Computing and ICT

Computing plays an increasingly vital role in our everyday lives. The curriculum offered to students must provide experience of using computers in a wide range of situations.

At Prenton, in ICT and Computing lessons we meet these requirements by encouraging and supporting our students to use technology safely and responsibly and with confidence. Not just in computing but in all other subjects. From this, students will become independent learners capable of critical thinking, creativity and effective communication.

The skills and knowledge that students will acquire in ICT and Computing, will underpin all other subjects within the curriculum offer; for example: how to search efficiently and safely on the Internet, used across all subjects; modelling and programming underpins Maths; visual literacy, programming, and web design underpins English Language; and programming and sequencing encourages critical thinking.

Our aim in Computing is to ensure that all our students:
• know and understand how to keep safe and away from harm, whilst using the Internet and other communications facilities.
• are able to explore and become confident, using emerging technologies.
• develop a range of transferable skills.
• use technology effectively, creatively and imaginatively.
• are able to identify and understand when and where to use skills and Computing knowledge, in other areas of the curriculum. To extend, support and enrich learning across the whole curriculum.
•  develop a Growth Mindset through inquisitive problem solving tasks and debugging code.

But above all we strive to make our students selective, confident and skilled enough to become independent users of technology.


Mr T Simon | Subject Leader
Mrs A Brown | Teacher ICT and Computing


At Prenton, students have access to the latest computer technology in air-conditioned computing suites that include workstations, colour and laser printers and Clevertouch interactive screens

The workstations are equipped with a wide range of software, ranging from software for general use, for example: MS Office 2016 to more specific software including, Adobe Creative Cloud,  MIT APP Inventor (Web Based), Python Mu Emulator and PyCharm. We also have additional technology to facilitate lessons including USB Robot Arms, Mobile Phones, Flip Cams and Video Equipment Packs.
Each ICT suite is equipped with HP Elite touch screen PCs that can rotate between landscape and portrait. After extensive investment in a brand new network, they now run with Windows 10. There are also smaller suites of computers available in individual subject areas.

Curriculum Provision Years 7, 8 and 9

In Years 7 to 9, ICT with aspects of Computing are taught as discrete/separate subjects. Students currently have two lessons per week. The course is built around the basic skills of Research, Critical Thinking, Word Processing, Desk Top Publishing,  Databases, Modelling, Web Design( including Html programming), Animation, Graphics, Multimedia (including Sound and Video)and Programming (including Microbit , Mit APP Inventor and Python).

Students undertake a basic skills unit to teach them the basic skills required so they are equipped to use technology across the curriculum in their first term. This allows us to pinpoint, at an early stage, any problems or misunderstandings students may have about the use of technology and application in a networked environment. It further allows us to design our curriculum to meet the specific needs of our students.

Students are taught software use, in-line with industry conventions.

Our modern computer facilities have greatly improved the opportunities to acquire computing skills/knowledge, both in lessons and for private study. There is a school policy on Internet Acceptable Use, which applies to all members of the school community.

GCSE or Equivalent Courses

Currently – OCR Cambridge National Level1/Level2 in iMedia

Why choose iMedia as an option?

These qualifications will assess the application of creative media skills through their practical use. They will provide learners with essential knowledge, transferable skills and the tools to improve their learning in other subjects with the aims of enhancing their employability when they leave education, contributing to their personal development and future economic well-being. The qualifications will encourage independence, creativity and awareness of the digital media sector. The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will equip learners with a range of creative media skills and provide opportunities to develop, in context, desirable, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts effectively. Through the use of these skills, learners will ultimately be creating fit-for-purpose creative media products. The Cambridge Nationals in Creative iMedia will also challenge all learners, including high attaining learners, by introducing them to demanding material and techniques; encouraging independence and creativity and providing tasks that engage with the most taxing aspects of the National Curriculum. The ‘hands on’ approach that will be required for both teaching and learning has strong relevance to the way young people use the technology required in creative media. It will underpin a highly valid approach to the assessment of their skills as is borne out by what teachers tell us. The qualification design, including the range of units available, will allow learners the freedom to explore the areas of creative media that interest them as well as providing good opportunities to enhance their learning in a range of curriculum areas.

