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The impact of ICT on society is enormous and, as the percentage of businesses and households connected to the internet grows, so does the need for people who can master new technologies. ICT is constantly changing, and at HMSG we understand that girls increasingly need technological and information literacy skills including the ability to gather, process and manipulate data. Job opportunities involving ICT are extremely varied, from television producers, graphic designers, musicians and games developers to careers in business and specialist posts in the area of artificial intelligence. Whichever path a young student now travels, the world of ICT is not far away.
Years 7 and 8 have schemes of work written for them by the experienced ICT teaching staff. These include online teaching resources provided by Pearson’s ICT4Life. In Year 7, the girls will learn an array of skills, including word processing, using spreadsheets and databases, desktop publishing and computer control. They will also get to grips with presentation software and learn about internet safety.
In addition to these subjects, Year 8 will study data logging, sequencing and touch typing.
Year 9 pupils undertake an exciting ICT course, the HMSG ICT Diploma, which not only offers competencies in the usual MS Office programs, but will introduce creative work in stop-frame animation. Girls learn how to create and edit audio files to make everyday presentations more original and memorable. Pupils coming into school in Year 9 with few ICT skills are able to join an accelerated ICT class which allows them to catch up with the rest of the year group.
At the end of the academic year, the Year 9 pupils will be able to use a range of ICT tools in a purposeful way to solve problems and create ideas and solutions of value. The girls will have been encouraged to explore new ICT tools as they become available and they will be able to apply ICT to other areas of learning, work and life.
The increasing use of technology in all aspects of society makes confident, creative and productive use of ICT an indispensable skill for life. ICT capability encompasses not only the mastery of technical skills and techniques, but also the understanding of how to apply these skills purposefully, safely and responsibly. New and exciting career opportunities are available to those with the skills to use ICT creatively, with whole industries emerging around the continuing ICT revolution. Traditional careers now also rely heavily on the use of ICT.
The course followed is the WJEC Board (formerly, Welsh Joint Education Committee) which has proved a tremendous success, with every pupil achieving A* – B grade in 2014.
Year 10 follow the short course comprised of controlled assessments (60% of the marks) and an ICT theory exam (the remaining 40% of marks), which is taken during the Year 11 summer term.
The second year of the ICT GCSE covers the world of multimedia and involves either the creation of a website or a sophisticated presentation.
All the practical work is undertaken in school in controlled assessments. The split between practical and theoretical marks is as for Year 10. The completion of this year, together with the earlier work in Year 10, constitutes the full ICT GCSE course
Details of the current ICT GCSE specification is available from: http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/ict/information-and-communication-technology-gcse/
The ICT Department provides an extra-curricular opportunity to develop our pupils’ skills and knowledge in programming and also in the creative aspects of computer use, from graphics to animation.
For KS3 (Years 7-9) the Computer Club takes place during lunchtime every week. Working with the department’s prefect, the pupils enjoy the challenge of exploring new programs, creating games and animations of their own design, in a free and fun atmosphere.
The four ICT labs are open every lunchtime for pupils of all ages to use, whether for research, exploration of new resources or working collaboratively with others. Furthermore the labs are often used in the evenings to provide support for pupils undertaking ICT GCSE controlled assessments.