Digital Technology & Computer Science

Staff

Mr. Philip Ramsey

Mr. Daniel McShane

Mrs. Krystal Cunningham (IT Manager) 

Subject Overview

ICT literacy enables independent learning by developing skills that will contribute to a pupil's life-long development. ICT provides access to new creative platforms and sources of information beyond the normal scope of the school.

Accommodation

The department uses 2 dedicated ICT suites plus a Resource Room.  Additional ICT provisions are located elsewhere in the school.  The Technician’s Office is adjacent to the classrooms and the school’s overall ICT provision is managed from there.

Achievements

The Digital Technology and Computing results have been consistently good for a number of years, often with excellent outcomes. We pride ourselves on enabling students to give of their best and assisting them with progression to future pathways.

In June 2019, Year 9 students attended the “Hive Academy” event will in Price Waterhouse Coopers, Belfast. It provided workshops on topics such as Virtual Reality, Robotics & Cyber Security.

The boys were able to pitch an “Internet of things” concept to a “Dragons Den” panel made up of PWC Senior Managers and external experts. The team comprising of Nathaniel Taylor, Conor Leeburn, Sam McGreeghan, Johnathan Meehan and Conor Graham successfully made it through into the final stages of the competition.   Their idea of a “Smart lock” that would act as a generic device to open up the clients’ front door or car, encrypt messages or online banking transactions was exceptional. This pitch gave the boys Bronze medal success!!

 Results 2018-19

Subject Bangor Grammar National Average
GSCE Digital Technology A*-C: 97.3% A*-C: 92%
GCSE Computer Science A*-C: 100% A*-C: 62.31%
AS Digital Technology A-C: 93.8% A-C: 70.6%
A2 Digital Technology A*-C: 79% A*-C: 78.8%
A2 Computer Science A*-C: 100% A*-C: 62.5%

 

Key Stage 3

Pupils are taught ICT for 1 hour per week in Year 8. Topics include Cyber security, Wired and wireless networks, Computer Architecture and Java programming

In Year 10, pupils take part in a 9-week Digital Technology (multimedia) carousel.

As this subject constantly evolves, the department is dedicated in developing and delivering a curriculum that focuses in on advanced technological skills required in the modern world.

All teaching at Key Stage 3 is by ICT/Computer Science specialists.

We offer an after school coding club to KS3 students to give them opportunity to explore programming & digital authoring. From October 2019, Years 9 and 10 will complete a Python programming course to give them a feeling of what to expect if they decide to follow the Computer Science route within the school.

Key Stage 4 ICT

Pupils are taught for 5 hours per fortnight throughout Year 11 and Year 12.

The course teaches a range of MS Office and multimedia programming skills

It also explores topics such as computer hardware and software, database applications, network technologies and cybersecurity.  

The assessment comprises 1 unit of controlled assessment and two theory units.

The controlled assessment is completed in Year 11

The theory units are assessed at the end of Year 12.

Material taught in the controlled assessment also features in the examination. 

CCEA Specification

Key Stage 4 Computer Science

Students undertaking the OCR GCSE Computer Science course are taught for 5 hours per fortnight throughout Year 11 and Year 12. No previous experience of programming is required for entry to the GCSE course as everything will be taught from first principles, but mathematical competence is an important pre-requisite.
 
The new Computer Science specification was introduced to Year 11 in September 2016. Full details can be found at http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse-computer-science-j276-from-2016/

The key emphasis in GCSE Computer Science is the development of the practical skill of programming. The object-oriented language Java is used as the main programming language for teaching and assessment purposes, and pupils also get exposure to Standard Query Language (SQL) and assembly language programming.

Key Stage 5 

We offer 2 subjects at A-Level: Computer Science and Digital Technology.  Classes of both subjects receive 9 hours of teaching per fortnight.

The OCR A-Level Computer Science course is currently being followed in Years 13 and 14.  Full details can be found at http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-computer-science-h046-h446-from-2015/

The CCEA A-Level Digital Technology specification is being followed by Year 13 and 14. Full details can be found at http://ccea.org.uk/digital_technology/

 

Career Opportunities

Within Northern Ireland, the computing/ICT sector is buoyant and growing. Businesses are recruiting through a range of channels and young school leavers and University graduates currently have many initial career pathways available to them. The core skills associated with programming, multimedia and office software are largely transferable across Europe and worldwide. A useful starting point for researching future opportunities is http://bringitonni.info/, and careers advice is available to students in school wishing to explore possibilities in this dynamic field.