Digital Technology & Computing

- Arthur C. Clarke

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Head of Department: Mrs M Debbadi
Staff List: Mr A Templeton, Ms B Coughlin, Ms J Reid


 

"ICT is not the future of our children’s education, it is the present and we need to make investment in ICT now!"
- National Association of Advisors for Computer in Education


We aim to make the investment in our student’s technological capabilities early in their post primary careers to ensure they can harness the magic of technology spoken of my Arthur C. Clarke many years ago.

Students are presented with discrete IT / Computing classes from year 8, have the opportunity to attain Digital Skills badges awarded by CCEA and entry level qualifications in Computer Science at the end of Key Stage 3.

From Key Stage 4 onwards pupils have the opportunity to progress down a multimedia or programming career pathway through study of either Digital Technology: Multimedia or Digital Technology: Programming at GCSE level, followed by the option of study of either Computer Science or Digital Technology at AS and A2 level.

Experiences in the IT world do not just stop at classroom experiences.  We offer many after school experiences through extra-curricular Cyber Security, Robotics and Programming clubs.  Additional, pupils are afforded opportunities to meet adults from the industry through the hosting of careers seminars, workshops and competition entries via our extensive links in the wider community.

Key Stage 3

  • Year 8

Students spend time honing their digital employability skills in the use of industry standard generic applications such as MS Office in a scenario based project which is completed across the academic year.

  • Year 9 and 10

Students embark on formally assessed programme of study which leads to them being awarded and Entry Level Certificate in Computer Science in addition to completing a series of tutorial programmes which lead to the awarding of CCEA Digital Certificates of Achievement.  Across the two years of the qualification pupils are introduced to programming using Scratch and Python, will complete a number of formal written examinations and programming projects; all of which are submitted to OCR for formal moderation and assessment.

  • Key Stage 4

Students can progress down one of two pathways at GCSE level through the study of either GCSE Digital Technology: Multimedia or GCSE Digital Technology: Programming, both of which are accredited by CCEA.  Through study of either of these pathways students acquire knowledge and understanding of digital technology in a range of contexts. Students can acquire skills in the use of generic software applications or the production of programming a solution to industry related problems.

  • Post-16

Students have the option to study A-level Digital Technology (CCEA) or A-level Computer Science (WJEC).  Both subjects offer students the opportunity to develop skills in the use of a range of development environments to solve high level problems experienced in business-related scenarios whilst encouraging the development of further skills in technical writing, investigation and research, time management and team work.

 



What makes studying Digital Technology or Computing at CCB different?

The networking system established between the department and past-pupils of school makes the subject relatable and allows us to link our studies to a real-world working environment.  
(Max McDermott)

The line of support and the open door policy employed by the teachers in the department make study of this subject accessible to all students.
(Matthew Caves)
 

Why study Digital Technology or Computer Science?

Current statistics show an increasing gap in the IT / Computer Science industry in Northern Ireland. Skills in the Computer Science currently the highest area of demand in Northern Ireland and the sectors is forecast to grow considerably over the next 5-10 years. 
Salaries in the IT / Computing industry average 61% higher than other industries with thousands of jobs being out sourced to other areas each year because the employment market in NI cannot meet the demands of the industry.
 

How can you progress in the IT / Computing Industry?

Careers in the IT / Computing offer you the opportunity to work in many different global industries. 

Students can progress into the IT / Computing industry by following a number of post-16 pathways, including: -

  • Full Time or Part Time degrees in a range of specialist areas
  • Foundation degrees in a range of specialist areas
  • Higher level apprenticeships which offer on-the-job training whilst earning your degree

Following the completion of their formal qualifications there are many niche areas for students to progress into as young adults.  Some of these areas include: -

  • Computer Programming
  • Software Developer
  • Software Engineer
  • Hardware Engineer
  • Systems Manager
  • Database Administrator
  • IT architect
  • Network Administrator
  • Cyber Security