Hi and welcome to the ICT Department at West Lakes Academy. We are a successful department found in a dedicated IT suite on the top floor. We have plenty of PCs, large whiteboards and cameras and camcorders for creative work.
We have a special extra – a completely separate network that students can be given full access to for experimentation and all those interesting things they aren’t allowed to do to their home PC (or the academy PCs either!). Setting up users, network and security settings and installing software or hardware are all skills we can teach to those who are interested. This is a rare facility and enhances the options we can present our students with immensely.
Key Stage 3
Our Key Stage 3 course serves as a sampler for Key Stage 4, in addition to providing coverage of the essentials: e-safety, digital security, office applications, logic and programming and creativity. We make websites, animations, audio mixes and original recordings, vector and raster graphics and program in Python and Scratch, with an option to use BASIC on student iPads. Each unit of work lasts four to seven weeks. In addition to the finished products, students gain skills in planning, researching, designing and evaluating their work with a critical eye (or ear).
Key Stage 4
We offer two courses, a BTEC course called Creative Digital Media Production (from Pearson) and a GCSE in Computing (from AQA). The BTEC is a modular course which is 75% coursework-based. The 25% written exam covers concepts such as audience awareness and production techniques. It is taken in June of Year 10 with an option to re-sit in Year 11. The GCSE covers computer system design, logic, programming fundamentals and techniques. It is examined at the end of Year 11 alongside the submission of the controlled assessment programming project.