‘The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing’
Information Technology is taught at KS3 and all girls will have one lesson of an hour per week to build and extend their ICT skills with opportunities to develop design and programming concepts and extend creative ideas. We regularly review our curriculum content so students do not sit formal examinations, either internal or external. The aim of the three-year course is to equip the girls with the knowledge, skill and confidence to research and present work independently in any of their GCSE and A level subjects. Most importantly we hope to provide them with the necessary life skills for the future, to work and live in a rapidly changing digital world.
There are clear programmes of study for each of the three years attending IT lessons, but because of the changing nature of the subject, our flexible approach allows us to adapt these at fairly short notice. At times, developments which were not predicted at the time of writing mean that new techniques and projects are introduced in mid-course. The emphasis on the whole is on individual work and our excellent facilities, including access to class sets of mobile devices, enable use of a wide range of Apps to encourage different ways of learning in and outside of the classroom. Most techniques are first introduced through structured exercises, then usually develop on to much freer projects with a cross curricular approach wherever possible.
At the start of the year the girls are introduced to the school network and the code of conduct and emphasis is placed on teaching them to become responsible and safe users of the school’s network. Good practice in terms of file management/use of facilities and using e-mail is of particular importance. The girls then progress to study aspects of website design, computational thinking and basic programming, some graphic design work using CorelDraw, applying formulae and using spreadsheets, as well as increasing their general word processing skills. A significant amount of curriculum time is also spent on the issues surrounding internet safety including cyber-bullying, grooming, safe use of mobile phones and social networking sites, the dangers of posting photos, identity theft and other areas of concern. During the first year, the girls are also enrolled on an on-line touch typing course with the aim of improving their keyboard skills as much as possible as they progress throughout the school.