St. Joseph's Catholic College

ICT and Computer Science

There are 10 types of people in the world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

You don't need to understand the above quote to show potential for Computer Science or ICT, but as computers communicate in binary, it may help.



There have recently been major discussions, papers and announcements on the future direction of ICT and Computer Science in schools.  All of these have recognised the vital importance of our students gaining comprehensive IT skills. twitter 3

We look to provide students with a stimulating environment in which to learn these skils and we offer students the opportunity to study ICT (Information and Communication Technology) at all Key Stages, and Computer Science at Key Stage 4. In terms of facilities, the college possesses six ICT suites and numerous additional smaller computer groupings spread round the college. 

Our aim is that all students leave college with the necessary ICT skills and capabilities that are required to start them on the path to a successful future career, in whatever field they choose. To this end, they not only learn how to use ICT but also look at why it is used, the impact of ICT and also gain the awareness to decide what ICT usage is appropriate in different situations. As ICT is used in many other subject areas in college we teach skills that can be used across the curriculum in support of students' learning. 

Course Outlines

Year 7

Year seven ICT is taught as part of the ‘world around us’ project, where students demonstrate use of their personal, learning and thinking skills whilst also developing their ability to fully utilise different ICT software.

These include:

1. Powerpoint – developing sequencing through the creation of a hyperlinked skills based game.
2. Dreamweaver – looking at web pages, how they are presented and how to create them.
3. Excel – presenting and calculating data through the use of formulae.
4. Scratch – an introduction to scratch programming.
5. Flexidata – looking at how data is stored and the purpose of databases.
6. Flowol  - an introduction to control and algorithms.


Year 8 (ICT Compulsory for all students - 2 lessons a fortnight)

Students will cover the following topics in Year 8:

  • Web Design (using DreamWeaver and Fireworks)
  • Publishing (using Publisher)
  • Advanced Spreadsheet Modelling (using Excel)
  • Control (using Flowol)
  • Programming (using Scratch)
  • Database design (using Access)
  • Mind mapping (using 2Connect)
  • Multimedia (using Audacity and MovieMaker)
A small number of students are given the opportunity to visit Bletchley Park National Codes Centre to see how early computers were developed and adapted to decode transmissions in the Second World War.

Year 9 (ICT Compulsory for all students - 2 lessons a fortnight)

Students will use Year 9 to explore areas of ICT outside the curriculum and will also be given the opportunity to study for qualifications such as those offered under the Microsoft Office Specialist progamme.

As well as developing their skills in using office products (preparing them for many of today's careers) they will develop Apps, create complex multimedia products, design and produce movies and market podcasts.  We will also look at how ICT and Business Studies skills combine in the product production and marketing lifecycle.

Year 10 and 11 (ICT as an option - 4 lessons a fortnight)

Students will study for the EdExcel GCSE in ICT.  This involves looking at the following two areas which are assessed by a combination of coursework and exams.

Living in a Digital World

  • Personal Digital Devices
  • Connectivity
  • Operating Online
  • Online goods and services
  • Online communities
  • Issues

Using Digital Tools

  • Research & Information Gathering
  • Modelling (spreadsheets)
  • Digital Publishing (websites)
  • Evaluating outcomes
  • Working efficiently and safely

Year 10 and 11 (Computer Science as an option - 4 lessons a fortnight)

Students will study for the AQA GCSE in Computing. This involves studying a number of different topics and is assessed by a Practical Programming controlled assessment and a Computing Fundamentals examination.  Topics learnt include:


  • Constants, variables and data types
  • Structures
  • Program flow control
  • Procedures and functions
  • Scope of variables, constants, functions and procedures
  • Error handling
  • Handling external data
  • Computer structure
  • Systems including hardware, CPU, secondary
    storage and memory


  • Algorithms
  • Data representation
  • Software development life cycle
  • Application testing
  • Networking
  • Client server
  • Web application concepts
  • Use of external code sources
  • Database concepts
  • The use of computer technology in society