ICT is taught in one of three purpose-built Computer Suites, each containing 30+ PCs. The school runs a Citrix Server system enabling students to use any computer to access their personal password protected user space. This also allows students to be able to access their work and programs from home if they have an internet connected PC or Mac. The Faculty Leader is Mr I Price to whom all queries regarding ICT at JMHS should be made.
Students are taught in mixed ability groups in Year 7 and Year 8. The course is designed to give students a balanced mix of skills and knowledge to enable them to use computers effectively cross-curricular in KS4 and possibly continue their creative use of ICT with the Creative iMedia course or study the more technical side of computers with a GCSE in Computer Science.
In Year 7:
1: ‘Let’s Go To The Zoo’ – Software Skills
Students explore how ICT could be used in the context of a zoo. The work is used to form an initial assessment of all pupils’ software skills.
2: ‘Harry Plotter’ – Spreadsheet Project
Students learn about building formulae to perform calculations; using colours, borders and text styles to change the appearance cells; organising and arranging data in lists; and presenting data appropriately using a variety of chart styles.
3: ‘Inside the box’ – Computer Systems
Students look at the hardware and software components that make up computer systems. They also look at data of various types (text, graphics, sounds).
4: ‘Communication using IT’ – Desktop Publishing
Students look at methods for combining text and graphics effectively to produce work with a sense of audience and purpose.
5: ‘Data Capture’ – Designing and Using Databases
Students are invited to consider structures for capturing and storing data. They design, create and populate a database with information they have gathered. Students learn how to analyse and present it.
6: ‘Programming’ – Basic Programming Concepts
Students are introduced to Flowcharts and a program called Flowol
In Year 8:
1: Programming with Scratch
Students undertake an extended project exploring many of the creative opportunities offered by the ‘Scratch’ programming environment. Students cover concepts such as conditional loops timers, input controls and variables. Students follow the project lifecycle by planning, implementing, testing and documenting an interactive game of their own design.
2: Business Concept
Students explore ICT in a business context. Each student chooses their own business concept, which is used as the context for developing a broad range of software skills. This project also provides opportunities for developing a deeper understanding of the impact of technology on commerce. The first part of this project involves developing the business idea and corporate style (e.g. colour scheme, font scheme, logo); then applying this to create typical business documents.
3: Spreadsheet Systems
Students create spreadsheet systems to support business processes. More complex formulae will be introduced, including the use of logical functions such as ‘IF’ and the automation of common or repetitive tasks using macros.
4: Web Technologies
Students move on to look at web design, developing a mock-up website for their business concept.
Students will be introduced to traditional programming though the language ‘Python’.
In Year 9 all students begin to study for a Creative iMedia Certificate in ICT at Level 2, which they continue in Years 10 and 11. This course is aimed at all abilities and requires an interest in developing transferable ICT skills and a deeper understanding of computer systems. The course consists of 2 compulsory units and 2 optional units. Year 9 students are introduced to the course with Unit R090 Digital Photography. Students study towards a compulsory exam Unit R081 – Pre-Production Skills at the start to Year 10 and then continue to look at Unit R082 – Creating Digital Graphics. In Year 11 students study R087 – Creating Interactive Multimedia Products.
Students in the Sixth Form can opt to study for a Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma in ICT at Level 3. There are 2 compulsory units and 4 optional units to complete the Diploma. Unit 1 – Communication and Employability Skills for IT (Compulsory), Unit 2 – Information Systems (Compulsory) and Unit 27 – Digital Graphics are studied during year 12. Unit 6 – E-Commerce, Unit 10 – Developing Computer Games and Unit 32 – Computer Games Design are studied during Year 13
Programming Club – Initially learning Python as an introduction language and later exploring the BBC Microbit and Raspberry Pi.
Robotics – Currently the department has access to 4 bipedal robots and is developing resources to hopefully launch a Robotic Control Club in the near future.