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Brighton Hill Community School

Digital Technology and Communications

Study & Digital Technology And Communications

Key contacts:

 @BHCSDigitalTech

Mrs C Roberts - Head of Faculty  

Mrs W Moore - Assistant Head of Faculty  

Ms P Naidoo – Teacher of IT and Computing 

Computing and IT

Our Vision: 

Our vision is that students learn the workings of the digital systems that pervade their world and are equipped with the language and understanding of information technology systems in the workplace. That they can keep up with the pace of technological change so that they can remain effective, well-informed and safe citizens. 

Key Stage 3 

At Key Stage 3 we provide our students with a breadth and balance of Digital Literacy, IT and Computer Science knowledge covering all 9 strands of the National Curriculum through their Computing lesson, timetabled once per week.  

Within our curriculum, we aim to identify portable knowledge and skills which are revisited and built upon cumulatively across Key Stage 3 and ensure that they are fully embedded in students’ long-term memory.  

Subject-specific vocabulary is a focus across all year groups where students create a glossary of the key terms which they use in contexts that are relevant to the unit of work they are studying. This gives students the opportunity to engage with more complex materials, develop their reading skills, practise effective research skills and explore current developments in the world of technology/computing.  

News clips from the BBC news website Technology section is sometimes shown in order to engage students with current affairs and make the link between what they are learning in the classroom and the outside world.  

When studying skills units, students complete a learning journal where they reflect on how they have solved problems, worked independently and kept to time limits. 

Key Stage 4 

***Breaking news: Computers Science will be offered as an option at KS4 from September 2021 for those students transitioning from year 8 into year 9  

For students who opt to study IT at Key Stage 4, we provide them with a breadth of subject knowledge that equips them not only with the requirements of OCR Level 2 IT but also empowers them with skills for use in the world of work such as a detailed understanding of the collection, processing, storage and presentation of data.   

IT students learn all the units of work in Years 9 and 10, cross referencing them to prior learning at Key Stage 3. The focus in Year 9 is theory and in Year 10 it’s software skills, where students are given a project similar to that which they will be given for coursework. In Year 11, coursework is completed, demonstrating practical skills as well as planning and evaluation. Once this is completed towards the end of the Autumn term, exam preparation takes place.  

The use of IT is studied in the context of project management and includes study of the project life cycle, project management tools (Gantt charts, PERT, visualisation diagrams and flowcharts to name a few, types of data, data collection methods, data storage, data legislation, threats to data, data security, validity of data, data manipulation, processing data, presenting data and communicating data). Students will use predominantly spreadsheet and database software but will also use desktop publishing, presentation, word processing and web authoring dependent on the requirements of the coursework. 

Enrichment Opportunities 

Students can attend coding club after school and go on trips to local Further Education colleges to learn about courses in computing and IT. We also offer opportunities to meet professionals online about project management and vocations which require coding skills. 

Assessment 

Students who choose IT as a GCSE option study the new OCR IT qualification which is a GCSE equivalent. The final grade is split between a 20-hour coursework project and a written exam (each have an equal weighting of 50%).  

Assessment is carried out with the use of past exam questions, so students know from the start of their Key Stage 4 studies what to expect.  

Media Studies 

Our Vision:

 By studying the media, our aim is for students to be able to view, evaluate and analyse a variety of media texts, and develop practical skills spanning a range of media forms, giving them both an overall and in-depth understanding of how media represents or misrepresents the world around them. 

Key Stage 4 

Many students choose GCSE Media Studies for its relevance to their lives and for the opportunities it provides for exploring contemporary issues using different media in creative and practical ways.  

All students study the AQA GCSE Media Studies Single Award.  

The AQA GCSE Media Studies course is a combination of media theory and practice. 

Subject content is divided into 4 theoretical categories: 

  1. Media language 
  2. Media representations 
  3. Media industries 
  4. Media audiences 

Within our Key Stage 4 curriculum, we aim to identify portable and related vocabulary skills around these four areas of the theoretical framework which are built upon cumulatively both within and across Key Stage 4 to ensure that they are fully embedded in students’ long-term memory.  

