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iMedia (ICT)

We want our students to understand and play an active role in the digital world that surrounds them, not to be passive consumers of an opaque and mysterious technology. A sound understanding of ICT concepts will help students see how to get the best from the systems they use, and how to solve problems when things go wrong. In a world filled with technology, every school-leaver should have an understanding of ICT and be digitally literate.

ICT at The Academy at Shotton Hall is an immersive experience, exposing students to fundamentals such as Microsoft Office, which is an essential tool for most jobs in today's workforce. Creative computing such as image manipulation, website and computer game development, teaches young people how to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way and encourages them to reflect on what they produce and strive for excellence. Finally, computer science concepts such as how computers work and developing coding solutions, using multiple programming languages, to real-world problems, develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential in future life.  

Throughout the key stages, students will encounter a range of software, completing project-based tasks, providing solutions to given scenarios. Students will also be encouraged to think about e-safety and cultural issues of ICT. These include the impact of technology on daily life, the “digital divide” and globalisation.  

As well as following the curriculum, students will be encouraged to read for pleasure, experiencing a diverse range of literature as a platform for exploring new ideas, developing critical thinking skills and learning more about the world around them. 

Students enjoy ICT because it is varied, fast-paced and fun. Every student is inspired to believe in their potential and to aim high. Careers within the digital sector are the fastest growing sector today, predictions estimate there will be twice as many jobs than candidates to fill them in the coming years. We have devised our ICT curriculum with this in mind, students acquire a grounding towards knowledge, skills and understanding that a growing number of employers are demanding. 

It’s not only ICT lessons that are exciting at the academy: ICT teachers also facilitate range of ICT extra-curricular clubs, from computer games to coding and girls in ICT. These clubs are very popular with our students. 

The “Hello World” trip is a highlight of the year. A one-day event at Teesside University for young women in years 8, 9 and 10 to get inspired by great female leaders working in computer science and digital technology. Students have been successful in previous years, winning best project and most engaged awards. 

Curriculum information 

Year 

Autumn 

Spring 

Summer 

  • E-Safety including cyberbullying and digital footprints. 

  • Office Skills including email, Teams and online systems use. 

  • Introduction to computer systems including hardware, software, storage devices, networks and network security.  

  • Photoshop, looking at image manipulation in the media and using skills learned to create an image based on a given scenario. 

  • Scratch, a high-level block-based visual programming language where students learn coding concepts and develop a game based around the classic PONG theme. 

  • E-Safety including body image and social media. 

  • Website Development, creating websites, embedding videos, sounds and links. Together with HTML coding. 

  • Intermediate computer systems including binary, sorting algorithms, network topologies, computer logic and data representation. 

  • Introduction to Spreadsheets including spreadsheet models, financial models, validation and macros. 

  • GameMaker, a high-level visual programming language where students learn coding concepts, basic scripting and develop a maze game of their own theme, similar to that of PAC MAN. 

  • E-Safety including grooming, inappropriate content and messaging. 

  • Comic Strips, looking at the history and uses digital graphics within comic strips and beyond, culminating in creating a comic strip using Photoshop. 

  • Python including sequence, selection, iteration and string manipulation. 

 

  • Interactive Multimedia Products, students design and create a product for a given scenario, including video, sound, and animation. 

  • Enterprise including how and why new business/product ideas come about, marketing and branding. 

10 

Creating digital graphics 

  • Students learn about digital graphics editing for the creative and digital media sectors. They will learn where and why digital graphics are used and what techniques are involved in their creation.  

  • This unit will develop students’ understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques as part of the planning and creation process.  

  • On completion of this unit, students will understand the purpose and properties of digital graphics and know where and how they are used. They will be able to plan the creation of digital graphics, create new digital graphics using a range of editing techniques and review a completed graphic against a specific brief. 

Creating a multimedia webpage  

  • Students learn about creating multipage websites. They will demonstrate their creativity by combining components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website.  

  • Students will interpret a client brief and use planning and preparation techniques when developing a multipage website.  

  • On completion of this unit, students will be able to explore and understand the different properties, purposes and features of multipage websites, plan and create a multipage website and review the final website against a specific brief. 

Creating a multimedia webpage  

  • Students learn about creating multipage websites. They will demonstrate their creativity by combining components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website.  

  • Students will interpret a client brief and use planning and preparation techniques when developing a multipage website.  

  • On completion of this unit, students will be able to explore and understand the different properties, purposes and features of multipage websites, plan and create a multipage website and review the final website against a specific brief. 

11 

Pre-production skills 

  • Students formally learn the underpinning knowledge and skills needed to create digital media products and gain an understanding of their application. 

  • On completion of this unit, learners will understand the purpose and uses of a range of preproduction techniques. They will be able to plan the pre-production of a creative digital media product to a client brief and will understand how to review pre-production documents. 

Creating interactive multimedia products 

  • Students learn about interactive multimedia products for the creative and digital media sectors.  

  • Students will learn where and why interactive multimedia is used and what features are needed for a given purpose. It will enable them to interpret a client brief, and to use time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques as part of the planning and creation process when creating an interactive multimedia product.  

  • On completion of this unit, students will understand the purpose and properties of interactive multimedia products, be able to plan and create an interactive multimedia product to a client’s requirements and review it, identifying areas for improvement. 

Creating interactive multimedia products 

  • Students learn about interactive multimedia products for the creative and digital media sectors.  

  • Students will learn where and why interactive multimedia is used and what features are needed for a given purpose. It will enable them to interpret a client brief, and to use time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques as part of the planning and creation process when creating an interactive multimedia product.  

  • On completion of this unit, students will understand the purpose and properties of interactive multimedia products, be able to plan and create an interactive multimedia product to a client’s requirements and review it, identifying areas for improvement. 

 

I like computer science because the lessons are fun, and I really enjoy all areas covered so far, especially designing websites.
Year 8 student
I like computer science because even though it is about learning how to code and other things like binary, there are parts where you get to really express yourself through art and things more creative using Photoshop to create comic book strips and also make games.
Year 9 student