ICT is an integrated learning tool used across all subjects at Swanmore. There are 4 dedicated ICT suites as well as large clusters of computers, laptops and iPads in many subject areas across the college.

At home pupils can access their school computer account from home using the home2school connection as well as their own pupil email account (hosted with Google Apps).

Key Stage 3

In years 7 and 8 we are delivering a new and topical curriculum that develops pupils’ abilities to plan and build solutions to a multitude of workplace problems. There is also a greater emphasis on the computer science curriculum which will inspire pupils to become creators of technology and not just consumers of it. Pupils will also learn the fundamentals of design that will help them create professional digital artefacts. Topics studied will include:

Year 7

  • Marwell Wildlife – Pupils will create various spreadsheets and financial models for a wildlife park (including a café, a fund raising event, a gift shop and ticket prices).
  • Word Processing and Mail Merge. Pupils will learn how to create a professional business letter and link it to a database through mail merge.
  • E-Safety – Pupils will learn how to stay safe in the digital world.
  • Computer Basics – What is in the Black Box? Pupils will learn all about the hardware inside a computer and how computers communicate.
  • Programming – Pupils begin to learn the basic fundamentals of programming. These are applied in Scratch to make their own simple computer games. Pupils will also learn how to program the new Microbits single-board computers.
  • Text Based Coding – Pupils will also learn how to code using Small Basic.
  • Search for a Star – pupils use a database to collect data for a talent contest. Includes collecting data, searching for information and presenting it for a manager. Pupils will also use PowerPoint to design an app for a TV talent show.

Year 8

  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems: Following on from the basic skills learned in Year 7, pupils will look in depth at how computer systems work. This will include the basics of Networks including what is needed to create a Home Network. They will also learn about the Binary and Hexadecimal number systems.
  • Text Based Programming – Pupils will build upon the computational thinking skills developed in year 7 and will learn how to create programming solutions to everyday problems. This will involve work with Python and other computing languages. Pupils will also work in groups to create programming solutions using microcomputers including the Raspberry Pi.
  • Website Design – This topic involves learning the basics of HTML – the language used to build web pages. They will also design a web page using a professional web editor (Dreamweaver).
  • Isle of Wight Festival – building upon their modelling skills learnt in year 7 pupils assume responsibility for running a food stall at the Isle of Wight Festival. This includes creating more intricate models and learning complex functions and formulas.
  • Murder Mystery – pupils test their data handling skills by collecting evidence in the mystery of the murdered teacher. They then learn how to conduct complex lines of enquiry in a database to solve the case!

Key Stage 4

There have been a number of changes to the Programmes of Study for ICT and Computing and the Government announced at the end of 2015 that GCSE ICT would not be redeveloped. However there would be vocational qualifications available for those wishing to study ICT. The emphasis has now changed to Computer Science and we are pleased to offer this as an option to pupils at KS4.

From September 2016 Computing provision will be as follows:

Years 9 – 11 GCSE Computing (option)

The Computing course consists of a Controlled Assessment and a final exam. For pupils examined in 2017 this is based on the old specification and the CA is worth 60% of the final award. Pupils being examined from 2018 onwards follow the new specification where the CA will be worth just 20% of the final mark. The Controlled Assessment will consist of:

  • Practical investigation – Pupils will be expected to carry out a practical investigation that will see them engaging with and researching computing issues encountered in the real world. By the end of this assessment they will produce a report that covers; research, developing and testing a solution, technical understanding, testing and evaluation.
  • Programming Project – Pupils will be expected to produce a working solution to a proposed problem. Pupils will be assessed on their ability to design, develop, test and evaluate a program as well as the programming structures that they use within their work.

The final exam will be sat at the end of year 11. For those examined in 2017 the exam will last for 90 minutes and will be worth 40% of the final mark. For those examined from 2018 onwards there will be two 90 minute exams which combines will be worth 80% of the final mark.

Topics covered in the exam include:

  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Computing hardware
  • Software
  • Representation of data in computer systems
  • Databases
  • Computer communication and networking
  • Programming fundamentals


Year 9 ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) (Option)

This is a vocational qualification which is very popular with employers and it covers the basic office skills needed in the workplace. These include:

  • Word Processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations


Year 10 and 11 only – Edexcel GCSE ICT (Option)

Available only until assessment in 2018, pupils follow a specification where they have to complete a controlled assessment and a final exam. The controlled assessment is worth 60% of the final mark and will take 40 hours to complete (this will be broken up into chunks across the year). Tasks that pupils will be asked to do include:

  • Investigation and web research
  • Graphical design
  • Spreadsheets and modelling
  • Working with a database
  • Digital Publishing
  • Working with audio files

The final exam will be sat at the end of Year 11. It will last for 90 minutes and will be worth 40% of the final mark. Topics covered in the exam include:

  • Current and emerging digital technologies
  • Digital learning and commerce
  • Leisure
  • Shopping and money management
  • Health and well-being online
  • Computers on the move