Academic

Teaching Departments

ICT

Monmouth School for Girls ICTThe impact of ICT on society is enormous and, as the percentage of businesses and households connected to the internet grows, so does the need for people who can master new technologies. ICT is constantly changing, and at Monmouth School for Girls we understand that girls increasingly need technological and information literacy skills including the ability to gather, process and manipulate data. Job opportunities involving ICT are extremely varied, from television producers, graphic designers, musicians and games developers to careers in business and specialist posts in the area of artificial intelligence. Whichever path a young student now travels, the world of ICT is not far away.

Years 7-9

Years 7 and 8 have schemes of work written for them by the experienced ICT teaching staff.  These include online teaching resources provided by Pearson’s ICT4Life.  In Year 7, the girls will learn an array of skills, including word processing, using spreadsheets and databases, desktop publishing and computer control. They will also get to grips with presentation software and learn about internet safety.

In addition to these subjects, Year 8 will study data logging, sequencing and touch typing.

Year 9 pupils undertake an exciting ICT course, the HMSG ICT Diploma, which not only offers competencies in the usual MS Office programs, but will introduce creative work in stop-frame animation.  Girls learn how to create and edit audio files to make everyday presentations more original and memorable. Pupils coming into school in Year 9 with few ICT skills are able to join an accelerated ICT class which allows them to catch up with the rest of the year group.

At the end of the academic year, the Year 9 pupils will be able to use a range of ICT tools in a purposeful way to solve problems and create ideas and solutions of value.  The girls will have been encouraged to explore new ICT tools as they become available and they will be able to apply ICT to other areas of learning, work and life.

GCSE

The increasing use of technology in all aspects of society makes confident, creative and productive use of ICT an indispensable skill for life. ICT capability encompasses not only the mastery of technical skills and techniques, but also the understanding of how to apply these skills purposefully, safely and responsibly. New and exciting career opportunities are available to those with the skills to use ICT creatively, with whole industries emerging around the continuing ICT revolution. Traditional careers now also rely heavily on the use of ICT.

The course is with the WJEC Board which has proved a tremendous success, with every pupil achieving A* – B grade in 2014.

Year 10 follow the short course comprised of controlled assessments (60% of the marks) and an ICT theory exam (the remaining 40% of marks), which is taken during the Year 11 summer term.

The second year of the ICT GCSE covers the world of multimedia and involves either the creation of a website or a sophisticated presentation. 

All the practical work is undertaken in school in controlled assessments.  The split between practical and theoretical marks is as for Year 10.  The completion of this year, together with the earlier work in Year 10, constitutes the full ICT GCSE course.

Details of the current ICT GCSE specification is available from: http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/ict/information-and-communication-technology-gcse/

A level Computer Science

Why study Computer Science?

Ian Livingstone Life president, Eidos:  “We simply cannot hire enough computer scientists and this seems madness at a time of such high youth unemployment… Companies like Rolls-Royce and GlaxoSmithKline depend on great programmers as much as games developers and visual effects companies do.”
It is projected that there will be 1,000,000 more computer science jobs than students by 2020; 71% of all STEM career openings will be in computer science related fields, but only 8% of STEM graduates are computer scientists.
If you like solving problems, e.g. Sudoku and logic puzzles, are good at lateral thinking, are creative, and like making things that actually do something you will enjoy the Computer Science course. It is about the logical problem solving and design and implementation of computer systems and software.
Computer Science is a swiftly moving field that unites many disciplines, eg maths, programming, psychology and engineering. It opens an array of career paths and appears individually or jointly in a range of courses, e.g. computer science & games technology, computer science and web technologies and computer science with artificial intelligence.
GCSE Computer Science is not a prerequisite for A level Computer Science; a good grade at GCSE Maths is necessary though. Students should also be passionate and curious, and happy to build and code outside class too.  A level Maths is not essential to take computer science but students who also take A level Mathematics will find elements of this course easier to grasp. Students considering taking Computer Science at university should also consider A level Maths.
In the past 5 years, four of our students have gained awards for achieving A level grades in the top 50 in the UK and many have attained places at top universities, or gone straight to industry eg GCHQ or Renishaw. Students have interned and now work with companies like Google, SkyScanner, QinetiQ, and 3M.
Mark Zuckerberg , Founder, Facebook:  “Our policy at Facebook is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. There just aren’t enough people who are trained and have these skills today.”

Computer Science A level is currently taught to Sixth Form girls and boys at Monmouth School for Boys.

Monmouth School for Boys Head of Department: Ms L A Hope


Course content

Board: AQA   A level Syllabus Code: 7517

Fundamentals of programming   Consequences of uses of computing
Fundamentals of data structures Fundamentals of communication and networking
Fundamentals of algorithms Fundamentals of databases
Theory of computation Big Data
Fundamentals of data representation Fundamentals of functional programming
Fundamentals of computer systems Systematic approach to problem solving
Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project
Method of assessment

Paper 1   (40% of A level).
2½ hour on-screen exam with short and extended answer questions testing topics from sections 1 to 4 above, and programming and problem solving skills based on a pre-released skeleton program.

Paper 2     (40% of A level).
2½ hour written exam with short and extended answer questions testing topics from sections 5 to 12 above.

Non-exam assessment     (20% of A level).
A project systematically exploring a problem and developing a fully programmed solution. This allows students to choose an area of interest, explore it in greater depth, extending their programming skills and deepening their understanding of computer science.

Co-curricular

The ICT Department provides an extra-curricular opportunity to develop our pupils’ skills and knowledge in programming and also in the creative aspects of computer use, from graphics to animation.

For KS3 (Years 7-9) the Computer Club takes place during lunchtime every week. Working with the department’s prefect, the pupils enjoy the challenge of exploring new programs, creating games and animations of their own design, in a free and fun atmosphere.

The four ICT labs are open every lunchtime for pupils of all ages to use, whether for research, exploration of new resources or working collaboratively with others.  Furthermore the labs are often used in the evenings to provide support for pupils undertaking ICT GCSE controlled assessments.