Awareness of how information is organised and processed in society is important for students within the school, in the outside world, and in post-school education.
It is the study and use of computer and communications technology to research, analyse, process and communicate information. The technology currently in operation to allow this, the terminology involved, and an appreciation of computer based applications in a wider context are also taught.
The department’s aims are that:
- All students should be competent and confident users of computers and information technology
- Students should be able to use computers independently and responsibly
- They should develop an appreciation of the real-world use of IT and its potential application
Necessary skills are the creative use of presentation software (word processing, desktop publishing, graphics, presentation software); the use of software to process data (spreadsheets and database); the ability to research and interpret information (DVD-ROM, Intranet and Internet); and the ability to transmit information using e-mail.
Pupils in Years 7 to 9 receive one lesson (40 minutes) per week of Computing. In Year 10 all students have two lessons of Computing per week and in Year 11 a maximum of two lessons. Lower 6th and Upper 6th comprise option groups, of maximum 15 students per year, receiving seven lessons per week
The tasks in Years 7 – 9 are designed to fit into a cohesive programme of study, which is roughly in line with the National Curriculum schemes of work. By the end of Year 9, therefore, pupils should be confident and autonomous users of word processing, desktop publishing, spreadsheets and charts, presentation software, and communications. They should have overall general knowledge of databases and be able to use computers responsibly and creatively.
In Years 10 and 11 pupils undertake the European Computer Driving Licence, providing them with certification as evidence of the skills and knowledge developed in the earlier years. This course covers: Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentation Software and Improving Productivity using Computing. Some very able students will pass this qualification before the end of Year 11 and will be given the option of developing confidence in programming, stretching their knowledge of the MS Office software to Level 3, or to use their newly discovered Computing skills to refine coursework from other subject areas.
St Edward’s Computing suite consists of three computer rooms, used constantly during lesson times, lunch times and after school. Other computer stations exist in other areas of the school, and a common network ensures that students’ work is accessible from any terminal.