The ICT Department aims to promote broad computer literacy, give pupils skills that they will use in computer-based projects in other subjects, provide an introduction to some principles of computer science, and give students exposure to interesting specialty applications.
ICT is taught as a separate subject in Years 8 and 9 and across the curriculum in Year 10 and Pre-IB. There is one ICT teacher who teaches all Year 8 and 9 classes. In Year 10 and pre-IB, ICT is taught by the subject teachers with focus upon the use of ICT in that particular subject area and in the wider working world. All lessons are taught in a fully equipped ICT lab with interactive whiteboard.
Three Core areas
Each year we reinforce basic skills, and then add challenges of increasing complexity. There are three main areas of endeavour: core skills, computer science and audiovisual techniques.
Core skills projects focus on the Microsoft Office suite. Pupils gain expertise in a wide range of tasks across a number of applications, from creating slideshows in PowerPoint, to formatting spreadsheet formulae and charts in Excel, and learning how to extend these basic functions to Gantt charts and pivot tables. Students also gain experience of using Visio, Word, Publisher and Outlook. They also learn efficient Google search strategies and stay current with Google Maps and Directions. They develop expertise with CD-ROM and Flash drive backup techniques. Computer science projects provide an introduction to some of the techniques of software development. We use the 3D programming environment Alice to create virtual world animations. We construct web pages in hypertext markup language (HTML) with Java Script subroutines, using Notepad Plus (Year 8) or Dreamweaver (Year 9) as the editing environment. We build and program Lego robots using Lego Mindstorms kits (Year 8), and we learn about digital prototyping with Autodesk Inventor 3D mechanical design software (Year 9).Audiovisual projects focus on the creation of still images, moving productions, and recorded broadcasts. Pupils gain experience of using programs including Adobe Photoshop, Windows Movie maker, Adobe Premier, Macromedia Flash and Fireworks, to – amongst other things - design posters, enhance images, create special web content and edit video footage. Audacity provides the environment for digital audio editing and recording. We also use some interesting specialty applications like the cinema-style scenery generator Terragen and Photomatix, which creates and processes high dynamic range (HDR) images from the pupils’ own exposure-bracketed photographs.