ICT continues to revolutionise our world, and computers are an essential part of our everyday lives and society. Computers touch every aspect of our lives from the cars we drive to the games that we play and the way in which we handle information and communicate. The nature of ICT at Ulidia Integrated College is to enable pupils to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes to enable them to make effective use of ICT, now and in the future.
It is vital that all our pupils gain confidence and capability using computers which can also enhance and extend their learning across the whole curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to use their own initiative, imagination, and reasoning and investigative skills. They are the given opportunities to describe, illustrate, interpret, predict and explain when using technological language and conventions. They learn to work independently and collaboratively, sharing ideas and developing their own.
Pupils appreciate the relevance of ICT in our society, and they see it as an essential tool for learning, for communication, for finding information, and for controlling and understanding their environment. Every pupil learns how to safely use the Internet to search and access information and is continually encouraged to make sensible choices and remain safe at all times when online.
Subject Leader – Mr. D. Barnard
Subject Teachers – Mr. C. Donnelly, Mr. N. Meharg, Mr. G. Spratt, Mr. C. Wray and Miss. R. Ferres
ICT Technicians – Mr. D McVeigh and Mr. A Jamison
The aim of the IT course is to ensure that by the end of Key Stage 3 all students can use IT securely, creatively and independently. We aim to ensure students are confident enough to keep their skills up-to-date and are able to generalise from their IT experiences.
We cover a curriculum based on the key principles of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. These are being adapted for a greater integrated within the other national curriculum subjects. Pupils receive one discrete lesson per week of ICT in years 8, 9 and 10 – primarily focusing on the Microsoft Office suite.
E-Safety and the Internet
Advanced Word Processing
Computer Inputs and Outputs
Advanced Spreadsheet Design
Advanced Website Design
KS4 – Type of qualification: WJEC GCSE in ICT
The WJEC GCSE in ICT has been designed to:
- inspire and enthuse learners to become technology savvy – producers of technology products and systems and not just consumers
- give learners the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of the Information Technology sector and some aspects of the creative industries e.g. computer games development and web design
- allow for a flexible choice of units to meet the needs of learners with different interests and inclinations by using different pathways
There are 2 written coursework tasks with very methodical guidelines and 2 exam units which will take place in year 1 and year 2 of the course.
Two Controlled Assessment Units
Unit 2: Solving Problems with ICT – 30%
Controlled Assessment: 221⁄2 hours
This controlled assessment consists of a portfolio of work which shows pupils’ attainment in obtaining and interpreting different types of information; using, developing and communicating information to meet the purpose of their studies and presenting the results of their work. This assignment will assess the practical aspects of the functional elements of ICT.
Unit 4: Developing Multimedia ICT Solutions – 30%
Controlled Assessment: 221⁄2 hours
This controlled assessment will give candidates the opportunity to develop a piece of work using multimedia software following a single task brief issued by WJEC.
Two Examination Units
Unit 1: Understanding ICT – 20%
External Assessment: 1½ hours
This examination paper will assess the requirements of the Key Stage 4 Programme of Study for Information and Communication Technology and the functional elements of ICT in a home and school context.
Unit 3: ICT in Organisations ICT – 20%
External Assessment: 1½ hours
This examination paper will assess the ‘application’ content of ICT in a business and industry context.
KS5 – Type of qualification: BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in ICT
The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in IT is a 60-credit and 360-guided-learning-hour (GLH) qualification that consists of six units. It is largely equivalent to 1 x A’ Level.
The units are as follows:
Unit 1: Communication and Employability Skills for IT (60 Lessons)
Communication skills are key to success in any sector but are particularly important in highly technical sectors, such as IT, where the language used can become full of jargon. It is important that learners are able to communicate with non-technical staff and understand when different types and vehicles of communication are appropriate.
The aim of this unit is to ensure that learners understand both the personal attributes valued by employers and the principles of communicating effectively whist developing effective communication skills and addressing their own personal development needs.
Unit 2: Computer Systems (60 Lessons)
At some stage, most IT professionals will have to set up and customise a computer system or systems. To do so effectively, they will need to understand the components that make up computer systems. The operating system interacts with the hardware and software components in order to make a functioning machine.
The aim of this unit is to enable learners to understand the components of computer systems and develop the skills needed to recommend appropriate systems for business purposes and set up and maintain computer systems
Unit 9: Computer Networks (60 Lessons)
Networks are used in one way or another by virtually every organisation, from simple use of internet services through internal file sharing to wide area networks exchanging data across continents. Therefore, it is essential that learners thinking of careers within the IT industry have a good understanding of the underlying principles of networking and how data travels around networks.
The aim of this unit is to ensure learners understand the key components of networked systems, know about network protocols and the services provided by network systems and develop the skills required to ensure network security.
Unit 28: Website Production (60 Lessons)
The number of websites on the worldwide web has increased dramatically and competition is very high. This means that designers must use increasingly sophisticated techniques to capture interest, as well as ensuring that an appropriate company image is presented. Usability issues, such as navigation methods, must be considered carefully. A poorly-designed structure could result in users becoming confused or frustrated and navigating away from the website.
The aim of this unit is to enable a learner to understand web architecture and the factors that affect its performance and to be able to design and create interactive websites. Students use WordPress and Dreamweaver to design their own live website.
Unit 30: Digital Graphics (60 Lessons)
Technology enables the production and reproduction of images to all scales, sizes and colours. High-capacity storage devices, digital cameras, specialist software and printers mean that high quality and appropriate images can be designed and produced more easily than before. There is now little excuse for not creating documents that use graphic images effectively.
This unit aims to enable learners to understand different types of digital graphics images and file formats and to be able to create, edit, modify and manipulate digital images of various types and complexity using Adobe Photoshop.
Unit 31: Computer Animation (60 Lessons)
Computer animation is the art of creating moving images through the use of computers. It brings together computer graphics and animation techniques. Animation does not require computers; however the increasing ability of computers to create and manipulate sets of images has allowed basic animation to reach new levels of sophistication and realism.
The aim of this unit is to ensure learners understand types of animation and their uses and develop the knowledge and skills required to use software techniques to design and implement different types of animation.
Who can I ask for more information?
Mr. D. Barnard – ICT Leader
What Higher Education opportunities does ICT offer?
A level ICT is an ideal foundation for learners who want to pursue ICT or Computer Science at degree level or as a career. Many universities offer these or flexible joint honours degrees specialising in computing and IT and combine it with a second subject: business, geography, accountancy, design, education, mathematics, psychology or statistics.
What careers are open to graduates in this subject?
- Project Management
- Programmer or Software Engineer
- Systems Analyst
- Network Management or Technician
- Technology Law Specialist
- Gaming Industry
- Teleworking or Call Centre Management
- Data Processing Management
- Information Systems Management
- Web Developer
- Sound Engineer
- Digital Animator
All year 12 pupils have an examination to satisfy 25% of their Level 2 BTEC course. The following resources will be useful in their preparation: