In Key Stage 3 the ICT curriculum in Wales consists of 4 strands: Communicating Information, Spreadsheet Modelling, Data Handling, and Sharing & Exchanging Information Safely. Our schemes of work address each of these 4 strands in years 7, 8 and 9. In addition we also incorporate numeracy and literacy into lessons as well as addressing thinking skills, communication skills, curriculum Cymraeg, personal and social education and careers and the world of work.
Our schemes of work are updated regularly to take account of the increased ability of pupils coming from primary schools.
Pupils start in year 7 with an induction to the ICT network at Y Pant . All pupils are given their own unique user number and password. They are also given email addresses and set up accounts on Edmodo which we use as a social learning network.
We cover e-safety (which is also taught in PSE at Y Pant) focusing on the sorts of information you shouldn’t share online. Pupils create a webpage about “their year 7”. Using sites such as Mozilla Thimble and Code Avengers pupils learn HTML and CSS skills which they use to create their pages.
Research using the internet is an important skill in the 21st century and this is the focus for our next unit on sustainability. Pupils will research a topic and create an information leaflet in desktop publishing software, understanding how to use text boxes and guides correctly.
Databases are an important part of any IT system. In this module pupils will practice some sorting and searching in a database of endangered species before moving on to create their own database of films or books. We look at how websites such as Amazon use databases and the ways in which customers can sort and search these sites.
We then revise some of the skills pupils have already learned using spreadsheets to analyse and manipulate data.
A relatively new module for us is Interactive Fiction. This is a joint scheme of work with the English department. Pupils will experiment with playing text adventure games and then use the Quest software to create their own. English lessons will focus on the reading and writing skills, with IT lessons looking at the design, build and test elements of the games.
Year 8 pupils find out some interesting facts about the world running sorts and searches on a World Database before creating a database of their classmates. We then look at aspects of Health and Safety as they apply to using ICT (games consoles and mobiles as well as computers!).
We revisit Internet Safety and learn some more advanced skills in desktop publishing and spreadsheets. In the summer term pupils create websites in Dreamweaver in a topic they have been learning about in History.
We start pupils on their Key Stage 4 course in year 9, the OCR Cambridge Nationals Certificate. The aim is to complete most of the 1st unit of controlled assessment in year 9. As all pupils at Y Pant have 2 hours of ICT timetabled in years 10 and 11, by starting the course in year 9, most pupils should be able to complete the Certificate (equivalent to 1 GCSE) in the 3 years.
In year 9 pupils also work towards their Essential Skills Wales qualification in ICT which they will need for the Welsh Baccalaureate course they follow in years 10 and 11.