The ICT Curriculum
Our intention is to provide learners with advanced IT skills which are needed to access technology and use IT as a tool for life-long learning. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the role of digital media in today’s world, and have the competencies to understand a problem and to create products that overcome this against a brief. They will also develop a broad understanding of the role of programming, basic programming structures and the appropriate use of hardware and software to meet specific user needs.
Details about the curriculum structure
IT lessons in years 7, 8 and 9 focus on inspiring students to use computers creatively and with imagination, whilst developing their ICT & Computer Science skills and knowledge.
This provision prepares students for the academic and applied courses available as options subjects in KS4.
What will students study in ICT
Key Stage 3
Throughout lessons in KS3 students will develop their core skills in making effective use of a computer that will prepare them for future studies and employment.
In Computer Science themed lessons, students will learn about computer hardware & software, how data is stored & used and basic programming concepts. Digital media forms an important part of students KS3 learning. Students will learn how to identify the client’s requirements for a media product, use preproduction documents to develop the product and final use state of the art media software to create the final product. The learning is project based using engaging real world scenarios which allow students to understand how ICT impacts the way that we live and work.
Projects throughout Y7 include:
Digital Literacy: File Management, E-Safety
Digital Media – PowerPoint: Presenting Information
Computational Thinking – Python, Kodu: Representing Data, Hardware/Software
Digital Media – Adobe Fireworks: Digital Graphics, Preproduction Documents
Digital Literacy – Excel: Modelling, Presenting Information
Digital Literacy: Effective Computer Use, E-Safety
Digital Literacy – Adobe Muse: File Types, Presenting Information
Computational Thinking – Python: Networks & Security
Digital Literacy – Microsoft Access: Handling Data, Big Data
This program will provide students with a solid foundation that can then be built upon at Key Stage 4 through either the Creative Media course or GCSE Computer Science.
Key Stage 4
There are two options available within IT at KS4
OCR GCSE Computer Science
Computer Science encourages students to develop their understanding and application of the core concepts in computer science. Students will learn about computer hardware, networks, handling data and security. Students also analyse problems and devise creative solutions by designing, writing, testing and evaluating programs.
In Year 10, students study:
- Computer Hardware and Computer Speed
- Systems Software
- Data representation – Number & Images
- Computational thinking
- Programming Skills – Sequence, Selection, Iteration, procedures and lists
- Environment, Ethics and Artificial Intelligence
In Year 11, students study:
- Data handling
- Data Representation – Sound and Characters
- Searching and Sorting
- Security and Threats
- Logic and Truth tables
- Compilers and Interpreters
- Further Computational Thinking
- Programming Skills – Parameters and Text files
BTEC TECH Award Level 2 Creative Media Production
BTEC Creative Media provide knowledge in a number of key areas in the media sector from pre-production skills to digital graphics production with a strong focus on ICT skills. The Creative Media course is suitable for students at all levels and abilities, engaging and inspiring students through a range of disciplines.
With the BTEC Tech Award in Creative Media Production, students get the chance to develop valuable skills and techniques in different disciplines, produce a practical response to a digital media brief, and explore potential careers in the industry
The BTEC Tech Award in Creative Media Production is a practical introduction to life and work in the industry and allows students to:
- Developing technical skills and techniques
- Producing a digital media product in response to a brief
- Reviewing and reflecting on the process and outcome.
In Year 10, students study the following two units:
Unit 1: Exploring Media Products – Internally Assessed
Students will develop their understanding of how media products create meaning for their audiences. Learners will examine existing products and explore media production techniques.
Unit 2: Developing Digital Media Production Skills – Internally Assessed
Students will develop skills and techniques in media production processes by reworking media products from one, or all, of the following sectors: audio/moving image, publishing, interactive design.
In Year 11, students study the following unit:
Unit 3 – Create a Media Product in Response to a Brief – Externally Assessed
Learners will apply and develop their planning and production skills and techniques to create a media product in response to a client brief.
Key Stage 5
KS5 students can opt to undertake OCR Digital Media Cambridge Technicals Level 3 Diploma
This qualification will help students develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in digital media production. They will gain an insight into the media sector as they plan and create media products. This course focuses on the requirements that universities and employers expect.
Students will complete two Externally Examined Units in Year 12;
Unit 1 – Media products and Audience
The aim of this unit is for students to develop their understanding of how different media institutions operate in order to create products that will appeal to specific target audiences. Students will learn about the different ownership models within media industries, and they will learn how to analyse different media products within the sector in order to understand the fundamentals of how meaning is created for audiences. Students will learn about how audiences are categorised, researched and targeted by media producers.
Unit 2 – Pre-production and Planning
Students will learn about the pre-production process the creative media industry follows when creating a product. They will learn how to carry out research in the planning stage of a media production and about the various acts of legislation that need to be considered. Students will learn about the constraints that need to be considered when planning a new media production, including timescales and resources. They will understand how to create pre-production documents in relation to client requirements and how to plan projects to meet these needs.
In Year 13, students study the following Internally Assessed Coursework Units.
Unit 3 – Create a Media product
Students will apply their learning gained in Units 1 and 2 to plan and produce a media product. They will complete planning materials to take forward in the production and post–production stages of an intended media product. Students will plan, produce and edit original content for their intended product.
By completing this unit students will have the skills to:
- Create a proposal to meet a client brief
- Produce planning materials
- Create and manage original content for the product
- Apply editing techniques.
Unit 16 – The Creation and Use of Sound in Media
Students will understand the sound elements used in media products and how they are produced. Students will be able to develop ideas for, and plan the production of, a soundtrack containing a range of sound elements. They will gain some practical skills by recording and editing sound elements for use in the production of a final soundtrack.
Unit 23 – Create a Personal Media Profile
The creative media sector is competitive and being prepared is one step nearer to students achieving their chosen career. This unit will be a showcase of the work they have created, supported by a personal media profile. Students will identify content to be included in their showcase, as well as create an adaptation of a piece of their existing media work. They’ll evidence their personal media profile by exploring their skillset, abilities and achievements and learn how to combine their creative work and personal profile to create a digital professional identity suitable for sharing with prospective employers, higher education institutions and for other career progression pathways.
Qualifications which we offer at KS4 and KS5 (including links)
Enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities in the subject
Computer rooms are available for general use during break 1.
Currently GCSE Computer Science is being provided as an extra subject after school in Year 10.
The department is investing in some of the latest programmable devices which are available for use at lunchtime.
Where could this subject ultimately take you?
The IT curriculum opens a wide range of opportunities. Students will develop IT competencies that will allow them to be both effective learners and provides key employability skills. The computer science element of the curriculum prepares students for further academic study of the way computer systems work and also develops problem solving skills that will be essential when pursuing subjects such as maths and engineering. It could lead onto careers including cyber security and computer game design. The digital media strand of the curriculum can lead to further study in this area or directly into employment and/or apprenticeships.
Contact details to find out more about our curriculum
Programme Leader: Mr M Gardner (firstname.lastname@example.org)