ICT and Computer Science
We have an open door policy in the department and pupils are given access to the network at break times, before and after school.
ICT vs Computer Science – What is the difference?
ICT is more focused on using Microsoft Office and other existing applications, whereas Computer Science is much more focused on ‘getting under the bonnet’ and learning how to code and create such software. Here at Truro School we cover both subject areas.
1st – 2nd Year
In the 1st Year, pupils have taught ICT lessons where they are introduced to the software available on the school network, Virtual Learning Environments, including Moodle and Cloud computing. They are also taught how to work safely online. This is developed throughout the year, referencing other academic subjects whenever possible. In the second half of the summer term, pupils are introduced to programming, with a choice of languages and other opportunities, for example stop motion animation.
In the 3rd Year, all students follow the AQA Functional Skills course, which equips them with the knowledge required to be digitally competent and fluent in IT skills to assist their further academic study. This Level 2 course is equivalent to a GCSE and is examined during a week long period in the spring. Beyond that, pupils will be programming in a choice of languages and working with a range of other devices, for example the Raspberry Pi. This will give them a useful insight into the Computer Science course which is offered at GCSE level.
GCSE Computer Science
GCSE Computer Science is offered as an co-curricular academic subject following the WJEC syllabus. Pupils are 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 are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content, programming languages, data structures, algorithms, etc.
Programming is also a very popular choice for pupils as a Wednesday afternoon activity. Students are given structured time to learn new skills, but also the scope to creatively develop their interest. This could be working with the Raspberry Pi, programming in Scratch, Greenfoot (a visual Java teaching environment), Python, or other programming languages.
In Autumn Term 2016, Computer Science unveiled a new workroom, complete with Raspberry Pi 3 computers, perfect for those who wish to explore programming in more depth.
Being competent with more demanding digital software are skills which are increasingly in demand from employers across a whole host of industries, from medical to education, entertainment to architecture.
Studying Computer Science at school gives students a head start for the future, using a computer has become as fundamental as reading and writing, and with technology now being so widespread across many industries, it makes sense to prepare students to recognise its potential.
Jeff Kitto, Head of Computer Science