Information Communication Technology/Digital Technology

Welcome to the Information Communication Technology and Digital technology department. Our desire is to prepare pupils with the knowledge and skills for this ever-changing digital world. The department is an innovative department that incorporates the concepts of e-learning and independent learning within the classroom.

ICT header

Within the department we have three networked ICT suites with printer access in each. All classes are equipped with a data projector, Apple TV and there are many interactive whiteboards available to enhance classroom teaching and learning. When Year 8 pupils arrive in St Columb’s College we concentrate on embracing the opportunities that iPad technology has presented us with and we permit the use of an authorised Apple iPad in a manner consistent with the established teaching and learning objectives of the school.

Our aim is to support the school’s primary aim: to promote in each pupil the fullest Christian development of which he is capable. We also strive to ensure that our pupils are achieving their full potential within ICT or Digital Technology at all times.

Members of the Department
Mrs L McShane (Head of Subject)
Mrs L Hegarty
Miss L McErlaine
Mr M Scoltock

Key Stage 3
The effective use of ICT plays a central role in all subjects. Pupils will experience the effective use of technology in each subject. Year 10 pupils will receive three lessons of Coding per week. Pupils carry out units of work in the following areas in Year 10:

  • Internet Safety
  • Scratch Technology
  • Python Cryptography
  • HTML Website Design
  • GameMaker Game Design

Key Stage 4
GCSE Digital Technology is a practical, skill-based qualification that incorporates aspects of computer science and information technology. It helps the pupils explore how they can use technology to create, store, process, analyse and present information in a digital context. This includes studying the theory of computer architecture, networks, web technology, digital media, programming tools and software applications.

Pupils who to choose to follow the GCSE path in Digital Technology have two options:
I. CCEA GCSE Digital Technology – Multimedia
II. CCEA GCSE Digital Technology – Programming

ICT route

Key Stage 5
Pupils who chose to follow the Post-16 route in the Digital Technology or ICT subject area have two choices:
i. GCE Digital Technology
ii. BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate

GCE Digital Technology
GCE Digital Technology gives our students the opportunity to develop advanced skills in a range of development environments and apply these to relevant work-related scenarios. The course is comprised of four assessed units: three units are externally assessed and one is internally assessed. Students are encouraged to develop skills in a number of development environments.

Course Entry Requirements
Grade B or above in GCSE ICT and GCSE Maths.

Course Content
The objective of the course is to help students develop an interest in digital technology, gain an understanding of the systems development process and gain an awareness of a range of technologies and the impact they have on individuals, organisations and society.

Course Outline
• 80% Written Exam
• 20% coursework

Career opportunities
Many pupils go on to third level education to study a degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Gaming and Multimedia. Digital technology can lead to careers such as Programmers, Systems analysts, network professionals, technicians and systems administrators.

Year 1
Unit 1:  50% of AS Level: 20% of A-Level

Fundamentals of Digital Technology

This topic explores the following content:
• Reasons for System Development
• Programming


Unit 2: 50% of AS Level: 20% of A-Level

Approaches to Systems Development

This topic explores the following content:
• Data Representation
• Data & Information
• Hardware & Software
• Web technology & Multimedia

Year 2
Unit 1: 40% of A-Level
Information Systems

This topic explores the following content:
• Networks
• Databases
• Applications of Digital Technology
• Individual, Social & Legal Considerations

Unit 2: 20% of A-Level
Application Development [case study]
Students will study a real-world situation. They apply their skills, knowledge and understanding of digital technology to solve a problem for a specified client.

In year 1 you will sit two exam papers, each lasting 1 hour 30 minutes. They will be short and extended questions. In Year 2 you will sit one exam paper lasting 2 hours 30 minutes. You will also create a portfolio showing evidence of analysis, design, development, testing and evaluation for an application. 

BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Information Technology
(Equivalent to one A-Level)
Awarding Body: Pearson

Course Content
This qualification is designed for learners who are interested in a basic introduction to the study of Information Technology (IT) alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses.

Course Entry Requirements
Students can choose Information Technology without studying ICT before. However, a student who chooses this course must have the ability to work independently, meet deadlines and have good commitment to their work. Students must have, as a minimum, a grade B at GCSE Mathematics and English.

Course Outline
Extended Certificate – Equivalent to 1 A-Level
4 Units [3 Mandatory & 1 Optional]

3 Mandatory Units
• Information Technology Systems
• Creating Systems to Manage Information
• Using Social Media in Business

Year 1 
Unit: Information Technology System (Value 120 points)
This is an externally assessed exam unit.

Unit: Creating Systems to Manage Information (Value 90)
This is an externally assessed unit.

 Year 2
Unit: Using Social Media in Business (Value 90 points)
This is an internally assessed unit.

Unit: Website Development (Value 60 points) our optional choice. This is an internally assessed unit.

Assessment decisions for BTEC Nationals are based on the specific criteria given in each unit and set at each grade level. A grade can be awarded as a Pass, Merit or Distinction:

  • To achieve a Distinction, a learner must have satisfied all the Distinction criteria (and therefore
    the Pass and Merit criteria),
  • To achieve a Merit, a learner must have satisfied all the Merit criteria (and therefore the Pass
  • To achieve a Pass, a learner must have satisfied all the Pass criteria for the learning aims, showing coverage of the unit content and therefore attainment at Level 3 of the national framework.