Information & Communication Technology
Why study ICT?
At DYCA we offer a number of different ICT qualifications, all taught in state of the art ICT rooms. In Key Stage 3 students undertake a six week rotation which allows them to gain practical skills and gives them a good foundation on which to build their ICT knowledge. In Key Stage 4 students can currently opt for GCSE IT, a Diploma in ICT or a DiDA (Diploma in Digital Applications) or CiDA (Certificate in Digital Applications). In addition to these diverse and exciting qualifications, we are pleased to be offering GCSE Computing in the next academic year. Should students wish to continue to study ICT in sixth form, they can currently undertake the BTEC National Level 3 in Information Technology. From the next academic year students can also opt for A Level Computing.
During Fresher year students are introduced to the Microsoft Office package. They will learn how to create presentations on PowerPoint, invent leaflets using Publisher, create animations using Serif and learn how to create a word processed document.
Prep year allows students to build upon their practical skills and develop their analytical skills. Students will be shown how to create outcomes using ICT based on a given audience or criteria. It is during this year that students will begin to analyse the benefits and drawbacks of the computer programmes that they use. This enables students to develop not only the practical skills but also the thinking skills needed to be successful at Key Stage 4.
Senior 2, Senior 2, Senior 3
Senior 1 is the year that students will start on the learning journeys that will eventually lead to their final qualifications. Students who have opted for the BTEC option will have the opportunity to create websites, logos and databases for a central project. The portfolio of work that is started in Senior1 is added to in subsequent years. This portfolio is internally and externally assessed and at the end of Senior 3 students are given their qualification. There are no exams for the BTEC option.
Alternatively students may opt to study a Diploma or GCSE.
The GCSE route starts in Senior 1 and finishes in Senior 3. Students study four main modules; Living in a Digital World, Using Digital Tools, Digital Design and Creating Digital Products. This is a linear course with 40% of the overall mark awarded for written examinations and 60% awarded for controlled assessment. Students taking this route will have one lesson of ICT per week.
Those students that choose to take a Diploma in ICT will have a strong passion for the subject. The Diploma is the equivalent of seven GCSEs and is made up of five units and an extended essay. All but one of these units is coursework based. Over three years students will be given the opportunity to learn about multimedia systems, skills for innovation, computer networks and project management. Students studying the Diploma will usually undertake four lessons of ICT per week.
Currently sixth form students studying ICT undertake the BTEC National. This qualification is well regarded by universities and suitable for students who wish to go onto a range of different courses.
The BTEC National in ICT is a two year course where students get to study many different modules including Computer Systems, Managing Networks and Organisational System Security.
Fresher and Prep
Students will study a six week rotation in both of their junior years. This will consist of a lesson a week and students will learn a new skill every lesson.
Senior 1, Senior 2, Senior 3
At the end of Prep year students will choose their options and dependant on this they will follow one of two routes. Some students will study a CiDA or DiDA qualification and the others will begin their GCSEs. All of these students will continue on their chosen courses until the end of Senior 3.
The lower sixth allows students with a passion for ICT to develop their theoretical and practical understanding. Students will learn, over two years, how computers work on a technical level as well as learning the theory behind the impact of technological developments on society. At the moment students study a BTEC National Level 3 qualification but from next year A Level Computing will also be available.