The GCE in Applied ICT has been designed to provide a broad educational basis for further education or for moving into employment within the ICT sector. This is achieved by ensuring that learners develop the general skills, knowledge and understanding needed within the sector. The course allows students to develop a broad range of ICT skills and knowledge that is all within a vocational context.
This is a two year A Level course which consists of 6 units. 3 units are studied in Year 12 and 3 are studies in Year 13. The units that are covered include:
Unit 1 – The Information Age. This unit develops a student’s understanding of the information communication technologies that enable people to access and exchange information and to carry out transactions anytime, anywhere.
Unit 2 – The Digital Economy. In this unit students investigate how organisations are responding to the pressures of the e-marketplace by using transactional websites to present their products and services, gather information and provide a personalised service.
Unit 3 – The Knowledge Worker. This unit covers making informed decisions using the knowledge available to students.
Unit 7 – Using Database Software. In this unit students will develop your knowledge of, and skills in using, databases further. You will learn the principles of data modelling and sound database design, and will use relational database software to build working database systems capable of storing large quantities of data and of handling both routine and one-off requests for information.
Unit 8 – Managing ICT Projects. In this unit students will gain practical experience of managing a project that they are undertaking (Unit 10). Students will have to communicate effectively with the various stakeholders, meet deadlines and manage their time well.
Unit 10 – Using Multimedia Software. This unit allows students to create a multimedia product for a real end user. They will have to take the project from the initial stages of getting the information from the client to producing prototypes, developing a final solution and fully testing the solution and then evaluating the success of the project.
Each unit is equally weighted.
Units 1, 2, 8 & 10 are assessed through coursework while Units 3 & 7 are assessed through a practical examination.
Unit 1 – this is a multimedia e-book where the content and functionality and aesthetics of the e-book are assessed.
Unit 2 – this is a simple electronic portfolio consisting of the evidence presented as written documents.
Unit 3 – practical exam lasting 2 hours 30 minutes involved the use of a spreadsheet model to arrive at a decision. The model is available before the exam.
Unit 7 – practical exam lasting 10 hours. This is usually split into 5 2 hour sessions over a 3 week period. The exam involved the creation of a database for a scenario that is given to students before the exam.
Unit 8 – this is an electronic portfolio consisting of the evidence presented as written documents.
Unit 10 – this is an electronic portfolio consisting of the multimedia product and the supporting evidence presented as written documents.
This A Level leads on to further study of ICT as well as many of the related subjects at university. It is also a good basis for a lot of other careers giving an excellent foundation in the use of IT within a business setting and equipping students with the practical skills to use office applications to a high level.
Each fortnight you will be timetabled 8 hours in Year 12 and 10 hours in Year 13. In each Year until approximately February half term the focus will be on developing the skills required and then completing the two coursework units. The focus in Year 13 will then shift to developing the database skills required and going through a previous year’s scenario. Year 12 will continue with the coursework.
In both years once the pre-release is available then the time will be spent developing an understanding of what is required, getting used to the model in Year 12 and attempting to predict what will be required for the database in Year 13.
Support will be given outside of timetabled lessons at the regular support sessions that the department runs.
While it is not essential to have a computer at home it is a huge advantage. There is plenty of access within college but you will need to be prepared to stay later in order to complete everything that will be required.
Successful students need be imaginative, creative and positive. Students must be organised and prepared to work hard in their own time. Patience and peristence are key virtues, as is the ability to take criticism positively. Successful students need to be open, expressive and committed.
GCSE students are encouraged to work over an extended period of time on the development of their projects. This process is broken down into easily understood targets by the Art teacher and requires a mature and independent approach from the student in order to be successful.
Students should always have a set of personal targets to complete – these targets are likely to be detailed on the student’s Progress Log and found on the task lists in their sketchbook.
Ask your son/daughter about their artwork and their ideas. Take them to galleries and to places where they can gather photographs for their work. Provide them with materials and tools, and try to sort out a space in the house for them to study. Finally, ask to see their Progress Logs – it’s all there!
The Art Department opens its doors daily to students to come and work at break, lunchtime and after school on Tuesdays & Thursdays. We regularly arrange Saturday Workshops, sometimes inviting specialist artists to deliver a master class. There are many other opportunities to be involved more in Art such as mural painting, Rock Challenge set design and Saatchi Online (www.saatchionline.com/shtc)