ICT, Computing and Business Studies

At St Margaret Ward Catholic College, the ICT and Business Studies Department aim to deliver a creative and relevant curriculum which is accessible by all learners. We strive to develop our own best practice, and contribute to innovation across the school.
As a department we aim to produce students who:
  • Apply the concepts of ICT to practical, everyday situations.
  • At KS4 apply the concepts of Business Studies to practical, everyday situations
  • Enjoy and are enthusiastic about ICT and Business Studies.
  • Have a feeling of confidence about their mathematical ability.
  • Are ICT literate.
  • Have a knowledge and understanding of their progress
  • Work at and to their maximum potential.
  • Achieve excellent exam results at GCSE, AS and A2 level
  • Continue to want to develop and study ICT/Business Studies, whether as post 16 students, lifelong learners or recreationally.
  • Can access the Internet and Social Media, safely and responsibly.
  • Will be consistent in practice.
  • Are enthusiastic about our subject, and believe in what we are teaching.
  • Employ varying teaching and learning styles.
  • Value all student and staff contributions.
  • Will be thorough and precise.
  • Expect high standards of behaviour, punctuality and work.
  • Will be supportive of staff and students.
  • Will be efficient in all aspects of our job.
  • Will work as effective team players.
  • Value our own professional development.
  • Share best practise and our areas of expertise within the department and to support the wider school community.
Key Stage 3:
From the beginning of the autumn term 2015 the KS3 curriculum will be re-modelled to accommodate the 3 strands of the Computing Progression Pathway - Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy.
Yr. 7 to 9 have one 50 min lesson each week
Year 7 - The autumn term students are introduced to the schools ICT system and the acceptable use policy for accessing the network. Students will develop an understanding of E-safety as well as key transferable skills between the main office programs.
The spring term students will be encourage to use ICT to provide a solutions to set briefs.
The summer term students will be encouraged to use ICT more independently and to start to be able to justify and explain their choices.
Year 8 - The Computing Progression Pathway will also include opportunities to refresh skills learnt in Year 7 and develop new skills in;
  • Animation and graphics
  • Cryptography
  • Game Making using Scratch
Year 9 – The Computing Progression Pathway will also include opportunities to refresh skills learnt in Year 8 and develop new skills in;
Game Making using Alice
Advanced Numerical Modelling using Excel
ICT Skills for business
Video Editing
Website Design
Key Stage 4:
Edexcel GCSE ICT - 2 units, 1 exam worth 40% and 1 piece of coursework worth 60% - the course centres on ICT Savvy users, ensuring that students are aware of how ICT affects their everyday lives and the world in general.
GCSE Computing (OCR)
Computing helps pupils develop computational thinking and how this applies to the real world. Pupils will be taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils will be equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. The Computing curriculum also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology.
The GCSE is split into three units:
A451 – Computer systems and programming (written paper)
A452 – Practical investigation (Controlled assessment)
A453 – Programming project (Controlled assessment)
Current coursework tasks include using App Inventor to develop mobile applications for Android devices and system management using Raspberry Pi’s.
Business Studies; there are two qualifications available; GCSE Business and GCSE Applied Business. The qualification that is followed is chosen with the students’ preferred style of learning taken into account. The Applied qualification has a 60% weighting on coursework, whilst the GCSE Business course has 75% based on formal examinations.
From games or web design to systems analysis, high quality practitioners will always be required.
A GCE in Computer Science could be the first step on that path. The emphasis of the course is on computer programming and systems design.
The analytical skills developed in these areas are ideal for a range of higher education courses as well as being much sought after in most career pathways.
Course content –
Computing Principles
This module covers the basics of how computers operate, including how data and instructions are stored and communicated. Topics include: Operating systems, introduction to programming, data types, structures and algorithms, exchanging data and web technologies, Boolean algebra and legal and ethical issues.
Algorithms and problem solving
This module looks at how computers can be given instructions in order for them to solve problems. Topics include: Computational thinking, programming techniques, software development methodologies, algorithms including standard algorithms for sorting and searching.
Programming project
You will select a user-driven problem to implement using a high level language e.g. Python
AS – 100% examination
A Level – 80% Examination & 20% coursework
Career Opportunities
This course has been developed alongside industry leaders in the field of computing, such as the British Computer Society (BCS) and top universities. The course gives students a clear progression into higher education.
Key Stage 4;
Students study Edexcel GCSE Business Studies; this specification allows students to explore the issues faced by entrepreneurs starting a business and how they can be overcome. This leads to an investigation into a small business for the Controlled Assessment element. The final unit ‘Building a Business’ looks at the issues faced by larger businesses using real examples for student to assess and evaluate the decisions that have been made.
Key Stage 5;
BTEC Level Business is an applied qualification that allows students to develop an individual pathway of units to be studied. Following a grounding in the generic issues for all businesses from economic influences to financial issues students can they study specialised units from finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Law, Retail etc this individualised programme allows all students to develop their interests whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. The course continues to celebrate record results, with all students gaining higher than target grades. Previous students have celebrated their success with university offers and apprenticeship placements.