The IT and computing faculty at Southgate is an innovative and creative department. The specialist teachers draw upon a wealth of media and commercial experience including working with companies such as Universal pictures, Walt Disney studios and BBC and Channel 4 television. The IT and computing curriculum has been specifically designed to develop the digital and computing abilities of the students and provide an insight into the vast range of opportunities and careers in the computing, gaming and digital media industries. The students will also develop and hone their skills in effective communication, leadership, team work, analysis, personal reflection, problem solving and independent thinking and learning.
At KS3 the students will follow a modern and innovative computing curriculum that will help develop their computational thinking skills and knowledge and understanding of computer science. The programmes of study will enable the students to learn about the key techniques of computational thinking from decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithms. They will understand what an algorithm is and how to design algorithms as solutions for a range of problems. The students will also learn to develop their own programs that implement algorithms to achieve given goals.
The students will learn to recognise that digital content can be represented in many digital forms and understand the importance of communicating safely and respectfully online and the need for keeping personal information private. From year seven onwards we try to instil confidence, self-belief, independence and a fearless approach to learning that will stand them in good stead throughout their educational and working lives.
At Key stage 4 students will have the opportunity to take a GCSE in ICT (Edexcel Exam board) or a GCSE in computer science from September 2016 onwards. These modern and up to date courses will allow the students to further develop their knowledge of the impact of digital technology on society and learn about current and emerging technologies. Students will broaden and enhance their computing and ICT skills working with a range of digital tools and techniques to produce effective programs and ICT solutions. Both GCSE courses have controlled assessment modules and theory modules that are assessed through an examination paper.
At Key stage 5 we offer a vocational qualification in IT at level 3 and an AS/A Level qualification in computer science (OCR exam board). The OCR Cambridge technical certificate/introductory diploma in IT are coursework based qualifications* and will enable students to develop transferable skills for the workplace or future studies. The students will study a range of topics and complete coursework on modules such as ICT skills for business, information systems, web animation, client side scripting and website production.
*Written examination module to be introduced from September 2016.
The OCR A level computer science course will allow students to build on the knowledge and skills they have developed at Key stage 3 and at GCSE level. The students will develop more in-depth knowledge on topics such as programming, data types and structures, legal and ethical issues and algorithms and problem solving. Assessment is through written examination papers in June which also includes a programming project in year 13. Both courses offer standalone qualifications at AS and A level.
The IT department provides a range of exciting enrichment activities and opportunities for the students to help broaden their understanding of the topics and gain invaluable work place experience. Enrichment activities include visits to top London Universities with external talks from established companies such as Google, Raspberry pi, Facebook and the BBC. We also provide a computing club after school where students can hone their existing computing skills, develop new coding disciplines or design and program their own games and web animations.
At Southgate school we promote E-safety awareness and try to ensure that all students are educated about the potential dangers and how to stay safe online.
For further information or advice please contact Mr O’Neill in the IT department or alternatively browse online for the Child Exploitation Online Protection (CEOP) website which provides online resources and advice for parents.
Mr J O’Neill - Head of IT and Computing department