Syllabus Cambridge Nationals iMedia – Single award

Examination Board: OCR

Qualification: GCSE Level 2 Equivalent Pass to Distinction*

Assessment is as follows:

1 written paper OCR set and marked (1.15hrs 60 marks)

1 compulsory centre assessed Task (Approx 10hrs 60 marks OCR Moderated)

2 optional from a iMedia related topics centre assessed tasks (Approx 10hrs 60marks OCR Moderated)

Course content:

Unit RO81– Pre-Production Skills (Exam)

This unit will enable learners to understand pre-production skills used in the creative and digital media sector. It will develop their understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques that form part of the planning and creation process. Planning is an essential part of working in the creative and digital media sector. This unit will enable learners to acquire the underpinning knowledge and skills needed to create digital media products and gain an understanding of their application. On completion of this unit, learners will understand the purpose and uses of a range of techniques. They will be able to plan pre-production of a creative digital media product to a client brief.

Learners will apply each skill to their centred assessed tasks based upon specific learning outcomes.

Learning Outcome 1: Understand the purpose and content of pre-production Learners will be taught:

Purposes and uses for:

  • mood boards (ideas and concepts for a new creative media product development, assisting the generation of ideas)
  • mind maps/spider diagram (to show development routes and options for an idea, or component parts and resources needed for a creative media product)
  • visualisation diagrams for still images and graphics, storyboards (for use with video, animation)
  • scripts (for example a video production, voiceover, comic book or computer game)

The content of:

  • mood boards
  • mind maps/spider diagrams
  • visualisation diagrams, (images – graphics – logos – text)
  • storyboards, (number of scenes – scene content – timings – camera shots ( close up, mid, long) – camera angles (over the shoulder, low angle, aerial) – camera movement (pan, tilt, zoom or using a track and dolly) – lighting (e.g. types, direction)
  • sound (dialogue, sound effects, ambient sound, music)
  • locations (indoor studio or other room, outdoor)
  • camera type (still camera, video camera, virtual camera for use in animations, 3D modelling or computer games)
  • scripts, (set or location for the scene – direction (what happens in the scene, interaction)
  • shot type – (different camera movement)
  • sounds (for actions or events)
  • characters – dialogue (intonation, loudness, emotion)
  • formatting and layout.

Learning Outcome 2: Be able to plan pre-production

Learners will be taught how to:

  • interpret client requirements for pre-production (purpose, theme, style, genre, content) based on a specific brief (by client discussion, reviewing a written brief, script or specification)
  • identify timescales for production based on target audience and end user requirements
  • how to conduct and analyse research for a creative digital media product, using primary sources and secondary sources
  • produce a work plan and production schedule to include:
  • tasks
  • activities
  • work flow
  • timescales
  • resources
  • milestones

Learners will be taught:

  • the importance of identifying the target audience and how they can be categorised:
  • gender
  • age
  • ethnicity
  • income
  • location
  • accessibility
  • the hardware, techniques and software used for:
  • digitising paper-based documents
  • creating electronic pre-production documents
  • the health and safety considerations when creating digital media products
  • use of risk assessments
  • location recces
  • safe working practices
  • legislation regarding any assets to be sourced,:
  • copyright
  • trademarks
  • intellectual property
  • how legislation applies to creative media production, i.e.:
  • data protection
  • privacy
  • defamation
  • certification and classification
  • use of copyrighted material and intellectual property.

Learning Outcome 3: Be able to produce pre-production documents

Learners will be taught how to create a:

  • mood board
  • mind map/spider diagram
  • visualisation diagram or sketch
  • storyboard
  • analyse a script (scenes/locations, characters, resources and equipment needed).

Learners will be taught:

  • the properties and limitations of file formats for still images, audio and moving images
  • video
  • animation
  • suitable naming conventions (version control, organisational requirements).

