Staffing: Mr Redmond (Head of Department), Mr Needham (ICT Manager), Mr Daniel-Sam, Mrs Seddon (Senior ICT Technician) and Mr Rimmer (ICT Technician)
The ICT department at Bury Church aims to:
- provide a solid grounding in ICT capability for all pupils, both to provide pupils with skills for work and life, and to conquer fears and misconceptions relating to their use of ICT;
- deliver the ICT curriculum through interesting and inspiring topics that allow pupils to develop their own interests and skills within the subject;
- provide pupils with the ability to explore areas of special interest within ICT that are not covered within the constraints of the curriculum, through access to additional classes and extra-curricular clubs, both to provide gifted pupils with additional challenge and to help pupils find career opportunities within ICT;
- to enrich pupil's learning and experience in ICT lessons through the development of a curriculum which allows pupils to investigate topics of social and political interest; and
- make use of dedicated ICT suites, industry standard software and a constantly developing bank of peripheral resources to ensure high quality learning experiences.
Key Stage 3
The department uses its own innovative and engaging scheme of work for the delivery of ICT in years 7, 8 and 9, which is fully compliant with the national curriculum framework. In their lessons pupils will acquire knowledge, skills and understanding of computers and their use by working in a wide range of contexts designed to engage, enthuse and emulate real-life situations. They will use the computers to research, plan and manage their own work and create interactive and printed finished products. For example, pupils in year seven will learn how to manipulate digital photographs whilst creating a newsletter about their residential and year nine pupils will use a database to construct a holiday personalised brochure.
Internet safety is a major issue for children today, and one that the ICT department at Bury Church takes very seriously. From the start of Year 7 and throughout the Key Stage, pupils are taught how to stay safe online and asked to produce work to communicate the dangers of the internet to their parents and younger children.
In their ICT lessons pupils will also develop a range of independent learning and organisational skills. Year eight pupils work in teams to create their own board game, whilst year nine pupils work independently on a number of projects in which they have to manage their own workload to ensure they meet the project deadlines.
Key Stage 4
During this Key Stage, pupils have the opportunity to study for a single GCSE-level qualification under Edexcel examination board’s DiDA qualification. This qualification is 100% coursework assessed, allowing pupils to demonstrate the high level of ICT skills and understanding they develop during the course. Results with this course have been pleasing and steadily improving, with most pupils now achieving above their target grade.
Year ten pupils work through a variety of activities which consolidate their prior learning and allow them to practise working on topics that are similar to those they will face in their final assessed project. For example, current pupils have created an interactive questionnaire using a spreadsheet, produced some help guides for the school’s learning platform and created a database to store a DJ’s music collection and used queries to create personalised play lists.
In the final half term of year ten and throughout year eleven pupils will be working on their assessed project. They will compete a range of tasks covering the wide range of ICT skills they have developed over the previous year in a single project set by the exam board. The details of the project, called a Summative Project Brief (SPB), are available from Edexcel’s website, allowing pupils to work effectively on their coursework at home as well as at school. Previous projects have involved the opening of a new youth club and organising a charity dance-athon.
In year eleven, gifted and talented pupils will have the opportunity to complete a second project, upgrading their qualification to a double-award, worth two GCSEs. These extension projects are specialised, with pupils able to work on multimedia, graphics, business or games design tasks in their second SPB.
The ICT department also supports pupils working towards the new Specialised Diploma qualifications, providing them with the extra ICT teaching they will need to pass the functional skills in ICT component of their diploma.
Extra Curricular Activities
The ICT department run regular lunchtime ICT homework clubs, where pupils can make use of the ICT facilities to enhance their homework or put in some extra time on their coursework.
We also arrange extension classes for gifted and talented pupils looking in more detail at some of the more exciting areas of ICT such as web design and computer games programming.
In the ICT department we are constantly looking to keep abreast of changes in this rapidly moving subject area. New units of work are introduced each year to explore new areas of interest or new technological advances. We are always on the look out for new equipment, qualifications or courses, topics or experiences that will enhance our pupils’ learning experience – watch out in the newsletter Grapevine online for what developments are in store!