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ICT and Computing

The ICT faculty comprises of fully qualified ICT specialists. We all have a degree in ICT and have years of industry experience between us, ranging from programming, networking, systems and internet applications. Our dedicated faculty TA is also qualified in ICT to degree level.

ICT, as far as most people are concerned, is just using computers! However it is our belief that it is a little more than that. It is making the most of modern technology to enhance and satisfy our desire for education and knowledge, being part of the future and understanding the effect of technological change on our environment and society.

ICT is our children’s present and their future. ICT at Plympton Academy is based on the philosophy that students become independent users. We use an extensive collection of educational tools to support and enhance our children’s learning. Our purpose is to ensure that students not only become proficient users of ICT within our subject, but are able to transfer these skills over into other subject areas.

Across all age ranges our classes are encouraged to work as independently as possible. We have created a co-operative learning environment where, once practical demonstrations have been presented by the teacher, students work in teams to help each other in their tasks and solve their own problems should they encounter any. If a question arises the group attempts to answer it themselves first, within their own range of knowledge and research abilities. It is only when the resources of the group have been exhausted that they approach the teacher. This has helped to create a positive and dynamic environment of independent thinkers and learners who regularly exceed their target grades.

Work is marked on a regular basis and handed back to students for improvements. An online mark book, available to the students, details the marking criteria, feedback and suggestions for improvements. At all times students know what their current level of achievement is, what they need to do to improve it and, most importantly, how to improve it. It is this empowerment of students that has resulted in student grades being consistently high.

Student Statements

“GCSE ICT at Plympton Academy was challenging at times. However, with the help and motivation of my teachers it made the course fun and rewarding. The course also encouraged me to continue ICT at A’ Level.”

“ICT has made me become an all rounded person. The course gave me a wide range of skills and knowledge which I can apply to various subjects.”

“GCSE ICT was one of my better subjects at school. It encouraged me to be independent and prepared me well for A’ level studies.’’

“ICT helped bridge the gap between GCSE and A level and encouraged me to be a more independent person.’’

“If I had the choice I would choose it again’’

Year 7

In Year 7, students are first introduced to the school network and our ICT policies. The topics of work then build on existing and help to develop new skills.

Topics studied this year are:

  • Standard ways of working
  • E-Safety
  • Using the internet as a source of information
  • Animation development
  • Spreadsheet modelling
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Database programming

Year 8

Year 8 continues to build on the topics and skills covered in Year 7. This year, our year 8 students will be creating portfolios, demonstrating their ICT abilities in the following areas:

  • Communicating information using ICT
  • Copyright and Piracy
  • E-Safety
  • Website development
  • Database programming
  • Project Planning
  • Digital Publications

Year 9

In Year 9, we start to prepare our students for the requirements and working practices of the GCSE years. A number of tasks are set requiring the students to build up a comprehensive portfolio of ICT skills. All of these skills are directly transferrable to their GCSE coursework in Year 10.

  • Health and Safety
  • Using email to communicate
  • Effective internet searching
  • Multimedia
  • Digital publishing
  • Database programming
  • Spreadsheet modelling

Year 10 and 11

Description of the Course

This is a National Award (Level 2) in ICT.

Course content will cover 3 units:

  • Unit 1 – ICT Skills for Business
  • Unit 2 – Creating animation for the WWW
  • Unit 3 – Design and produce multimedia products

This course has been developed to provide candidates with an introduction to the skills, knowledge and understanding required to prepare for work in the information and communication technology sector. They have been designed to help candidates develop their personal skills in the areas of team working, career planning, communication and problem solving. Candidates are required to demonstrate their abilities in a range of tasks and accredit their achievements in a modern, practical way that is relevant to the workplace.

The Level 2 is awarded grades between A* – C.

Assessment Procedure

In Year 10, candidates complete Units 1 and 2. In Year 11, Unit 3 is completed, which, when combined with the Year 10 units, form an accreditation for one GCSE. At level 2, this is only available as a grade A* – C.

Each unit of work focuses on the candidate’s ability to use a range of ICT tools and software for given business scenarios. All of the work produced is assessed within the school and there is no external examination. Assessment is based on the candidate’s portfolio of work produced along with a folder of evidence collected during the two years.

Candidates are expected to complete a significant part of the evidence documents outside of the classroom. Therefore, a commitment to homework and access to ICT after school is strongly advised prior to enrolling on this course.


This course can provide the basis for related courses at AS level, Intermediate and Advanced levels in ICT or Business, and as a basis for entry to an ICT vocational course.

Success in this course would enable a student to enter employment at operative level within a wide range of ICT contexts, where further training could be available through the use of Apprenticeships or a range of ICT vocational courses. The skills learnt will support work in most subject areas.

Meet the staff

  • Mrs Jeanne-Marie Madderson – Head of ICT Management, Whole School Delivery
  • Mr Martin Poveda – ICT Teacher, Head of Post 16

Career Options

As tomorrow’s ICT professionals our students are likely to be working with technologies that don’t exist yet. It’s not just computer programming, they will have their choice of industries; banking and finance, heath, insurance, defence, manufacturing, telecommunications, agriculture, environment and hospitality to name but a few. It is our aim to ensure that whatever pathway they choose after Post-16 is accessible to them with the qualifications we offer. Many of our students have gone on to successfully win places at universities around the country, studying a diverse range of subjects. All have found that ICT compliments their chosen specialised subject perfectly. Equally as many have chosen to pursue their careers by following a more vocational route, again reporting back that their ICT skills have given them the edge over other candidates.

For those wanting to embark immediately on a career in ICT, the south west has a long history of technological innovation and, combined with a modern communications infrastructure, this makes the region the location of choice for world class ICT companies. Latest figures report that there are over 11,000 south west ICT businesses employing over 55,000 employees in the sector.

Software used in ICT that is free for you to use at home

In ICT we use a lot of software to demonstrate to you the material that is part of the curriculum, most of this software is free to use at home, as it is available on the internet. Below is a list of this software and the links to download it from anywhere.