Information & Communication Technology

Why do schools teach Information and Communication Technology

You can email through a TV, surf the Internet from a mobile phone and do the shopping from an iPad. Modern technology is changing the way we live and work and pupils need to learn how to manage it all – they need to know how to get hold of information, store it, share it with others and tailor it to their own needs.  That’s where their Information and Communication Technology (ICT) lessons come in. This is where they learn how to use a range of hardware and software.

The importance of Information and Communication Technology

Information and communication technology (ICT) prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. Pupils use ICT tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly, creatively and with discrimination. They learn how to employ ICT to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures. Increased capability in the use of ICT promotes initiative and independent learning, with pupils being able to make informed judgements about when and where to use ICT to best effect, and to consider its implications for home and work both now and in the future.

‘Studying ICT at school led me to become a web designer. For me it was a creative thing. You can experiment: there are things you can do on a computer that you can’t do on a piece of paper and there’s such a wide range of tools at your disposal. I also love the precision. Now with the Internet and the world wide web, if you’re computer literate you have the whole world at your disposal.’ (Nichola Philips, 26)

During their time at St John Fisher, pupils become increasingly independent users of ICT tools and information sources. They have a better understanding of how ICT can help their work in other subjects and develop their ability to judge when and how to use ICT and where it has limitations. They think about the quality and reliability of information, and access and combine increasing amounts of information. They become more focused, efficient and rigorous in their use of ICT, and carry out a range of increasingly complex tasks.

Pupils’ growing skills and confidence at this age help them to use new technology and information sources independently. They learn how to search for information more thoroughly, accessing the right kind of information for their work and checking its accuracy. Pupils use new technology to record and test data in different ways, and to present information in a way that meets the needs of their audience. They think critically about their use of ICT, judging when it has only a limited use.

ICT Teaching Staff

Mr M T Ward – Head of ICT, Business & Vocational Studies Faculty

Mrs M Auger – I/C of KS3 development

Mr M Shepherd – also DoS for Year 7

The Faculty is also supported by a number of dedicated teachers whose main teaching area is in another subject.


What is studied in ICT lessons?

In Year 7 pupils initially work though a touch typing course called ‘eType’.  This gives a level 2 equivalent qualification from the British Computer Society.  Touch typing is a skill that can drastically improve productivity when using computers and it is believed that a person who can touch type can save a business over £2000 per year.  This means that pupils will not only go through their time at SJF more productively, but also be equipped with a skill that prospective employers are looking for.
The second part of Year 7 sees pupils complete an eSafety course.  This is designed to give pupils the knowledge and understanding they need to protect themselves online and benefits all pupils by giving them greater confidence in using the Internet safely.  The course examines the potential risks associated with being online, how to protect yourself and your personal information online, as well as how to behave responsibly and within the law whilst using the Internet.
During Year 8, pupils have the opportunity to look at some exciting multimedia topics and create an ePortfolio containing work on podcasting, video editing, web development and animation.  As well as this pupils begin to explore the world of computer programming, looking in particular at Scratch and Lego Mindstorms.
In Year 9, pupils further develop their programming skills before starting work on their GCSE equivalent ICT qualification, the OCR Cambridge Nationals.
During Year 10 & 11, all pupils receive 1 hour per week of compulsory ICT lesson time.  In this time it is expected that every pupil will complete their Cambridge National GCSE equivalent qualification.  In the academic year 2011-12, 100% of pupils entered for the course achieved a grade C or higher in ICT.
Pupils can also opt to do the Digital Creator course in ICT.  This exciting course further develops multimedia skills with pupils and leads to up to 2 GCSE equivalent qualifications.
In Year 12 & 13 pupils can take the A Level equivalent OCR Nationals Level 3 ICT qualification.  This looks further at how ICT is used in the real world, to solve real problems and is a fantastic foundation for those wishing to further study a whole host of subjects at degree level.

As a parent / carer, how can I help my child?

  • Take an interest in your child’s work in ICT – ask them about what they have learned and what they are doing in lessons.
  • Talk about how ICT has had an impact on your lives (in the home, at work, socially etc) and the changes brought about by recent ICT developments.
  • Talk about how ICT is used in your work/workplace and the advantages and disadvantages it brings. Discuss articles that appear in the media about ICT developments.
  • Ask your child to help you with a computer based task at home, to demonstrate their skills. Explaining something to someone else is one of the best ways of consolidating learning: if your child can teach you, they really know and understand it.
  • Test your child’s understanding of ICT acronyms and new key words, their definitions and how to spell them correctly.
  • Revision for tests and exams has to be active to be productive. If your child just reads, they won’t retain all the information. They need to work through past papers, test themselves and practise. This can be a very lonely and demoralising process. Be ready with support and encouragement.



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