Through our sequenced spiral curriculum, we aim to build cumulatively upon the following skills:  

  • Demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media & the contexts of media and their influences on media products and processes.  
  • Analysing media products using the theoretical framework of media, including in relation to their contexts; to make judgements and draw conclusions  
  • Creating media products for an intended audience, by applying knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media to communicate meaning   

These key concepts are revisited each term through a different media text or platform such as magazines; advertising and marketing; newspapers; online, social and participatory media and video games; radio; music video; newspapers; online, social and participatory media and video games and film, thus developing them in greater breadth and depth.  Further focus is given to each media text by looking at a particular Closed Study Product (CSP) which is provided in advance by the AQA exam board. 

Enrichment Opportunities 

Students are given the opportunity to attend a trip to London’s BBC Newsroom and The One Show set and we provide opportunities for students to meet virtually with professionals from the Media industry to learn about what they do and what it is like to work in their field. 

Assessment 

Media Studies involves 1 Non-Examination Assessment (NEA) and 2 written exams.  

  • Non-Examination Assessment (NEA): The NEA element counts for 30% of the GCSE and requires students to apply their knowledge and understanding of media language and representations to create a media product using one of the following forms: 
    • television 
    • music video 
    • radio 
    • newspapers 
    • magazines 
    • advertising/marketing 
    • online, social and participatory media 
    • video games 

The media product that is devised and realised by the student must communicate meaning to a specified audience and must draw on what they know and understand about the theoretical framework of media language and representation 

Regarding the two theory papers, each will count for 35% focusing on Close Study Projects which are visited during the KS4 course. 

Business Studies 

Our Vision:

Our aim is to provide our students with a breadth of subject knowledge that equips students not only with the requirements of AQA GCSE Business curriculum but also with the creative thinking and problem-solving skills that will prepare them for the wider world of business.  

Key Stage 4 

At Key Stage 4, Business Studies students learn all the knowledge required in Years 9 and 10 (one topic per term) and in Year 11, the focus is on exam preparation and revision.  

Through our curriculum we aim to provide students with a secure knowledge of the following:  

  • how and why businesses are started and all the factors that an owner considers in that process;   
  • explore the external influences on a business such as law and exchange rates and how businesses operate their production processes and functions;    
  • how a business organises its staff and manages recruitment;  
  • how it decides on a marketing strategy; 
  • how it manages and analyses its finances including, for example, calculating income and costs, break even, cash flow, income statements and balance sheets.  

Subject specific vocabulary is a focus across Years 9 and 10 where students create a glossary of the key terms that are relevant to the unit of work they are studying and is set as home learning. Once they have worked through 3-5 weeks of creating the glossary, they will then use each word in a subject specific sentence as retrieval practice.  

News clips from the BBC news website (Company) are shown in order to engage students with current affairs and make the link between what they are learning in the classroom and the outside world; Tutor2U Biz Quizzes are also used to encourage students to engage with what is happening in the world of business beyond their classroom learning.  

Enrichment Opportunities 

Visiting the Cadbury Chocolate factory is a highlight for students as they get to see and engage in all the key criteria in running a business from business plan, to production, human resources, finance and marketing and the piece de resistance: tasting and the importance of customer satisfaction. 

Assessment 

Students who choose Business as an option study the AQA GCSE specification. Students are introduced to exam questions and mark schemes from Year 9 so they know how their answers will be marked. All assessments are carried out with the use of past exam questions, so students know from the start of their GCSE studies what to expect. 

There are 2 exam papers (each with a weighting of 50%) which are sat at the end of Year 11. The course covers 6 topics: Business in the Real World, Influences on Business, Business Operations, Human Resources, Marketing and Finance.  

Digital Technology And Communications

Curriculum

Here are all the Faculties at Brighton Hill Community School

English
Mathematics
Science
Modern Foreign Languages
Humanities
Digital Technology and Communications
Physical Education
Expressive and Performing Arts
Creative Industries