ICT/Computing is taught in mixed ability groups. The subject is very popular with students at all levels of ability and the department is in the process of overhauling the curriculum at Key Stage 3 in particular to keep pace with changing technology and best practice in the subject.
Key Stage 3: Years 7-9
During years 7, 8 and 9 girls are introduced to programming to create both solutions, for example to create a game for a specified target audience, and simple web pages in html. They also use Python language to develop their own programs to record inputs and control outputs. They will use industry standard software to make interactive multimedia and will develop skills in designing, making and editing animations, static graphics for print and interactive web graphics. They will be exploring the handling of data in many forms and will use spreadsheet software to calculate data and reformat it using charts. They will consider all aspects of e-safety.
Key Stage 4: GCSE
Girls can opt to continue their study of IT at Key Stage 4 by working towards an AQA Technical Award in IT which is equivalent to a GCSE. The course provides a combination of computing and IT skills and consists of a practical coursework element, heavily under-pinned by their skills acquired during key stage 3 and a theory examination.
Key Stage 5: AS and A level
Students are prepared for the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Certificate in IT which attracts UCAS points at the same level as A Levels. It provides a wide range of options such as installing hardware, creating a website, identifying an IT fault, computer animation, e-commerce and many more. There are practical IT/computing activities in all units and the course is tailored to meet the needs and interests of individual girls.
Students are taken on occasional trips to enhance the curriculum. With the move from ICT to computing, the department organises a trip to Legoland to do a robotics workshop and an educational visit to the National Videogame Arcade Museum to enhance their knowledge of computer game design in readiness for their interactive multimedia unit.