Learners will be taught how to:

  • identify appropriate file formats needed to produce:
  • pre-production documents
  • final products in line with client requirements

Learning Outcome 4: Be able to review pre-production documents

Learners will be taught how to:

  • review a pre-production document (for format, style, clarity, suitability of content for the client and target audience)
  • identify areas for improvement in a pre-production document (colour schemes, content, additional scenes).

Unit RO82– Creating Digital Graphics (Compulsory Centre Assessed Task  )

This unit builds on unit R081 and learners will be able to apply the skills, knowledge and understanding gained in that unit and vice versa. Digital graphics feature in many areas of our lives and play a very important part in today’s world. The digital media sector relies heavily on these visual stimulants within the products it produces, to communicate messages effectively. The aim of this unit is for learners to understand the basics of digital graphics editing for the creative and digital media sector. They will learn where and why digital graphics are used and what techniques are involved in their creation. This unit will develop learners’ understanding of the client brief, time frames, deadlines and preparation techniques as part of the planning and creation process. On completion of this unit, learners will understand the purpose and properties of digital graphics, and know where and how they are used. They will be able to plan the creation of digital graphics, create new digital graphics using a range of editing techniques and review a completed graphic against a specific brief.

Unit RO85– Creating Digital Graphics (Compulsory Centre Assessed Task)

This unit builds on units R081 and R082 and learners will be able to apply skills, knowledge and understanding gained in those units. Multipage websites are the basis of internet content and are therefore used extensively in the creative digital media sector, whether for mobile phones or computers in all their forms. This unit will enable learners to understand the basics of creating multipage websites. It will enable learners to demonstrate their creativity by combining components to create a functional, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing website. It will allow them to interpret a client brief and to use planning and preparation techniques when developing a multipage website. On completion of this unit, learners will be able to explore and understand the different properties, purposes and features of multipage websites, plan and create a multipage website and review the final website against a specific brief.

One other unit to be chosen by teachers delivering the unit from the following options:

  • Unit R083: Creating 2D and 3D digital characters
  • Unit R084: Storytelling with a comic strip
  • Unit R086: Creating a digital animation
  • Unit R087: Creating interactive multimedia products
  • Unit R088: Creating a digital sound sequence
  • Unit R089: Creating a digital video sequence
  • Unit R090: Digital photography
  • Unit R091: Designing a game concept

Why choose Computer Science as an option?

GCSE Computer Science encourages the investigation and study of computing in a variety of contexts, for example home, school, recreation, community, business and industry. Students can acquire competence and capability through the creation, implementation, use and evaluation of a range of program scenarios. Students will also study the theory underpinning Computing. This course will allow them to progress to a GCE A level in Computing (Computer Science).

Important requirements

  • Have an understanding of current and emerging technologies and how they work.
  • Understand what an algorithm is in computer programs and how to use key programming concepts to create algorithms.
  • Be an independent and discerning user of technology.
  • Be able to apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of technology in a range of contexts.
  • Develop computer programs to solve a problem.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of computer technology in society.

Syllabus: GCSE – Single award

Examination Board: OCR

Qualification: 1 GCSE 9-1

Course content   
Unit J277/01  – Computer Systems and Programming (Written Examination)

Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes/50% of total GCSE/80 marks

This component will assess:

  • 1.1 Systems architecture
  • 1.2 Memory and storage
  • 1.3 Computer networks, connections and protocols
  • 1.4 Network security
  • 1.5 Systems software
  • 1.6 Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology

Unit J277/02  – Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (Written Examination)

Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes/50% of total GCSE/80 marks

This component will assess:

  • 2.1 Algorithms
  • 2.2 Programming fundamentals
  • 2.3 Producing robust programs
  • 2.4 Boolean logic
  • 2.5 Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments

Practical Programming All students will undertake programming tasks in year 10 and 11, to solve a problem (or problems), during their course of study. Students may draw on some of the content in both components when engaged in Practical Programming.


Students have access to the various computing suites as well as additional facilities in the Learning Resource Base, DT/PE computer rooms and individual department facilities, during lunchtime and after school. Qualified teachers in computing are available at these times to help students who may be struggling, or need extra help.