The ICT department aim at STARS is to give all pupils throughout the school the opportunity to use ICT to enhance and enable their learning in the best way possible. It is important for pupils to be ready with the ICT skill set needed to succeed in their next steps when leaving STARS and to have developed their knowledge and confidence in using online learning platforms.
ICT is supported by a highly experienced member of staff together with the support of Cygnet technical services and Sutton Local Authority schools network. STARS has a wide selection and variety of devices for pupils to use including desktops and laptops running Windows; Chrome books and iPads and interactive whiteboards. Also available is a variety of different types of camera, from a small portable lightweight to a DSLR.
STARS has recently started using Google Classroom in some lessons across the school so pupils can experience a sharing platform that could be used in future colleges or workplaces. Google Classroom can also be particularly important to help pupils keep up to date during times of absence; it enables them to do some home learning as it is completely self-sufficient and does not require other programmes to write, create and submit school assignments. During school time every pupil has their own allocated Chrome book or they may use a standard desktop. STARS has many different programmes and methods to support pupils with a range of needs such as talk and write programmes for pupils with Dyslexia. Pupil Premium Grant has been used to provide pupils with laptops for personal use to support homework and individual study.
Pupils come to STARS at any point, mainly within their KS3 or/and KS4 journey. Depending on their interest, at KS4 pupils may choose between ICT or Creative iMedia OCR Cambridge National. If they are in the middle of completing Computer Science GCSE during year 11 we have the facilities and capabilities to help pupils complete the course.
The ICT department has run the Computer Science GCSE and ICT OCR Cambridge National with great success. Pupils that continue with their ICT education through undertaking a KS4 qualification have the benefit of being part of a wider school support team through answering and solving problems whereby pupils are actively encouraged to spread their knowledge and support other school members. Pupils on the Creative iMedia course are involved in whole school projects such as taking photos for the school website and staff pictures.
All pupils who participate in the KS3 curriculum have the opportunity to learn and use Photoshop, to learn and create programmes using software such as Python and to learn HTML and CSS. Pupils also study the practical parts of computing, looking at what is in a computer and how it works together, touching on the topic of binary to affirm their practical Maths knowledge.
As ICT/Computer Science is such a wide subject and pupils have a variety of different interests and needs, staff are able to offer pupils the opportunity and expertise available to fulfil and encourage those interests.
ICT is widely used to enhance and support lessons across the curriculum at STARS.
Cygnet technical services and Sutton Local Authority schools network ensure a high level of internet safety filters and systems monitoring are in place.
STARS’ excellent e-safety standards are being developed further through working towards the 360 degree E-safety mark accreditation.
At STARS, E-safety Policy and procedure is clear and E-safety education is given high priority. Parents receive support to develop their knowledge of E-safety and ways for parents/carers to help ensure their child stays safe online and when using technology.
Pupils enjoy the responsibility of having their own Chrome Book. Pupils have reported they feel safe in all ICT lessons and that they know when they have done well and can always ask for help. Pupils are clear about E-safety and are confident in reporting and seeking advice regarding difficulties and issues, for instance around social networking.
This year pupils will visit and attend a workshop with professional photographer Travis Hodges. Pupils have opportunities to use the school equipment for events in and out of school.
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