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Course Leader: Mr S Howarth
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Our era has come to see the vital importance of Information Technology in our daily lives. It allows us to unlock information and instantly communicate across the globe and as the convergence of the real and digital worlds becomes ever more seamless, we need ever growing levels of digital proficiency or literacy.
Information Technology is a broad subject that equips learners to use technology effectively in their lives – whether it is for personal, educational, community, social or business purposes. It has the potential to be a powerful enabler of transformation, equipping our learners to make invaluable contributions to society. To do this, they need to understand the tools they are using, develop the skills to make wise decisions and gain the confidence to use technology as a means to finding innovative solutions to problems that would otherwise be unachievable or have less effective or less efficient solutions.
Students, who will ultimately be our leaders and agents for change, should understand IT, be enabled to design tools for action and be able to think creatively about where Digital Technology can support interventions.
Digital Technology also empowers learners when they are studying other aspects of the curriculum by providing skills and tools that allow them to do things more effectively, efficiently or that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Many aspects of Information Technology need to be taught discretely in order that learners gain a greater insight into the tools and skills available so they can be used creatively in different contexts.
Our holistic approach to preparing our students for their current and future digital lives will develop their ability to use digital tools wisely and effectively when communicating, collaborating, problem solving and creating.
Key Stage 3 is delivered through discrete lessons enabling students to become independent users of IT tools and begin to understand the underpinning principles of Computer Science.
Years 7 and 8 aims to enforce good working practise in pupils regarding the use of IT. General skills in the use of internet, multimedia skills and basic programming, as well as a quick introduction to copyright and health and safety legislation which go on to form the basis of much of the work later in the curriculum. During this period time is also spend developing a technical understanding of computer systems, algorithms and how a range of different approaches can be used to begin to program the computer to follow instructions.
In Year 9 we bring together many of the Computing skills developed in the first two years as they are used in a range of extended practical projects. Students will find that the objectives they are asked to meet can be achieved with varying degrees of efficiency with the skills that they have. Once a solution to a set problem in implemented, pupils will learn to build on their skills and expand the scope of their solution.
Research projects are carried out by students on topics such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data. Students are expected to carry out independent research and begin to form opinions on such subjects.