Mrs A Chesterman – Head of Department
Mrs A Gronow-Brown – Teacher of ICT and Computer Science
What is the future of technology? Where will it take us? At The John Frost School, we continually monitor and adapt our curriculum to ensure that students become digitally competent citizens which will prepare them for tomorrow’s employment – many jobs of which have not yet been created. A key role of the ICT department is to prepare students for life after school and our courses provide a valuable real world experience as well as qualifications that aid progression to further or higher education. We have high expectations of students at all levels of ability. It is essential to inculcate a sense of purpose and success at appropriate levels by clarifying realistic goals that are relevant to the students; this means active participation by students in learning and assessment.
What makes a computer work? Do we code or become end users? How safe are we? As students progress through Key Stage Three, they will develop skills and knowledge required to progress as competent digital citizens. Students receive one lesson of ICT per fortnight. At The John Frost School, we aim to develop students’ independent learning skills and encourage them to be creative thinkers. Following the ICT Skills Framework, we keep abreast of digital technology across society. Our learners experience traditional skills alongside: Coding; Creative Multimedia; Communicating; Modelling; Databases and Exchanging and Sharing Information.
Students in Key Stage Four will study WJEC GCSE Information and Communication Technology or WJEC GCSE Computer Science. The GCSE Information and Communication Technology qualification is made up of four units: two written examination units (40% of the final grade) and two controlled assessment units, totalling 45 hours (60% of the final grade).
The GCSE Computer Science qualification comprises: a written examination (50% of the final grade), an on-screen examination (30% of the final grade) and a non-exam assessment of 20 hours (20% of the final grade). Computer Science will develop valuable skills for students to pursue a career in Computer Science and will help our learners to play an active and effective role in the digital world.
Students are offered BTEC Level 3 Information Technology to Extended Certificate level (A Level equivalence). Learners can also access A Level Computer Science and Information Technology through our collaboration programme. Our results are traditionally very good and students are encouraged to be independent and effective learners in preparation for further or higher education.
The department believes in equal opportunities for all students. Our staff are part of a hardworking team who are prepared to share responsibilities and teaching commitment so that all students achieve their full potential at each key stage. Lunchtime and after school sessions are offered to all students to help improve their coursework and examination technique.
We have recently appointed 12 student Digital Leaders from across the school, to help support the implementation of the Digital Competence Framework. The team will receive training from Digital Communities Wales and will support staff and students with the use of technology, promote e-safety and act as e-ambassadors in the school. Additionally, our Digital Leaders will collaborate with feeder primary schools and Digital Leaders from other schools; they will share knowledge and skills, which can then be passed on to staff and students, with the aim of developing confidence and proficiency in using the Digital Competence Framework.
“Our ICT lessons are great for learning new skills and finding out information” Emily Pritchard