ICT at Prospect School is a hugely popular subject that aims to give students the necessary learning to help keep them safe in using technology in an ever changing world.
Key Stage 3
Discovering technology is a discrete KS3 subject within ICT. The purpose of this unit is to look at technology in a broader way, beyond computing. Discovering Technology looks at the history of technology and its inventors as well as encouraging the students to work on their problem solving and creative abilities.
One part of Discovering Technology is looking at the various types of technology, past, present, and future. The aim is to give students an idea of not only where technology as a whole has come from but potentially where it may be going to. The advantages of this, beyond learning a few facts, is that students are more aware of the technology around them, how we’ve been able to adapt our surroundings so much over the millions of years we’ve been able to, and how this affects our environment both now and for years to come.
The second part of Discovering Technology is focussed on trying to engage students in more creative ways, challenging them to create something with simple instructions in an open way. We use a program called Minecraft (school edition), which is a popular game in which the world is made from blocks that can be moved and crafted into different items, allowing for not only visually stunning prospects but also at a higher level technical wizardry thanks to Redstone which can give them an idea of logic gates.
The subject is very much student led and the school has taken feedback from the students in order to better focus on what they would like to learn about. This increases the likelihood of both positive engagement and continued interest.
Key Stage 4
At KS4, the emphasis is on an ICT focussed curriculum building on the work done in KS3. This is taught using the ECDL programme which is run by the British Computer Society: The Chartered Institute for IT. It is a flexible, module-based vocational qualification, which can be differentiated to the needs and abilities of individual students.
Units such as the more generic “IT User Fundamentals” and “IT Security” can be combined with more specialised skills-based units such as “Word Processing Software” or “Presentation Software” using MS Office 2016 to create a qualification from Level 1 Award through to Level 2 Certificate. We use both class-based, teacher-led learning and individual, student-led learning using the BCS teaching software. This ensures that the course content is fully delivered but that the students can also work at their own pace while directly interacting with the technology.The skills and knowledge gained from the Prospect School computing curriculum are directly applicable to real life after school as IT skills are essential for most aspects of modern life. They will be necessary to succeed at college and in most careers, as well as helping people in general life with: personal finances, shopping, dealing with government and other official agencies, interpersonal communication and personal entertainment.