Head of Department
Mr John Maguire
Mrs S Masson
Mrs S O'Neill
Mr B Regan
Digital Technology/ICT is one of the most important subjects to be delivered in schools. Technology has changed the ways in which we learn, communicate, enjoy leisure time and live our lives. Our aim within the Digital Technology/ICT department is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to participate in todays' technology driven society.
Due to the dynamic nature of the subject, the department are constantly modifying and enhancing the curriculum in order to ensure that our students are studying a curriculum that is suitable for 21st century learning. Digital Technology/ICT department at St Michael's aims to provide students with skills they can take forward with them into the future and to develop confidence in the use of ICT.
Digital Technology/ICT is taught as a separate subject within the curriculum and is also used extensively as a tool within other subject areas.
This qualification is available as:
– a digital authoring qualification focusing on multimedia, GCSE Digital Technology (Multimedia);
All students study Unit 1: Digital Technology.
The content relates directly to current software development trends and the study of modern technology based systems.
The specification develops practical skills using a range of generic software.
This specification aims to encourage students to:
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
- Examing Board: CCEA
Students who are enthusiastic about Technology related matters in general and particularly those who are interested in the application of digital platforms in the real world should study Digital Technology. Students will gain an understanding of the system development process and an awareness of a range of technologies and an appreciation of the potential impact these may have on individuals, organisations and society. They will participate in developing an application while adhering to the system development process and develop an understanding of the consequences of using digital technology on individuals, organisations and society, and of social, legal, ethical and other considerations of using digital technology. Students will have the opportunity to apply their skills to relevant work-related scenarios and carry out research and development, and present their findings in different formats. Students will also be given the chance to demonstrate that they understand and can apply key concepts through challenging internal and external assessments. It is of huge importance that students are self-motivated and possess good problem solving skills and are particularly good at Maths and Physics.
Qualification & Specification Details
The full advanced GCE A Level award is based on students' marks from the AS (40%) and the A2 (60%)
BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Information Technology
Why study BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology?
The BTEC in Information Technology aims to develop the knowledge and skills required to understand the use of ICT in a modern business environment. This qualification is designed for students who are interested in an introduction to the study of creating IT systems to manage and share information, alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in IT.
Throughout this course, you will:
study the role of computer systems and the implications of their use in personal and professional situations.
study the design, creation, testing and evaluation of a relational database system to manage information.
explore how businesses use social media to promote their products and services. You will also implement social media activities in a business to meet requirements.
study how data modelling can be used to solve problems. You will design and implement a data model to meet client requirements.
During this course you will be given the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills in IT systems, systems management and social media in business. This will enable you to progress to further study in the IT sector or other sectors.
What are the careers or further education that this course be suitable for?
Specific careers in Information Technology include: Systems Analysis, ICT / Information Systems Management, Software Engineering, Consultancy and Design, Education.
There are also a wide range of ICT and Computer Science related courses that can be studied within Higher Education.
NOTE: This qualification is equivalent to 1 GCE ‘A’ Level qualification and carries equivalent UCAS tariff points. The final qualification is graded Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*. In order to complete the qualification, students much achieve a minimum of a Pass in all 4 units.
Key Information Summary
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology
Mr J Maguire and Mrs S Masson
Also, although no previous ICT knowledge is assumed, the coursework element of this course demands a high level of practical competence. You will be expected to spend as much time as necessary developing the requisite practical skills. In addition, you will be expected to demonstrate the ability to work independently and meet course deadlines.
Course Details and Assessment
You will study a total of four units over the duration of this two year course:
Unit 1: Information Technology Systems
Information technology (IT) systems have a significant role in the world around us and play a part in almost everything we do. Having a sound understanding of how to effectively select and use appropriate IT systems will benefit you personally and professionally.
You will explore the relationships between the hardware and software that form an IT system, and the way that systems work individually and together, as well as the relationship between the user and the system. You will examine issues related to the use of IT systems and the impact that they have on organisations and individuals.
This unit is assessed through a 2 hour written examination. The result in this unit contributes to 33% of the final qualification grade.
Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information
In order to produce information to support many business processes as well as our social lives, relational databases are widely used to manage and process data. From the smallest in-house systems to stock control systems for large online retailers, databases are repositories of information that are a significant part of organisational operating requirements.
You will examine the structure of data and its origins, and how an efficient data design follows through to an effective and useful database. You will examine a given scenario and develop an effective design solution to produce a database system. You will then test your solution to ensure that it works correctly. Finally, you will evaluate each stage of the development process and the effectiveness of your database solution.
This unit is assessed through a 10 hour examination board set task that you will completed over a 1 week period. The result in this unit contributes to 25% of the final qualification grade.
Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business
Social media websites are a popular way for people to communicate and share information with friends and family. People spend a lot of time on social media websites and they give businesses opportunities to interact with people, for example to promote their business or to encourage people to visit their e-commerce site and buy. You may be familiar with social media for personal use and in this unit you will discover how it can be used in a business context.
You will explore different social media websites, the ways in which they can be used and the potential pitfalls when using them for business purposes. You will develop a plan to use social media strategies for business purposes to achieve specific objectives. You will then implement the plan, developing and posting content and interacting with others. Finally, you will collect data on the business use of social media and review the effectiveness of your efforts.
This unit is assessed through an internally set assignment that you will complete during your timetabled lessons. The result in this unit contributes to 25% of the final qualification grade.
Unit 6: Website Development
Increasingly, organisations rely on websites to serve customers and, in some cases, to generate revenue. With millions of web pages being created daily, the need for websites to be engaging, innovative and desirable is important. As a website developer, you must use sophisticated techniques to capture user interest and to ensure that customers are served. The scripting involved in the development of websites has become crucial: website developers need to understand and acquire the necessary skills to find solutions to a variety of scenarios and problems.
This unit is assessed through an internally set assignment that you will complete during your timetabled lessons. The result in this unit contributes to 17% of the final qualification grade.
Although the study of A level Digital Technology is not considered absolutely necessary for university entry onto a computing related course it is a clear advantage for those who have done so. In terms of careers after A level studies, the skills students will develop on this course will stand them in good stead in many careers that use computing applications. With a specific emphasis in the job market emerging on the ability to write code for software packages this subject can be a great start to a students’ future career prospects, not solely in computing but also across many organisations that wish to develop their own software to meet their particular needs and who need people with this ability. The packages the school use are industry standard and the skills they develop are completely transferable.
For specific careers in computing this subject is not essential but does give a student a big advantage. Areas include software engineering, hardware engineering, web design, systems analysis, technical management, information management. For students pursuing this area to degree standard a BSc Computing Science degree is recommended by those in industry. This area is suffering from a lack of qualified professionals and jobs are available. There is a premium placed on these skills in the current job market.