow the OCR syllabus which can be found here. Learning is very practical and hands-on, and assessment is mainly coursework-based (with just one examination) making it well suited to students who prefer ongoing assessment to examinations. The 'Cambridge National' qualification is similar to a Level 2 BTEC and equivalent to one GCSE at Pass (C), Merit (B) or Distinction (A) Level.

For more information, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.

Progression opportunities

In the Sixth Form we offer a Level 3 OCR course (Cambridge Technicals) that follows directly on from this course, for students who wish to take their studies further. We will also be offering a Computer Science A Level from 2015, but students who wish to follow this course will need to have studied Computing at GCSE. You can find out more on our Sixth Form pages.

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