Tue 24th Apr 2018


Welcome to the ICT department

IT Department Vision Statement

The ICT department, through the Computing Curriculum 2014, will teach students:

·         How the systems work (Computer Science)

·         How the computer systems are used (Information Technology)

·         How to use computer systems confidently and effectively (Digital literacy)

The ICT department seek to build a community of inquiry, where teachers, students and parents work together through a variety of courses and extra-curricular opportunities, to build and extend practice and accomplishments beyond the limitations of the school day.

The new Computing Curriculum is designed to be engaging, exciting and enriching for all students, irrespective of ability and will see them empowered to think both creatively and logically. Students are encouraged to develop their natural curiosity in the technology behind the modern world.

The ICT department, through a combination of functional skills, programming and application, will encourage students to develop the rationale behind building core skills for their desired career, and will start them on a technological journey to their desired future, with the aspiration to reach their full potential.

Overview of the curriculum

The IT programme at Montsaye Academy is undergoing great change with the move from an ICT based curriculum to that of a Computing curriculum based on the new Programme of Study.

The traditional ICT curriculum was narrow focussed and centred on the application of computer technology to solve everyday problems and was very much orientated towards transient software skills.

The new computing curriculum is broad focussed (it still includes ICT) but has a more holistic view of hardware and software. At the core of the new syllabus is the development of computational thinking skills that allow students to analyse problems and produce solutions across the Academy. Students will also have the opportunity to work with a range of programming languages and develop coding skills as they create solutions as both individuals and in groups.



Year 7 Topics

·         Basic functional and communication skills

*  The Unit is designed to give learners a basic introduction to key Information Technology skills through using Microsoft Office tools. This includes using the academy VLE, attaching documents, writing a formal business letter in Word, use of interactivity in PowerPoint and basic formulas and graphs in Excel. All students now have access to Microsoft Office 2013 at home with the introduction of the Office 365 licencing agreement. They are also provided with a One Drive account allowing access to files via cloud storage.

·         Using the Internet safely

*  The unit is designed to give learners the skills and  knowledge needeto make safe and productive use of the Internet and the World Wide Web. It re-enforces the work carried out as part of E-Safety day.

·         Introduction to Programming with Kodu

*  This scheme of work aims to teach learners the fundamentals of games programming using Kodu Game Lab - a visual game development environment. Using Kodu Game Lab learners will develop a range of key skills which include:

*  drawing and sculpting a world

*   adding characters and objects

*  the use of When and Do instructions to control characters and objects

*   the use of paths and pages

Once learners have built their skills they are required to design, create, test and evaluate their own game.

·         What is a computer?

*  The aim of this unit is to give learners an understanding of the key components that make up a computer system, including inputs, outputs and hardware. They will be introduced to binary and how to convert between binary and denary numbers and will gain a basic understanding of computer networks and operating systems.

·         Algorithms

*  This unit is an introduction to Computational Thinking and the use of logic to solve problems. They will learn that computational thinking is not ‘thinking like a computer’ but thinking about and understanding problems (and the world) in terms of the processes going on, the data available, and the steps (presented in a standard notation) that need to be followed in order to achieve a goal.

·         Control

*  This unit uses FLOWOL and LOGO to teach students how systems can be controlled using logical instructions. They will learn that computer systems respond to precise instructions by creating control systems for everyday situations such as road traffic lights and rail systems.

Year 8 Topics

·         Algorithms

*   This unit is an introduction to Computational Thinking and the use of logic to solve problems. They will learn that computational thinking is not ‘thinking like a computer’ but thinking about and understanding problems (and the world) in terms of the processes going on, the data available, and the steps (presented in a standard notation) that need to be followed in order to achieve a goal.

·         Programming with Scratch 2.0

*   This unit used the Scratch programming environment to teach students the basics of computer programming. Scratch takes advantage of advances in computing power and interface design to make programming more engaging and accessible for learners of all ages and abilities. As students work on Scratch projects, they have opportunities to learn important computational concepts such as iteration, conditionals, variables, data types, events, and processes.

·         How the web works

*   This unit develops students’ understanding of the Internet, its uses, benefits and pitfalls. The unit covers an explanation of what the “web” is, how to know what we can trust on the web and how to effectively search the Internet for the information we need.

·         Image manipulation

*   This scheme unit will give learners an understanding of how digital images are made up, addressing pixels, and resolution and pixel depth. Learners will then move on to gain an understanding of some of the key tools in Serif Draw and Adobe Photoshop to produce a portfolio of images from which they will gather feedback and produce an evaluation.

·         Website design

*   This unit will give learners the opportunity to design and build their own websites using Serif WebPlus or Adobe DreamWeaver. The unit will also cover the writing of HTML and give students an understanding of how a website project is developed.

·         Programming with Python

*   This unit of work will give learners a basic understanding of the Python programming language. Through a series of six lessons learners will be introduced to the basic Python syntax and look at selection, loops, functions, lists and classes. Learners will be given the building blocks to extend their programming skills by adding to existing programs or extending their knowledge on Codecademy.               

Year 9 Options

Core IT

At Montsaye Academy all students attend one lesson per week of core IT. Students are set by ability and are presently studying for Microsoft Certification in Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification programme is an industry recognised qualification which is designed to improve students’ productivity across the curriculum and prepare them for the world of work.

All students in Year 9 are given an access code that allows them to use the GMetrix software on any computer. This means that they can download Microsoft Office 2013 using their Office 365 account and then study for the MOS certification at home as well as at Montsaye.

Option IT

In Year 9 students can opt to follow a GCSE in IT. Those students receive an additional two lesson a week for the year and study a range of topics that develop their understanding of advanced IT and Computing concepts. The units covered include:

·         Computer Hardware

·         Operating Systems and software Applications

·         Programming with Python

·         GCSE


Cambridge Nationals

Students who opt to continue with ICT are currently offered the OCR Cambridge Nationals course. The course comprises four units, 2 mandatory and 2 optional. On completion of the 4 units students receive a GCSE grade A* - G. The current course structure consists of the following units:

·         Unit 1 – Understanding Computer Systems (exam)

·         Unit 2 – How ICT can be used to meet business needs

·         Unit 5 – Creating an interactive product using multimedia components

·         Unit 6 – Creating digital images



BTEC ICT single and double

Students at Key Stage 5 study for either the Single or Double BTEC in ICT award. During the 2 years of the course, students create a portfolio of evidence that covers either 6 or 12 units. With such a wide range of units available, the department is able to offer students the challenge of studying many aspects of computer systems, programming, digital creativity and business application. This has resulted in an interesting and varied syllabus that has a broad appeal.



The Academy boasts 9 computer suites across the campus, plus additional access to laptops through a booking system, and an array of PCs in the Learning Resource Centre and 6Th Form study area. All the machines run Microsoft Windows 7 and are centrally administered by the Academy’s Information Services Department. Students can access their “area” from any machine on the campus and from home via the VLE. All students have filtered access to the Internet together with the software packages listed below.


The IT Department has access to a wide range of up-to-date and industry standard software that allows students to develop both their ICT skills and their use of Computational Thinking. All students are encourage to choose the software most appropriate to their ability and the task but also to experiment and investigate alternative solutions. The software used is always being updated, but the department is currently using:

·         Microsoft Office 2013 with Office 365 licence for home use
·         Adobe Suite CS6
·         Serif Suite
·         FLOWOL
·         LOGO
·         Kodu
·         Scratch
·         Python
·         Small Basic
·         Visual Studio 2012
·         Audacity
·         Hodder Virtual Learning Environment