Curriculum - IT & Computing

Scroll down to find out more about the IT & computing department and the curriculum we teach at Irlam & Cadishead College

IT & Computing

Computing encompasses three areas: information technology, digital literacy and computer science.  It is the most swiftly changing academic environment and one which directly affects students on a daily basis throughout their education, and into their work life.

IT and Computing is taught as a discrete subject throughout KS3.  Students experience a wide variety of application software including Microsoft Office and the Serif Creative Suite, e-Safety, and the principles involved in computer programming including the study of Scratch and Python.

At Key Stage 4 all students take a Level 2 qualification in this subject. Students are given the choice to study either a Digital Media Qualification or an Enterprise and Marketing Qualification.

OCR Cambridge National Enterprise & Marketing (Y10/11)

This course is designed with both practical and theoretical elements, which will prepare students for further study of qualifications in enterprise, marketing or business.

All learners will study three mandatory topics as follows:

1. Enterprise and marketing concepts (Exam worth 50% of the overall grade)

Learners develop essential knowledge and understanding of enterprise and marketing concepts, which can be applied to the other units within the qualification. Learners will understand the main activities that will need to happen to support a start-up business, and what the key factors are to consider when starting up a business.

2. Design a business proposal (Coursework worth 25% of the overall grade)

Learners develop the skills to design a business proposal to meet a specific business challenge. They will identify a customer profile for a specific product, complete market research to generate product design ideas, and use financial calculations to propose a pricing strategy and determine the viability of their product proposal. The knowledge and skills developed by completing this unit will assist learners in the third topic of this qualification.

3. Market and pitch a business proposal (Coursework worth 25% of the overall grade)

Learners will develop the skills to create a brand identity and promotional plan for their specific business product proposal developed in the second topic. They will develop pitching skills in order to pitch their business proposal to an external audience. Finally, they will review their pitching skills and business proposal using their learning, self-assessment and feedback gathered.

OCR Cambridge National in iMedia (Year 10 only)

Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will equip learners with a range of creative media skills and provide opportunities to develop, in context, desirable, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts effectively. Through the use of these skills, learners will ultimately be creating fit-for-purpose creative media products.

All learner will study the following four units:

Unit 1 – Pre-Production Skills (assessed by an exam worth 25% of the course)

This unit will enable learners to understand pre-production skills used in the creative and digital media sector. It will develop their understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques that form part of the planning and creation process.

This unit will enable learners to acquire the underpinning knowledge and skills needed to create digital media products and gain an understanding of their application.

On completion of this unit, learners will understand the purpose and uses of a range of pre-production techniques. They will be able to plan pre-production of a creative digital media product to a client brief, and will understand how to review pre-production documents.

Unit 2 – Creating Digital Graphics (Coursework worth 25% of the course)

The aim of this unit is for learners to understand the basics of digital graphics editing for the creative and digital media sector. They will learn where and why digital graphics are used and what techniques are involved in their creation.

This unit will develop learners’ understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques as part of the planning and creation process.

On completion of this unit, learners will understand the purpose and properties of digital graphics, and know where and how they are used. They will be able to plan the creation of digital graphics, create new digital graphics using a range of editing techniques and review a completed graphic against a specific brief.

Unit 3 – Creating a Multipage Website (Coursework worth 25% of the course)

This unit will enable learners to understand the basics of creating multipage websites. It will enable learners to demonstrate their creativity by combining components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website. It will allow them to interpret a client brief and to use planning and preparation techniques when developing a multipage website.

On completion of this unit, learners will be able to explore and understand the different properties, purposes and features of multipage websites, plan and create a multipage website and review the final website against a specific brief.

Unit 4 – Designing a Game Concept

This unit will enable learners to understand the capabilities and limitations of a range of platforms. They will be able to identify core features of digital games and gain the knowledge to create a games design concept proposal that can be presented to a client for critical review. This unit will also enable learners to understand the basics of planning and designing digital games for the creative digital media sector.

On completion of this unit, learners will know about different types of digital games and where they are used, be able to plan and design a digital game concept and present a game proposal to a client or focus group.

BTEC First Award in Creative Digital Media Production (Year 11 Only)

This course is designed to inspire and enthuse learners to consider a career in the creative digital media industries, rather than just to participate in media recreationally, for example surfing the web or playing video games and give learners the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge, and develop skills, across the creative digital media sectors, e.g. moving image, audio production, games design, website design and publishing.

All learners will complete the following four units:

Unit 1: Digital Media Sectors and Audiences (External Exam worth 25% of the course)

In this unit learners will explore the digital media industry and all five key sectors that fall under it (Digital Moving Image, Digital Audio Production, Digital Publishing, Website Production and Digital Games Production). They will also explore the different types of audiences and how audiences can engage with each sector.

Unit 2: Planning and Pitching a Digital Media Product (Coursework worth 25% of the course)

 in this unit learners will use their verbal, written and visual communication skills to enable them to formulate, develop and pitch ideas of a product that they then plan to produce.

Unit 5: Digital Publishing Production (Coursework worth 25% of the course)

In this unit, learners will gain the knowledge and skills required for the design and development of digital publishing products. They will also have an overview of how to source materials and then combine them. Learners will organise and manage the production of a digital publishing product.

Unit 6: Website Production (Coursework worth 25% of the course)

In this unit, learners will explore the technical requirements for website production: how to organise and manage the production of a website, plan and prepare suitable content, and create hyperlinks between pages.