Digital Technology & Computer Science
Mr. Philip Ramsey
Mr. Daniel McShane
ICT literacy enables independent learning by developing skills that will contribute to a pupil's life-long development. ICT provides access to new creative platforms and sources of information beyond the normal scope of the school.
The department uses 2 dedicated ICT suites plus a Resource Room. Additional ICT provisions are located elsewhere in the school. The Technician’s Office is adjacent to the classrooms and the school’s overall ICT provision is managed from there.
The Digital Technology and Computing results have been consistently good for a number of years, often with excellent outcomes. We pride ourselves on enabling students to give of their best and assisting them with progression to future pathways.
In June 2019, Year 9 students attended the “Hive Academy” event will in Price Waterhouse Coopers, Belfast. It provided workshops on topics such as Virtual Reality, Robotics & Cyber Security.
The boys were able to pitch an “Internet of things” concept to a “Dragons Den” panel made up of PWC Senior Managers and external experts. The team comprising of Nathaniel Taylor, Conor Leeburn, Sam McGreeghan, Johnathan Meehan and Conor Graham successfully made it through into the final stages of the competition. Their idea of a “Smart lock” that would act as a generic device to open up the clients’ front door or car, encrypt messages or online banking transactions was exceptional. This pitch gave the boys Bronze medal success!!
In September 2021, we achieved the Bronze status through the CyberFirst Schools initiative for giving young people opportunities to develop skills. The department showcased a range of work to promote cyber skills, including the after school coding club, YR10 carousel classes and online courses through the CyberFirst platform for students and members of staff.
|Subject||Bangor Grammar||National Average (*Male Grammar)|
|GSCE Digital Technology||A*-B: 69%||A*-B: 72%*|
|GCSE Computer Science||A*-B: 85%||A*-B: 54%|
|AS Digital Technology||A-B: 75%||A-B: 72%*|
|A2 Digital Technology||A*-B: 88%||A*-B: 84%*|
|AS Computer Science||A-B: 75%||A-B: 53%|
|A2 Computer Science||A*-B: 88%||A*-B: 69%|
Key Stage 3
Pupils are taught ICT for 1 hour per week in Year 8. Topics include Cyber security, Wired and wireless networks, Computer Architecture and programming.
In Year 10, pupils take part in a 9-week Introduction to Python programming.
As this subject constantly evolves, the department is dedicated in developing and delivering a curriculum that focuses in on advanced technological skills required in the modern world.
All teaching at Key Stage 3 is by ICT/Computer Science specialists.
We offer an after school coding club to KS3 students to give them opportunity to explore programming & digital authoring.
Key Stage 4 Digital Technology
Pupils are taught for 5 hours per fortnight throughout Year 11 and Year 12.
The course teaches a range of MS Office and multimedia programming skills
It also explores topics such as computer hardware and software, database applications, network technologies and cybersecurity.
The assessment comprises 1 unit of controlled assessment and two theory units.
The theory Unit 1 is assessed at the end of Year 11
The theory Unit 2 and the coursework is assessed at the end of Year 12
Theory = 70% of the GCSE
Coursework = 30 % of the GCSE
Material taught in the controlled assessment also features in the examination.
Key Stage 4 Computer Science
Students undertaking the OCR GCSE Computer Science course are taught for 5 hours per fortnight throughout Year 11 and Year 12. No previous experience of programming is required for entry to the GCSE course as everything will be taught from first principles, but mathematical competence is an important pre-requisite.
The new Computer Science specification was introduced to Year 11 in September 2020. Full details can be found at https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse/computer-science-j277-from-2020/
The key emphasis in GCSE Computer Science is the development of the practical skill of programming. Python is the main programming language for teaching and assessment purposes, and pupils will also get exposure to Java programming, Standard Query Language (SQL) and assembly language programming.
Key Stage 5
We offer 2 subjects at A-Level: Computer Science and Digital Technology. Classes of both subjects receive 9 hours of teaching per fortnight.
The OCR A-Level Computer Science course is currently being followed in Years 13 and 14. Full details can be found at http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-computer-science-h046-h446-from-2015/
The CCEA A-Level Digital Technology specification is being followed by Year 13 and 14. Full details can be found at https://ccea.org.uk/post-16/gce/subjects/gce-digital-technology-2016
Within Northern Ireland, the computing/ICT sector is buoyant and growing. Businesses are recruiting through a range of channels and young school leavers and University graduates currently have many initial career pathways available to them. The core skills associated with programming, multimedia and office software are largely transferable across Europe and worldwide. A useful starting point for researching future opportunities is http://bringitonni.info/, and careers advice is available to students in school wishing to explore possibilities in this dynamic field.