Information Technology is a subject rooted in practical skill and creativity. We believe it should first and foremost be seen as a means to facilitate both creative expression and learning in other subjects rather than an end in itself. The vast majority of students who join us in year 7 already have a good grasp of basic skills and applications. For this reason we do not have timetabled lessons in Key Stage 3 but instead adopt a cross curricular approach, based on the periodic use of ICT in individual subjects and supported by a single cross curricular ICT day in each of years 7, 8 and 9 in which all students participate.

Key Stage 3 – Years 7, 8 and 9

Year 7 – Cross curricular ICT day

In Year 7 all students will be taught programming through Scratch which is a visual programming language. Scratch is used by students to create animations and games. It provides a stepping stone to the more advanced world of computer programming that the students will be involved in through KS3.

Year 8 – Cross curricular ICT day

Students in Year 8 will be given an introduction to CAD (Computer aided Design)
We believe that students need to have some awareness of what this means in terms of product design and manufacture and also the effect on consumers.
This is done through a series of step-by-step tutorials that teach students the basics of how to use Autocad Fusion. Students are then set a Design challenge where they can test the skills they have learned. Final prototypes are then modelled on the 3D printer so that students can evaluate their success.

Year 9 – Cross curricular ICT day

At this stage students are already preparing for their GCSE’s as an aid to this preparation students will spend the day revisiting the Microsoft Office range of programmes through a range of exciting and varied tasks. The aim of this day is to equip students with the tools that they will need to complete the work that they will be expected to use in their chosen GCSE subjects.

Key Stage 4  – Year 10/11

 Pearson Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications CiDA

Key features

The Pearson Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications:

  • is graded at A*, A, B and C
  • is for students aged 14 years and over
  • provides opportunities for synoptic assessment
  • is available for first registration from September 2012
  • is available for first certification from June 2014
  • takes 120 guided learning hours to deliver and has 133 hours of total qualification time.
  • is equivalent in level and teaching time to one GCSE at grades A*-C.


The UK is a world leader in the creative digital industries, such as in the creation of visual effects for films and computer games. However, there is growing recognition that we need to build on and improve the UK’s capability and capacity for technical innovation and creativity in this area.

The Pearson Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications has been designed to engage and enthuse young people with an interest in creative computing, for example digital graphics and animations, interactive multimedia products and computer games. Our aim is to encourage learners to consider pursuing education, training and career paths which will contribute to the nation’s economic wellbeing, while achieving job satisfaction and reward.

The UK has a well-deserved reputation for producing innovation and design.

In an era in which creativity is intertwining with technology like never before, there is a danger that the UK will fail to nurture the next generation of worldclass designers. The Pearson Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications has been designed to teach digital design skills and enable young people to use digital tools to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way.


This qualification aims to:

  • equip young people with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to design and make, effective digital products for others to use
  • enable young people to use digital tools as a means of expression to inform, persuade and entertain
  • foster young people’s creativity and develop their independent learning skills
  • challenge young people to reflect on what they produce and strive for excellence
  • increase young people’s awareness of their responsibilities in the digital world and their respect of other people’s rights
  • equip young people with professional, real-world skills in planning, project management and communication
  • give young people the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to support future learning and exploit the creative digital industries.

Qualification Structure

Pearson Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA)
Unit Mandatory unit

Students must complete this unit.

1 Developing Web Products 30
4 Game Making 90


ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) – Selected students only

The new Computing curriculum requires that every child leaves school ‘digitally literate’ – and ECDL is an important building block, equipping students with the digital skills they’ll need as they prog

ress to further education and employment.

As the leading international computer skills qualification, ECDL is the benchmark for digital literacy in educational systems around the globe. ECDL teaches students how to use a computer confidently and effectively, building a more productive, efficient learner and encouraging problem-solving, creativity and communication.

In the UK alone, over 2.5 million people have taken ECDL since 1997, making it the qualification that employers recognise and look for as proof of IT user competence. This means students gain a head start when they join the competitive job market.

ECDL at The Ilfracombe Academy is delivered and assessed entirely online without the need for textbooks, notepads or test papers:

ECDL qualifications are made up of interactive units that build on existing knowledge and motivate further learning.

Students are awarded the following grades for completing the Level 2 Award:

ECDL Grade GCSE Equivalent
DISTINCTION*                    A*
DISTINCTION                    A
MERIT                    B
PASS                   C

For more able students there is an opportunity to either complete the ECDL Certificate (Database software and Project Management software) or learn computing through a series of different and vocational activities.

Key Stage 5  – Year 12/13

BTEC Nationals in ICT

There are no formal entry requirements but we expect learners to have qualifications at or equivalent to Level 2.

Learners are most likely to succeed if they have:

  • five GCSEs at good grades and/or
  • BTEC qualification(s) at Level 2
  • achievement in English and mathematics through GCSE     or Functional Skills.

 Who is this qualification for?

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology is intended as an Applied General qualification covering 360 GLH and equivalent in size to one A Level. It is designed for learners who are interested in an introduction to the study of creating IT systems to manage and share information alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in IT.

Learners will develop a common core of IT knowledge and study areas such as the relationship between hardware and software that form an IT system, managing and processing data to support business and using IT to communicate and share information.

What does this qualification cover?

The objective of this qualification is to give learners the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in IT systems, systems management and social media in business. This will enable learners to progress to further study in the IT sector or other sectors.

Learners will study three mandatory units:

  • Unit 1: Information Technology Systems (synoptic)
  • Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information
  • Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business.

And one optional unit:

  • Unit 5: Data Modelling

 Key features of external assessment

Unit 1 Information Technology Systems is a scenario-based assessment. Learners show their understanding of the relationships between IT systems’ hardware and software, the way systems work individually and together, the relationship between the user and the system, use of IT systems’ issues and their impact on organisations and individuals. This is assessed by a Pearson set and marked examination.

Unit 2: Creating Information Systems to Manage Information is a task-based assessment. Learners respond to a scenario to produce an effective database design solution, test and evaluate each stage of the development process and the effectiveness of the database solution.

For more information contact the subject leader:

Mr Rob Whitney

Content updated September 2017


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