Our aim is to equip pupils with the knowledge and skills they need to use technology in both academic and extra-curricular endeavours. Safety and best practice in the use of computers is also taught. Pupils are encouraged to think independently and make sound decisions to enable them to fully enjoy and benefit from ICT. Their skills are developed in the use of common software applications. Analysis, design, development and evaluative skills are taught at all levels. In preparation for the GCSE in Computer Science, girls are taught to program, initially using Scratch to learn the fundamentals of programming, and then App-Inventor to extend their coding skills and develop mobile phone applications. Eventually pupils will be introduced to Python to write more advanced code.
ICT and Computer Science lessons are given in the ICT suite, with provision for up to 24 pupils. Laptops are available for use by other departments. Raspberry Pi and BBC Micro: bit computers are used for programming in Computer Science. The ICT department uses the PC Windows platform, although GCSE pupils using Mac and Linux at home are provided with support.
Pupils and staff are encouraged to use ICT in other subjects where the delivery of the subject is enhanced by the use of computers. ICT support is offered to subject teachers in the classroom. EAL students are encouraged to use ICT to enhance their learning of English.
The ICT and Computer Science curriculum is continually evolving:
Years 7 to 9 are used to teach the skills required for GCSE level ICT examinations. This includes learning problem solving, research, e-safety, and computing history and theory. Microsoft Office applications (MS Excel and MS Access), Python, Image manipulation using Adobe Photoshop and Website development using Adobe Dreamweaver.
At all levels, pupils are encouraged to work independently, with imagination and creativity. The department also offers an after school Code Club to enable pupils to explore project based work in more depth with a strong focus on computer programming. At the start of KS3 pupils are instructed on the safe use of ICT equipment. Parents and pupils sign a contract when they join the school agreeing to abide by the school ICT rules, to promote safe and appropriate use of ICT equipment and the internet. Pupils are trained to be ‘Wise on the Web’, they learn about the opportunities and risks offered by the internet and how to use the internet safely and wisely. We offer similar workshops to parents to learn how to best support their children’s use of the internet at home. In collaboration with the PSHE department, two talks have been developed and delivered for parents on ‘Technology and its Proper Use’.