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. For a small number of KS3 students we do provide timetabled lessons in ICT as part of a package of learning support. In KS4 and KS5 we offer discreet timetabled courses in ICT

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

ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence)

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 progress 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.

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.

The units of study throughout the two years are:

Unit 1: Information Technology Systems (written examination)

  • Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information (supervised task)
  • Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business (internal assessment)

Unit 5: Data Modelling (internal assessment)


For more information contact the subject leader:

Mr Rob Whitney


Content updated January 2017