Studying ICT at Westfield has many benefits:
- State of the art, air-conditioned IT suite.
- New IT equipment with a machine for each girl.
- Unlimited (although content filtered) access to high speed Internet.
- Use of Industry Standard, Microsoft software.
- 'Hands On' skills based courses.
- Practical aspects which aid all studied subjects, help in Higher Education and with career opportunities.
In Upper 3 to Upper 4 years a wide variety of ICT aspects are covered ranging from use of the Internet, word processing, spreadsheet design, databases and presentation/graphics. Tuition is very 'hands on' and practical and will ultimately lead to the CLAIT qualification for those girls who wish it.
As a GCSE option, we study the AQA board specification which involves an exam board set assignment which sets problems to be tackled using ICT skills and knowledge of software, there is a candidates own ICT project, which is entirely of their own choosing and should demonstrate their ICT understanding and finally there is a written theory paper at the end of the course of study.
At GCSE level the course is very task driven and students will normally build on knowledge gained lower down the school and are usually expected to solve problems involving spreadsheets, databases, word processing (often creating web pages), and a Desktop Publishing package.
In Sixth Form the General Certificate of Education in Applied Information & Communication Technology is studied.
This course will be attractive to students who enjoy studying a subject which is relevant to their own lives. The course comprises a great deal of practical work and enables students to be creative.
- The Advanced GCE is made up of 6 units - 1 A level equivalent
- The Advanced Subsidiary GCE is made up of 3 units - 1 AS equivalent
Up to three quarters of the course will be internally assessed. Assignments are very practical and based on a scenario appropriate to working in the IT industry - these skills are transferable to the work place and very attractive to employers. Equally, they are very valuable skills within a higher education course, enabling you to present work effectively on many courses or take your IT skills further.
One quarter of the course is externally assessed through tests, set assignments, projects or case study work.
COMPULSORY UNITS FOR ADVANCED SUBSIDIARY GCE
Unit 1 : The Information Age
We are living in an age in which an enormous amount of information is produced, communicated and stored in digital format every day. The pace of development is very fast. In this unit you will learn about the information communication technologies that enable people to access and exchange information and to carry out transactions anytime, anywhere. You will take a critical look at the impact that the internet has had on the way people conduct their personal and professional lives, explore the services it offers and gain 'hands-on' experience of using some of them. Your investigation and evaluation of all these aspects of the age in which you live will be presented in the form of an e-book designed to be read on a computer screen.
Unit 2 : The Digital Economy
In this unit, you will investigate how organisations are responding to the pressures of the e-marketplace by using transactional websites to:
- present their products and services
- gather information
- provide a personalised service
Your work for this unit will culminate in an in-depth investigation into the design of a commercial transactional website and the back-office processes involved in handling an online purchase. You will apply your database skills to the task of storing and analysing given data in order to identify significant trends and then make recommendations based on your interpretation of them.
Unit 3 : The Knowledge Worker
In this unit you will learn about making informed decisions using the knowledge available to you. As you already know, not all information is current or accurate. You will learn how to select your sources and decide on how much credence you can place in them. You will learn that there are often many factors to consider when making a decision and that part of the process is to identify gaps in your knowledge. Decisions often have to be made within time constraints. You will learn how to manage your time effectively by prioritising tasks and setting interim deadlines.