Abbey CBS Newry Grammar School

The Abbey Grammar School
77a, Ashgrove Road
Newry
Co Down, BT34 1QN
N Ireland
+44 (0) 28 3026 3142

ICT / Digital Technology

What is ICT?

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a term used to denote the convergence of computers, video and telecommunications, as seen in the use of multimedia computers, and the networks and services based on them.

ICT is concerned with how technology is and can be used to manage and process information. Today’s computers and computer software are used to create, convert, access, store, organise, protect, present, communicate and transmit information in a variety of electronic forms.

Our ICT qualifications provide students with the technical knowledge, skills and understanding needed in a world increasingly dominated by the use of ICT systems. The study of ICT can also lead to careers in ICT management as well as people management, computer programming, database management, website design, website management or graphic design.

To be responsible members of society, students must be aware of the ever-growing impact of ICT. They need to reflect critically on ICT’s role in society and consider its positive and negative effects. The department’s role is to develop skills and attitudes that increase students’ abilities to address the social and ethical issues of technological advancements.

What is Digital Technology?

Digital technology incorporates aspects of computer science and information technology. It explores how we can use technology to create, store, process, analyse and present information in a digital context. This includes computer architecture, networks, web technology, digital media, programming tools and software applications

Quick Contact Details

Mr D McCann

Curriculum Information

Key Stage 3 Discrete ICT Skills Classes

One lesson per week in Years 8 and 9 to allow the pupils to learn how to use ICT safely and effectively. The skills incorporate:
• using the latest software packages
• e-safety
• an introduction to programming

Programming
In Year 8 and 9 students are introduced to basic computer programming techniques. These concepts include:
• functions
• conditional statements if Statements
• iteration loops For
The programming environments used in Year 8 are Scratch and the Python Turtle, while in Year 9 student’s explore Scratch and BBC Microbit.

scratch_logopythonBBC MICROBIT

GCSE ICT

Through studying our GCSE (CCEA) in ICT, students become more independent and discerning users of ICT who can make informed decisions about its use. They have opportunities to acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of ICT in a range of contexts. They also develop their understanding of new technologies and their impact on society. They take a practical approach, developing and evaluating ICT-based solutions of their own to solve problems. At the same time, they focus on ensuring that their practice is safe, secure and responsible.

Our GCSE ICT is a practical, skills-based qualification that builds on our Key Stage 3 Curriculum and provides a foundation for students intending to study ICT at a higher level.

GCSE Digital Technology (starting September 2017)

Aims – This specification aims to encourage students to:

  • become independent and discerning users of digital technology;
  • acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of digital technology in a range of contexts;
  • acquire creative and technical digital technology skills and apply these in a range of contexts;
  • develop and evaluate digital technology based solutions to solve problems;
  • develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies and the social and commercial impact of these technologies;
  • develop their understanding of the legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental impact of digital technology;
  • recognise potential risks when using digital technology and develop safe, secure and responsible practice;
  • develop the skills needed to work collaboratively.

GCSE Computer Science
GCSE Computing should encourage students to be inspired, moved and challenged by following a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. They should help students to gain an insight into related sectors. They should prepare students to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.

GCSE Computing will enable students to:

  • Develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies, understanding of how they work and apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts
  • Acquire and apply knowledge, some technical skills and an understanding of the use of algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming
  • Use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make informed decisions about the use and be aware of the implications of different technologies
  • Acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts
  • Develop computer programs to solve problems
  • Develop the skills to work collaboratively
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of, and issues related to, the use of computer technology in society.
  • Students will learn to program using the following languages/technology:
    1. HTML
    2. Javascript
    3. Python (used by Google)

GCE Advanced Level (CCEA)

This qualification will give students opportunities to:

  • develop knowledge, understanding and skills to meet human need in a broad range of activities;
  • develop awareness of the management of resources to meet an identified human need in a diverse and ever-changing society, including values issues;
  • take account of rapid technological changes and the growth of scientific knowledge and understanding;
  • critically evaluate evidence to justify informed decisions;
  • use information and communication technology (ICT) where appropriate;
  • develop innovative, creative and original ideas through active investigations; and
  • make use of their wider knowledge and understanding.

