KS4 overview.

Pupils follow the GCSE ICT qualification by OCR.  The GCSE in ICT qualification enables pupils to become independent and discerning users of ICT; it allows them to make informed decisions about its use and aware of its implications for individuals, organisations and society. They will acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of ICT in a range of contexts.  Pupils will develop ICT-based solutions to solve problems and develop an understanding of current and emerging technologies and their social and commercial impact.  They will also develop an understanding of the legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental issues raised by ICT and be able to recognise potential risks when using ICT.

Pupils will study four compulsory units; two units are externally assessed in a written exam and the other two take the form of Controlled Assessments.

Unit B061:

Pupils examine a range of ICT systems, as used in the home, at school, and in society.  They need to be aware of current and emerging technologies and the impact that advances in technology may have on themselves and others.  Unit B061 topics include:

  • ICT systems
  • Exchanging information
  • Presenting information
  • Manipulating data
  • Keeping data safe and secure
  • Legal, social, ethical and environmental issues when using ICT
  • Using ICT systems
  • Monitoring, measurement and control technology
  • ICT and modern living

Unit B062:

Pupils examine a range of everyday software applications to be able to manipulate and process data and other information effectively and efficiently and to present information in a format suitable for purpose and audience.  They will select from a range of set tasks written to enable them to demonstrate their practical ICT ability.

Unit B063:

Pupils examine a range of ICT systems in a business or organisational context.  They should be aware of current and emerging technologies and their impact on themselves and on others.  The question paper is based upon pre-release material, relating to specified businesses or organisation(s) and its/their use of ICT.  This unit will incorporate and build on the knowledge and understanding gained in units B061 and B062.  The pre-release material aims to extend the depth of study by focusing upon how the named organisation could use ICT.

Unit B064:

Pupils examine a range of creative software applications in order to create a multimedia solution to a given problem. They should be aware of how to analyse the problem as well as the steps needed to design, develop, test and evaluate the solution to the problem. Pupils will be required to complete a task by creating and developing a multimedia solution with appropriate elements such as:

  • sound clips
  • video
  • animation
  • graphics

Solutions that pupils may include, but are not limited to, are:

  • a multimedia presentation
  • a multimedia website
  • a computer game

The problem will be set by OCR and will require the pupils to create a multimedia solution that combines a number of elements. Pupils will need to provide evidence of the analysis of the problem as well as the design, development, testing and evaluation of the solution.  Pupils will take part in group work and their contribution to the group will be assessed.  It is expected that a number of skills will be demonstrated, including appropriate editing skills. 

Details of any relevant websites and revision guides to support the qualification.




How will the KS4 qualification prepare my child for life in modern Britain?

The study of ICT and Computing is hugely important to industry and the economy, and the skills developed through the study of the subject are increasingly sought after. There has been rapid growth in the use of mobile devices and the internet, leading to excellent employment opportunities. Pupils need to understand and play an active role in the digital world that surrounds them, not just become passive users of technology.  Through ICT and computing they will learn how to solve problems when things go wrong, how to think logically and critically, and to recognise the impact that technology has on the world around us.

The GCSE ICT course is an exciting and dynamic qualification, relevant to all aspects of current lifestyles, as technology is changing at a fast pace. Pupils will learn about the practical application of ICT in many different aspects of work, leisure and education. They will have the chance to develop knowledge and understanding of a wide range of digital technologies, many of which they already use in their day-to-day lives. Internet security is a huge challenge and pupils will learn to use the tools and applications in safe and secure ways. Pupils will, again, develop transferable skills in research, analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving and evaluation as well as practical ICT capability.

A GCSE level qualification at KS4 will help all pupils to:

  1. continue to develop skills in software and handling information so that they are able to make the most from their use of ICT whether for school work in all subjects or for extra-curricular activities;
  2. achieve a recognised qualification in ICT, and;
  3. become confident and informed users of ICT who are able to apply their skills in new contexts.

Information about extra-curricular sessions and extended learning opportunities available to my child.

Extra-curricular sessions are held both at lunchtimes and after school. With an increasing emphasis on linear courses at KS4, a number of additional sessions are held before and during exam periods to provide extra support for pupils to realise their full potential.  As well as this, the department run regular lunchtime ICT homework clubs, where pupils can make use of the ICT facilities to enhance their homework.  A number of pupils who have excelled in ICT have the opportunity to show off their skills in the School’s award-winning Animation Club. Competitions are entered into every year. In 2014, two pupils won the KS3 Best Overall Film Category in the Animate14 competition in Manchester.

What Post-16 opportunities or potential pathways could this qualification unlock for my child?

The course provides an excellent progression route to A-Level IT and BTEC Level 3 ICT and Software Development at KS5. There is a vast array of potential opportunities for pupils in ICT-related industries.  Specifically, GCSE ICT is a well-recognised and valued qualification and will get pupils ready for their next steps whether that may be college, university or employment. Whatever career path pupils are thinking of choosing, the ICT qualification will help get the future pupils are looking for.

GCSE ICT is not just how you use technology, but how it works and the effects it has – not just on our daily lives but in everything from commerce and communication, to politics and the music industry. It’s the way of the future for all careers – so whether pupils are looking at heading towards business studies, fashion, engineering, graphic or game designing, health or the environment, they will need to know how ICT works and the impact it has.

Does my child need any specialist equipment for this subject?

The ICT department is well equipped with a range of equipment including desk top PCs in six dedicated suites, with all software necessary for studying ICT up to Key Stage 4. Pupils are able to log on anywhere in the school and access their work. All pupils have access to their own personal school e-mail address and Learning Platform area.

iPads are also available for pupils within ICT and across other curriculum areas. It is recognised that not all pupils will have access to technology at home and pupils have the opportunity to utilise ICT suites at lunchtimes and after school to complete homework and further their knowledge through independent learning.

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