Key Stage 3

Pupils in Years 8 to 10 have discrete IT lessons forty minutes per week. Pupils are provided with the opportunity to build upon existing skills in Key Stage 2 and embrace new IT skills in Key Stage 3. Lessons are delivered in computer rooms and pupils have the opportunity to become familiar with the IT systems at Ballyclare High School while learning about a variety of applications software packages.

In Year 8, IT teachers help the pupils to get logged on and find their way around our computer system. Then they find out how to communicate with others safely in our “Internet Safety” task, followed by tasks where pupils create photo collages, online stories and spreadsheets.

We work collaboratively with other departments in school such as Home Economics, to create a publication for recycling. We also collaborate with the English department where pupils enjoy an “off timetable” day in our Learning Centre. This day enables pupils to engage in collaborative learning where two classes work in groups and individually on a Newsletter task. Pupils use the school VLE to communicate online, upload and showcase their work.

Year 9 starts off with some event driven programing with the pupils creating their own game in Scratch and developing their programming skills in using the software Greenfoot. Pupils in Year 9 also produce podcasts and carry out data modelling using data which they have collected and analysed using spreadsheets. There is also some preparatory work for Year 10 websites. Pupils develop frames for a website with some graphical objects to insert like banners and animations.

In Year 10 pupils work on a collaborative task with the Geography department and use video footage which they have taken on their Geography field trip to create a movie on Coastal Erosion. They build on the website which they started to develop in Year 9. Finally they complete a challenging task by making a game for younger pupils using a new graphical programing application.

During their time in KS3 pupils are formatively assessed using six marked assessment tasks per year. This information is sent to parents on school reports biannually, with one teacher comment annually. There is also an opportunity each year for parents to talk to their child’s teacher.