ICT & Computing

Staff

Mr. Daniel McShane

Mr. Philip Ramsey

Mrs. Krystal Cunningham (IT Manager) 

Subject Overview

ICT literacy enables independent learning by developing skills that will contribute to a pupil's life-long development. ICT provides access to new creative platforms and sources of information beyond the normal scope of the school.

Accommodation

The department uses 2 dedicated ICT suites plus a Resource Room.  Additional ICT provisions are located elsewhere in the school.  The Technician’s Office is adjacent to the classrooms and the school’s overall ICT provision is managed from there.

Achievements

The ICT and Computing results have been consistently good for a number of years, often with excellent outcomes. We pride ourselves on enabling students to give of their best and assisting them with progression to future pathways.

Arvin Antony in Year 14 has completed the British Science Association's CREST Award in association with Sentinus, and he has received a Gold Award. This contributes 60 UCAS points to Arvin's existing total and has provided him with experience beyond the standard Year 13 Work Experience programme which he undertook last year.

Upon their return from the AIPO event in Dublin, Adam Stewart and Matthew Brunton from Year 13 Computing undertook the Sentinus Insight into IT programme. On 23-26 February 2015 they spent two days on observational work placements, as well as two days at Ulster University and Queen's University.

Martin Ozarek entered the "Animation16" computer animation competition run by the University of Manchester. His entry won a prize in the Key Stage 3 category, and you can view his winning entry here:
Watch Video

Key Stage 3

Pupils are taught ICT for 1 hour per week in Year 8 and 1 hour per fortnight in Year 10. They develop multimedia, programming and office skills through a series of subject-specific tasks that tie in with their work in other subjects.  All teaching at Key Stage 3 is by ICT/Computing specialists.

Key Stage 4 ICT

Pupils undertaking the CCEA GCSE ICT course are taught for 5 hours per fortnight throughout Year 11 and Year 12.

The GCSE ICT course teaches a range of office and multimedia skills, alongside a body of theory that explores hardware, software, networks, applications of ICT and data processing fundamentals.

The assessment comprises 2 units of controlled assessment and one theory unit which is assessed by a single examination at the end of the 2-year course.  Material taught in the controlled assessment also features in the examination. 

CCEA Specification

Key Stage 4 Computer Science

Students undertaking the OCR GCSE Computer Science course are taught for 5 hours per fortnight throughout Year 11 and Year 12. No previous experience of programming is required for entry to the GCSE course as everything will be taught from first principles, but mathematical competence is an important pre-requisite.
 
The new Computer Science specification was introduced to Year 11 in September 2016. Full details can be found at http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse-computer-science-j276-from-2016/

The key emphasis in GCSE Computer Science is the development of the practical skill of programming. The object-oriented language Java is used as the main programming language for teaching and assessment purposes, and pupils also get exposure to JavaScript, HTML, Scratch and assembly language programming.

Key Stage 5 

We offer 2 subjects at A-Level: Computer Science and Digital Technology.  Classes of both subjects receive 9 hours of teaching per fortnight.

The OCR A-Level Computer Science course is currently being followed in Years 13 and 14.  Full details can be found at http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-computer-science-h046-h446-from-2015/

The CCEA A-Level Digital Technology specification is being followed by Year 13 and 14. Full details can be found at http://ccea.org.uk/digital_technology/

 

Career Opportunities

Within Northern Ireland, the computing/ICT sector is buoyant and growing. Businesses are recruiting through a range of channels and young school leavers and University graduates currently have many initial career pathways available to them. The core skills associated with programming, multimedia and office software are largely transferable across Europe and worldwide. A useful starting point for researching future opportunities is http://bringitonni.info/, and careers advice is available to students in school wishing to explore possibilities in this dynamic field.

One of our top students in A-Level ICT during the 2012-2014 period, Josh Galloway, has secured a place on the competitive Earn As You Learn scheme with Kainos. Josh will study a fully-funded part-time undergraduate degree whilst working in a paid, permanent post of employment in Kainos. We are extremely proud of Josh after two years of dedicated effort in his ICT studies, and we are confident that he will be an asset to Kainos in bringing their own ambitions to fruition. His achievements demonstrate the opportunity that exists in the contemporary ICT sector for diligent and enthusiastic students.