"How you gather, manage, and use information will determine whether you win or lose."
- Bill Gates
"Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination."
- Albert Einstein
ICT Department Objectives
The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) department offers a stimulating and dynamic learning environment. The ICT curriculum offered at Aylward is designed to give an in-depth knowledge and a wide range of Computing and ICT skills.
Key Stage 3
At key stage 3 ICT, students will be introduced to the fascinating world of information and communication technology in Year 7 and 8. You will be taught how to use a computer system safely, both sitting at your desk and online. You will then be able to use the computer system to help solve real-life problems using a range of applications software - programs like Spreadsheets and Databases as well as Control software that helps regulate a number of daily problems in our lives.
Key Stage 4
We offer the BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Digital Information - a programme of study for students who wish to acquire knowledge and technical skills through vocational contexts by studying the knowledge, understanding and skills related to data management, data interpretation, data presentation and data protection.
The Award gives students the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment, including:
- development of key skills that prove their aptitude in digital information technology, such as project planning, designing and creating user interfaces, creating dashboards to present and interpret data
- processes that underpin effective ways of working, such as project planning, the iterative design process, cyber security, virtual teams, legal and ethical codes of conduct
- knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, processes and attitudes in the sector, such as how different user interfaces meet user needs, how organisations collect and use data to make decisions, virtual workplaces, cyber security and legal and ethical issues.
The qualification consists of three components that give learners the opportunity to develop broad knowledge and understanding of the digital sector and specialist skills and techniques in project planning, designing user interfaces and manipulating and interpreting data at Levels 1 and 2.
Components 1 and 2
These are assessed through Internal assessment. The components focus on:
- The development of core knowledge and understanding of different types of user interfaces, how user interface design principles are used to meet the needs of different users, and how organisations collect, manipulate and interpret data to draw conclusions and make decisions
- The development and application of skills such as project planning, iterative design of a user interface, using data manipulation tools to create a dashboard, interpreting and drawing conclusions from data
- Reflective practice through the development of skills and techniques that allow learners to respond to feedback on their design for a user interface and to identify areas for improvement.
Is the main synoptic assessment for the qualification and it builds directly on Components 1 and 2 enabling learning to be brought together and applied to realistic contexts.
This exam component requires learners to analyse and interpret information in relation to different scenarios and to draw on knowledge, understanding and skills such as the project planning process, interface design, collection and use of data, when making recommendations on working practices related to design, project organisation, cyber security and legal and ethical issues.
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5, we offer the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology, a full two-year programme which is studied alongside other Level 3/A level qualifications.
The programme of study is intended as an Applied General qualification covering 360 GLH and equivalent in size to one A Level. It is designed for students who are interested in an introduction to the study of creating IT systems to manage and share information alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in IT. Students will develop a common core of IT knowledge and study areas such as the relationship between hardware and software that form an IT system, managing and processing data to support business and using IT to communicate and share information.
The programme of study covers three mandatory units, one internal and two external and one optional unit.
Students must complete and achieve at Near Pass grade or above in all mandatory external units and achieve a Pass or above in all mandatory internal units.
Unit 1: Information Technology Systems
Students will be able to show how they have developed their understanding of the relationships between IT systems hardware and software, the way systems work individually and together, the relationship between the user and the system, use of IT systems issues and their impact on organisations and individuals.
Unit 2 - Creating systems to Manage Information
Students will study the design, creation, testing and evaluation of a relational database system to manage information. You will examine the structure of data and its origins, and how an efficient data design follows through to an effective and useful database. You will examine a given scenario and develop an effective design solution to produce a database system. You will then test your solution to ensure that it works correctly. Finally, you will evaluate each stage of the development process and the effectiveness of your database solution. To complete the assessment tasks within this unit, you will need to draw on your learning from across your programme.
Unit 3 - Using Social Media in Business
Students will explore how businesses use social media to promote their products and services and be able to implement social media activities in a business to meet requirements. You will explore different social media websites, the ways in which they can be used and the potential pitfalls when using them for business purposes. You will develop a plan to use social media strategies for business purposes to achieve specific aims and objectives. You will then implement the plan, developing and posting content and interacting with others. Finally, you will collect data on the business use of social media and review the effectiveness of your efforts.
Unit 5 - Data Modelling
Students will investigate the fundamentals of the decision-making process. You will find out how using data modelling provides the computational ability to compare consequences, and determine a preferred course of action. You will develop the skills and techniques necessary to create complex spreadsheets in order to produce accurate information that informs decision making. You will examine a scenario and then design, develop and test a spreadsheet; you will review your spreadsheet and make refinements based on user feedback, providing an evaluation of the effectiveness of the alternatives produced.