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IT and Computing A Level at Waddesdon CofE School

Course description

You will:
- gain a broad understanding of ICT and be able to study selected areas in more depth
- develop skills, knowledge and understanding of ICT
- have an opportunity to apply learning in a practical and realistic way
- follow a programme of study that enables progression to both higher education and employment within the IT sector.
- develop Key Skills that are highly valued by employers and universities

Course content

Unit 1: The Information Age
In this unit you will learn about the information communication technologies that enable people to access and exchange information and to carry out transactions anytime, anywhere. You will take a critical look at the impact that the internet has had on the way people conduct their personal and professional lives, explore the services it offers and gain 'hands-on' experience of using some of them. As you will discover, the internet provides fantastic opportunities to those individuals and communities who are 'technology enabled'. However, for one reason or another, not everyone is able to take full advantage of what is on offer.
You will investigate the causes and effects of the digital divide which separates the 'haves' from the 'have nots' and evaluate measures being taken to bridge the gap. Throughout the unit you will acquire the tools and techniques you need to make effective use of the information available to you on the internet. The skills and knowledge you gain whilst studying this unit will be a useful foundation for the rest of the qualification. This is an internally assessed unit.
Unit 2: The Digital Economy
Paperless transactions are hallmarks of the digital economy. In the global e-marketplace transactional websites are the interface between e-enabled customers and organisations, allowing them to do business with one another anytime, anywhere.
In this unit, you will investigate how organisations are responding to the pressures of the e-marketplace by using transactional websites to:
- present their products and services
- gather information
- provide a personalised service
As an informed ICT user, you need to be aware of the methods used by organisations to persuade their customers to reveal personal information about themselves and what it is used for. This is an internally assessed unit.
Unit 3: The Knowledge Worker
In this unit you will learn about making informed decisions using the knowledge available to you. As you already know, not all information is current or accurate. You will learn how to select your sources and decide on how much credence you can place in them. You will learn that there are often many factors to consider when making a decision and that part of the process is to identify gaps in your knowledge. Decisions often have to be made within time constraints. You will learn how to manage your time effectively by prioritising tasks and setting interim deadlines.
This unit will allow you to develop your skills as a knowledge worker by learning how to use spreadsheet models to investigate alternatives and answer 'what if' questions. The formulae in these models will allow you to try out some of the possible alternatives that you have identified. Together with information from other sources, you will use the outcome of the models to inform your decision-making. This is an externally assessed unit.

Optional Units
There is a large list of optional units to choose from but it is likely we will concentrate the studies on the following units.
Unit 7: Using Database Software
In this unit you will develop your knowledge and skills of using databases. You will learn the principles of data modeling and 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. You will make full use of the facilities of the software to produce reports that are well presented, easy-to-read and fit for purpose. Your work for this use will culminate in the design, development and testing of a database for a specific purpose. This is an internally assessed unit.
Unit 8: Managing ICT Projects
In this unit you will be able to put into practice what you have learnt by setting up and running a small-scale project. You will have to draw upon the knowledge and skills you have learned throughout the course in order to plan for and produce the required software product. You will have to have in depth knowledge of more than two different software applications and some experience of the processes involved in software design and implementation. This is an internally assessed unit.
Unit 10: Using Multimedia Software
In this unit you will learn that everything created is to be communicated! Advances in digital technology have transformed the way we live and learn. You will study the development of digital multimedia and how media types such as text, graphics and video allow us to present information. This is an internally assessed unit.


Entry requirements

Students will build upon the knowledge gained through their GCSE course in ICT. They will require a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in Information and Communication Technology, a willingness to explore new ideas and an ability to communicate your ideas effectively are important. They will need to have obtained at least GCSE B grades in Mathematics and English and at least grade B in Full Course ICT.

Future opportunities

A high degree of competence in Information and Communication Technology will be a vital part of working life in the twenty-first century. Your skills and abilities will be eagerly sought by local companies if you wish to go directly into employment. Many of you, however, may wish to continue into higher education concentrating on one or more of the various pathways, namely: hardware; systems software; project management; software engineering; systems applications and the like.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Waddesdon CofE School directly.

Last updated date: 09 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years