Digital Technology (ICT & Computer Science)
Staff including email address
Miss K Reeks (Curriculum Leader) - Kate.Reeks@abersychanschool.co.uk
The Curriculum at Key Stage 3
We deliver a varied and engaging curriculum at Key Stage 3, with a particular focus on real-world skills and software. We aim to cover a variety of "traditional" ICT topics and combine them with Computer Science topics to provide a well-rounded Digital Technology education. Topics covered in Year 7 include design skills, internet safety, hyperfiction stories, programming and databases. Year 8 students will learn about binary and its role in representing computer text, graphics and sound in addition to learning more complex programming skills, games design, control systems, advanced databases and spreadsheets. In Year 9, students will develop skills in networks and systems, Boolean logic and its role in searching for data, advanced programming including professional user interface design, animation and 3D modelling, with a final project to allow them to apply a range of skills they have learned throughout the year.
The Curriculum at Key Stage 4
We offer two options at Key Stage 4. Students may wish to study GCSE Digital Technology which consists of three units. Unit 1 (40% of the qualification) is an on-screen exam that covers a range of areas including data, digital technology systems, digital communications, the impact of digital systems on organisations and individuals, securing data/systems and changing digital technologies. Unit 2 (40% of the qualification) is a Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) task that involves cleansing and analysing data to reach a decision on a product to create. This product will be either an animation or a computer game, and it will then form part of a website that the student will create. Unit 2 (20% of the qualification) is a second NEA task that provides an opportunity to explore the areas of social media, digital marketing and asset creation. Students will be able to develop products such as copy, videos and images to promote products/services on specified social media platforms. GCSE Digital Technology is a good fit with a lot of other subjects and provides transferrable skills that students will find useful in their other studies and beyond.
The second option offered at Key Stage 4 is GCSE Computer Science. This is a particularly challenging yet rewarding subject that is suitable for students who are targetting a career in software development, networking or other technical setting. It consists of three units. Unit 1 (50% of the qualification) is a traditional exam on the topic of Understanding Computer Science and covers many highly technical areas such as computer architecture, logical operations, electronic communications including networking, organisation and structure of data and files, system software, principles of programming, software engineering, program construction, security/data management and ethical/legal/environmental impacts of digital technology. Unit 2 (30% of the qualification) is an on-screen exam covering Computational Thinking and Programming. It is designed to test a student's problem solving abilities and knowledge of algorithms, programming constructs, web page development using HTML, object-oriented programming using Java/Greenfoot, assembly language programming, data structures, data types, security and authentication. Unit 3 (20% of the qualification) is an NEA task that examines a student's ability to analyse a problem and then design, devlop, test and evaluate a programmed solution to that problem using a high-level programming language.
Useful websites, podcasts, youtube, channels for revision
GCSE Computer Science
Important dates for the diary
Deadline for Year 10 Unit 2 completion - Christmas break
Deadline for Year 11 Unit 4 completion - Christmas break
Year 10 Unit 1 exam date - 27th May (provisional)
Year 11 Unit 3 exam date - 7th January (provisional)
Year 11 Unit 3 resit date - 7th June (provisional)
GCSE Computer Science
Deadline for Year 10 Unit 3 completion - Easter break
Year 11 Unit 1 exam date - 14th May (provisional)
Year 11 Unit 2 exam date - 21st May (provisional)
Extra - Curricular opportunities and visits
Computer club takes place in Room 12 every lunchtime (with occasional Minecraft tournaments!), Mr Jones offers a hacking club to Year 9 students (day to be decided in September when students sign up) and Mr Davies offers a Lego Mindstorms club to all students (day to be decided in September when students sign up).
We also work with the Technocamps organisation and tutors from local universities to deliver programming workshops to Year 9 students who are thinking about studying GCSE Computer Science in Years 10 and 11. These act as great taster sessions for students to decide if the course is for them!