KS3 ICT

Posted by Miss L. Bunce in Key Stage 3 | Leave a comment

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.

Year 7

Pupils start in year 7 with an induction to the ICT network at Y Pant which is something many of them may not have used before.  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.

Autumn Term

We cover e-safety (which is also taught in PSE at Y Pant) focussing 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.

Spring Term

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.

A new module for us this year is programming using Microsoft’s Xbox development environment, Kodu.  Pupils will learn what algorithms are and be able to identify basic algorithms in computer games they are familiar with.  They will then create a basic game in Kodu.

Summer

Another new module and continuing the programming theme is Interactive Fiction.  This is planned to be 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

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.

Year 9

In year 9 pupils 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.

Pupils carry out two tasks: creating an extended presentation on a European Union country and database tasks.

Making Avatars

Posted by Miss L. Bunce in Key Stage 3 | Leave a comment

Year 7 have been finding out how to stay safe online.  One of the things we have looked at in lessons is how to be honest and truthful online, but without uploading photos of yourself.  Sometimes it’s a good idea to create an avatar – a picture that looks like you (so you’re not lying) but it’s not a photo.  Remember that when you put a photo online you lose control of it.  Someone could copy that photo and send it to whoever they want!

Here are some sites I have used to create Avatars of myself!

Pickaface

Pickaface is probably the most realistic site I found – it doesn’t work in Internet Explorer but OK if you have a different browser such as Firefox, Safari or Chrome.

Picasso Head

Picasso Head is a great site for art lovers that allows you to create an avatar in the style of the famous artist Picasso. It’s not very realistic but quite fun. You have to print screen this into Paint and crop it to save the picture.

Manga

Manga is quite fun although less realistic. You’ll have to print-screen the avatar into a program such as Paint and crop it to save the image.

Doppleme

Doppleme isn’t so nice in my opinion but it’s really easy to use!

For more copyright-free avatar sites – have a look at this page.

Y Pant GCSE Computing Students on (Big)Trak

Posted by Miss L. Bunce in Key Stage 4 | Leave a comment

15 students in year 10 have started the new GCSE Computing course, taught within the ICT department by Miss Bunce and Mrs Davey.

In one of their first lessons they were tasked with programming the “Mars Curiosity Rover” to move around a “rock formation”. Curiosity was in fact the classic 1980’s toy Bigtrak and the rock formation, a bank of desks in room 1.

The groups of pupils enjoyed this problem solving task, writing the algorithms on paper, testing them out and calibrating their solutions against the actual test runs.

It also enabled them to see that laying out their instructions in a more orderly fashion made the algorithms easier to read and also meant they were less likely to make mistakes when entering the commands into Bigtrak.

 

Useful websites for Year 9 EU Presentations

Posted by Miss L. Bunce in Key Stage 3 | Leave a comment

Year 9 students have to finish their mindmaps on their European Union country.

These websites will be useful:

http://europa.eu/about-eu/index_en.htm

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html

Also watch the news on TV and read the newspapers – the EU is in the news a lot at the moment!

OCR Nationals in ICT – Level 3

Posted by Miss L. Bunce in OCR Nationals | Leave a comment

OCR Nationals in ICT The aim of this course is to “Develop students skills, knowledge and understanding in contexts that are directly relevant to employment situations, thereby enhancing their employability within the Information and Communication Technology sector”.

Students opting for OCR Nationals ICT will study towards the Level 3 Certificate.  This is a one option column subject and is “worth” the same as 1 A-Level in terms of UCAS points.  A Distinction is 120 UCAS points (grade A equivalent), a Merit is 80 UCAS  points (grade C equivalent)and a Pass is 40 UCAS  points (grade E equivalent).

The course is assessed continuously via coursework with no exam.

This is a 2 year course.  If students drop-out at the end of year 12 there is no “AS” style qualification.

Year 12

In year 12 students will study the 4 core units: 1 – Digital Business Communication, 2 – Collaborative Working, 3 – Problem Solving and 4 – Creating a Digital Showcase.

Year 13

In year 13 students will do 2 units and will be given some choice.  We anticipate at the moment that students will be able to choose from the following:

  • Unit 5: Advanced spreadsheets
  • Unit 6: Advanced databases
  • Unit 7: Desktop publishing
  • Unit 8: Career planning for ICT
  • Unit 9: Work experience for ICT
  • Unit 10: Digital Imaging & Photography
  • Unit 11: Digital Video
  • Unit 12: Digital Audio
  • Unit 13: Music Technology
  • Unit 20: Web authoring
  • Unit 21: Hosting & managing websites
  • Unit 22: Databases for e-commerce
  • Unit 23: Web security and regulations
  • Unit 24: Internet past, present & future
  • Unit 25: Scripting & coding for websites
  • Unit 26: Project management.

The units offered are at the discretion of the staff teaching this course in year 13 although every effort will be made to accommodate individual student requirements.

For further information please contact Miss Bunce, Mrs Davey, Mr Muscat or Mr Speight.

Alternatively see the OCR website:

http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/type/nationals/ict/l3/