Departmental Aims

To equip our pupils with the core skills in the main software areas required for all areas of modern life.

 

To increase pupils’ understanding of how computer systems work.

 

To foster an appreciation for the contribution that hardware and software can make to living and working effectively in today’s world.

 

To develop an understanding of how coding underpins the operation of the world wide web and all computer applications.

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Staff

Mr C Lyons (HoD)

Mrs C Culshaw

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 4

We offer CCEA’s GCSE in Digital Technology (Multimedia). This is a modular course consisting of three units which are delivered as follows:

Year 11 -  Unit 1: Digital Technology                     Examination  30%

This unit covers the fundamental concepts of how computers work; how they represent all forms of data, how spreadsheets and databases work, how networks function as well as the importance of data security and legislation.

Year 12 - Unit 2: Digital Authoring Concepts      Examination  40%

In this unit, students develop an understanding of the concepts involved in the development of digital systems such as websites and apps. They look in detail at how websites and database solutions are developed and will develop an understanding of HTML, CSS and SQL as well as several key programming concepts. In the next unit, pupils put the concepts they have learned to practical use.

Year 12 - Unit 3: Digital Authoring Practice         Controlled Assessment   30%

In this unit, students design, develop and test a solution consisting of a website and a database. The website is developed through HTML, CSS and Javascript in Dreamweaver. The database component is created in Microsoft Access. This unit is completed in class under the supervision of the teacher.

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Key Stage 5

We offer CCEA’s GCE in Digital Technology which consists of the following units:

 

Year 13 – AS 1: Approaches to Systems Development                    50% of AS, 20% of A-level

This unit introduces pupils to the processes involved in developing a computer application from analysis and design to testing and implementation. The last topic offers pupils a hands on introduction to the core concepts of computer programming. For this we use C# to gain a working knowledge of sequencing, selection and loops as well as the basics of object oriented programming.

 

Year 13 – AS 2: Fundamentals of Digital Technology                     50% of AS, 20% of A-level

This unit build on the GCSE to take pupils understanding of how computer systems work. Topics covered include binary, computer architecture, compression as well as a detailed exploration of web technologies.

 

Year 14 – A2 1: Information Systems                                               40% of A-level

The main unit of the A-level further enhances the detailed knowledge developed so far. Topics include network protocols, error detection, normalisation, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

 

Year 14 – A2 2:                                                                                   20% of A-level

The controlled assessment unit requires pupils to build and document a working database for a given scenario.

Careers

Studying ICT/Digital Technology has two benefits for the future careers of our pupils. Firstly, they will have the skills needed for today’s employment market. Secondly, our A-level pupils can use the subject as an entry point into studying one of the many computing degree programmes on offer at QUB or UU. Every year around half of our A-level take this route and then make their way into the local IT industry; a key sector of the NI economy.

Activities

The local IT industry is always keen to develop interest in the attractive careers it offers, particularly to girls. To this end the ICT department has and will continue to host a range of extra-curricular activities. Our girls have benefitted from specialised programming courses, cyber security challenges, trips to IT events offered as well as hands on work with computer systems.

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