This course will prepare students for a wide range of courses in Higher Education as well as employment in the ICT industry.

GCE Advanced Level Digital Technology (CCEA)
Why study Digital Technology?
Starts September 2016
Digital Technology explores how information and communication technology is used to store, process and present information efficiently and accurately.

The influence of digital technology in all aspects of our lives continues to accelerate. Current and emerging technologies and information services are transforming how we communicate with each other, how we work and the ways we learn. It is essential that we can understand how this technology works in order to make proper use of it.

It is also necessary to investigate and understand security issues in order to keep our data and information systems secure from hackers or to recover data in the event of a disaster.

This qualification is for students who are interested in current and emerging technologies and the impact they have on our business and social lives and who wish to utilise them effectively. It is likely to appeal to all, but particularly those students who enjoyed studying Digital Technology, Mathematics, the Sciences or Technology and Design at GCSE.

OUTLINE OF THE COURSE
At AS Level there are 2 units and both are assessed by external written examinations. This makes up 40% of the overall A level examination. The units require students to develop knowledge and understanding of the various approaches to the development of complex systems including analysis, design, development and testing. It also includes studying programming environments, programming structures, web technology and multimedia.

At A Level there is one externally assessed unit based on developing knowledge and understanding of information systems. It includes the study of networks, databases and the applications of digital technology. In the 2nd A2 unit, students have the opportunity to become involved in a real-world situation where they can apply their skills, knowledge and understanding of digital technology to solve a problem for a specified client. This can be in the form a designing a database with a web front end or could be a programming project. These units make up 60% of the overall A level examination.

EXAMINATION BOARD ASSESSMENT

The examination board is CCEA. The Advanced Subsidiary (AS) forms 40% of the assessment weighting of the full Advanced G.C.E. (A2).

WHAT IS EXPECTED 
The A Level Abbey students will be expected to make a total commitment to the subject. Students will study Digital Technology for nine periods per week. Extensive reading beyond the allocated syllabus is essential and students will be expected to keep up to date with present technological trends by reading computer magazines and using relevant websites. It is recommended that a student spend on average three hours per week doing personal study to fulfill the requirements at this level.

CAREER
This course will prepare students for a wide range of courses in Higher Education as well as employment in the computer industry. The increased use of computers in all aspects of industry means that careers in this field encompass a wide variety of jobs. Some of these are: Web design, Computer Games Development, Computer Programming, Data Processing, Engineering, Network Management, Software Engineering, Systems Analysis, and Teaching.

Catch Up Sessions

To help our students achieve their high aspirational targets we offer additional support at lunch time, free classes and after school for those who experience difficulty in their course.

Young Software Engineers (Extra Curricular)

The ICT department participated in a Tech Know Club programme run in partnership with Ashfield Girls High School and funded by All state. Two STEM ambassadors (Past pupils Cormac Markey and Michael Murphy ) were allocated to our school, to help guide interested Year 9 students through the programming skills required to enable them to participate in the programme and take part in a final challenge which took place in Belfast.

On competition day the Abbey faced stiff competition from Aquinas Grammar, Ashfield Girls, Ballyclare High, Campbell College, Portora College, St Colm’s High School, St Patrick’s Academy and Wallace High School. Our ICT students performed exceptionally well on the day and the Abbey students should be congratulated on winning this prestigious competition achieving the title “Young Software Engineers Team Award 2014”.

Computer Coding Club
The Computer coding club allowed 6th year students to engage in an application and selection process. Ten students are subsequently selected to participate. These students learn valuable programming skills and use the Ruby on Rails software to solve complex problem. One of the highlights of the club is to participate in a special Drone academy in collaboration with other schools in the area.

Departmental Staff

Mr DMcCann

F6

Mr M Grogan

F8

Mr J Downing

F7

Departmental Photo Gallery

Departmental Links

ICT Microsite

for an explanation of ICT technical terms

for information on ICT career paths and career guidance

Twitter