Computer skills are taught throughout the lower college (KS3) and all students become proficient in the use of industry-standard word-processor, spreadsheet and database packages, DTP (Desktop Publishing) and, of course, keyboard skills. At the end of the third year, (Year 9), all students have the skills necessary for basic employment.
There is a campus-wide wireless network (LAN) so that any student with a wireless-enabled laptop will automatically be on the school network and, through that, on the internet from wherever they are. Internet use is silently monitored and filtered using sophisticated software. All students have their own email account and can keep in regular contact with friends and family either by e-mail or Skype. For those without laptops, the ICT centre, the library ICT resource area and the many departmental computer facilities as well as iPads are available.
All classrooms have interactive whiteboards and many of the lesson notes, Powerpoint® presentations and video clips used in lessons are available for students to download from the college’s server on to their own computers. This is of enormous value for revision and of particular benefit to children who need learning support, who can also use their laptops or tablets in class.
The Design Technology suite is very well equipped with state of the art CAD (Computer-aided Design) and CAM (Computer-aided Manufacture) equipment enabling students from Junior School up to Sixth form to produce professional products in a wide range of materials, limited only by their imagination. Design Technology is taught throughout the college and is an increasingly popular option choice at GCSE and A Level. Recent developments include the use of the BBC micro:bit which is a single board computer designed to help students engage and learn about coding and software development. This is used in conjunction with the ‘Inventor’s Kit’ which is a great way to learn about programming and its applications.