Aims and Overview of the ICT DepartmentICT

Young people nowadays are born into a digital world. Computer games, mobile phones, the internet are all part of daily life for young people from a very early age.   Technology changes rapidly so it is important that young people get the opportunity to use up-to-date hardware and software. ICT is concerned with the handling of electronic information and involves creating, collecting, storing, processing, presenting and communicating information in a variety of ways for a variety of purposes.

Part of the Ballyclare Secondary School Philosophy is to help pupils live effectively in a highly technological society and as a result the ICT Department aims to:

  • Introduce pupils to a variety of computer software
  • Expose pupils to innovations in technology and communication systems
  • Give pupils an opportunity to reach their potential in ICT
  • Encourage pupils to take an interest in and enthusiasm for ICT
  • Promote high standards to encourage pupils to develop pride in their work
  • Support pupils in producing work presented to a high standard
  • Help pupils to achieve success at their level which in turn should help to develop a positive self-image
  • Enable pupils to develop the skills of using ICT safely and responsibly in a safe learning environment
  • Enable pupils to extend their learning beyond the school environment
  • Extend and enhance learning across all areas of the curriculum
  • Develop skills in the use of ICT and the ability to apply these skills in a range of curricular contexts
  • Encourage pupils to select and use ICT appropriate to the task
  • Give pupils access to a variety of sources of information
  • Instil in pupils a sense of confidence, achievement and enjoyment

The ICT Department endorses Ballyclare Secondary School’s policy that every pupil, regardless of intellectual ability or social background should have a rewarding educational experience.


Pupils in Ballyclare Secondary School use ICT because:

  • It can enhance and enrich pupils’ learning across the curriculum
  • It provides pupils with teaching and learning experiences not readily accessible elsewhere
  • It provides a vehicle for the development of pupils’ creativity
  • It can motivate and enthuse pupils
  • It can empower pupils, develop self esteem and promote positive attitudes to learning
  • In today’s society, pupils need to develop ICT skills in order to access relevant information and become economically aware and active
  • It gives pupils immediate access to high quality learning materials
  • It has the flexibility to meet the individual needs and abilities of each pupil catering for both weak and high achievers
  • It promotes access for pupils with learning difficulties
  • It offers potential for effective group work and collaborative learning
  • It supports different types of learners – audio, visual and kinesthetic
  • ICT encourages personalised learning
  • ICT encourages originality and creativity

Strategies for Use of ICT

    • The implementation of CCS uICT is rolling out across the school and ICT will in time be embedded into all areas of learning and schemes of work
    • ICT is planned and delivered as an integral part of each curriculum area to support and enrich children’s learning
    • All pupils are given equal access opportunities through management of ICT resources

ICT is a statutory entitlement for all pupils


Pupils have access to ICT through the school network provided by C2K. Pupils access the network via a unique username and password.

Ballyclare Secondary School takes into account the ICT experiences of pupils outside of school. We cannot assume all pupils have access to a personal computer. To aid with this the school offers an after school homework club with full access to the school network. The homework club runs on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. On a Tuesday after school pupils can have access to the ICT suite if arranged with Miss Nevin. Both homework club and access to the ICT suite extend the hours of access to all pupils.


Miss L. Nevin (Head of Department)
Miss L. Battersby
Mr D. McKeanMiss N. Quinn
Mrs W. Shingleton

ICT Support Staff

Mr M. Hunter
Ms C. McDowell


The ICT department is based on the first floor and comprises of 4 rooms with a total of 95 workstations. Room 217, 220 and 222 can be booked using the online booking system facility which can be accessed from the school website.

  • Four large networked computer suites
  • Video Conferencing Facilities
  • Data Projectors
  • Colour Printers
  • Scanners
  • Digital Cameras
  • Internet Access
  • Interactive Whiteboards
  • ipad and Apple TV

Other ICT Facilities Around the School

  • Library with many workstations
  • Classroom sets of laptops on trolleys to ease accessibility
  • Computer clusters for every subject
  • iPad and Apple TV’s are installed in 15 classrooms throughout the school
  • Computer rooms are also available for booking sessions for whole classes or groups.

Equipment Required

Pupils will be required to have the following equipment:

  • Head Phones
  • Memory Stick
  • Coloured Pens
  • A4 Report File
  • File Block
  • File Dividers

Why Study ICT ?

Computers are changing the way we do business, communicate and control devices. Many jobs now require the use of a computer. We are committed at Ballyclare Secondary to ensuring our pupils enter the world of work or higher education with a high level of ICT skill. Specific ICT career pathways our pupils could follow include:

  • Applications Programmer
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Database Administrator
  • Information Technology Consultant
  • Multimedia Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Systems Designer
  • Computer Game Designer
  • Website Designer

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 the ICT curriculum is mainly skills based providing the pupils with the opportunity to develop the necessary proficiency in using the core digital applications needed for them to progress to GCSE Level. The safety of our pupils is of paramount importance and to this end we devote a Unit in each Year Group to eSafety.

Time Allocated: 1 Period per week

Homework: 1 computer homework per term
Weekly spellings and/or definitions

Year 8:
Unit 1: ICT Basics
Unit 2: Digital Video Editing
Unit 3: Word Processing
Unit 4: Spreadsheets

Year 9:
Unit 1: ICT Basics
Unit 2: Presentation Software
Unit 3: Digital Image Manipulation
Unit 4: Website Development

Year 10:
Unit 1: ICT Basics
Unit 2: Online Researching and Collaboration
Unit 3: Databases


Specification/Exam Board:  CCEA


This course aims to help students become independent and discerning users of ICT who are able to make informed decisions about its use and who are aware of its implications for individuals, organisations and society. Pupils will acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and an understanding of ICT in a range of contexts. They will also develop ICT-based solutions to solve problems and evaluate the solutions.


Unit 1 includes:

  • Communications Software
  • Presentation Software
  • Information Handling
  • Spreadsheets

Unit 2 includes:

  • Using Graphics
  • Using Digital Video and Sound
  • Games Technology
  • Web Software

Gcse table






Tier of Entry: There is only 1 tier available

Grades Awarded: A* – G

Progression Pathways
GCSE ICT will provide relevant knowledge and understanding to live in the 21st Century. It will provide students with essential skills to progress in education and the workplace. Students who are successful in gaining a grade A*- C in ICT may have the opportunity to progress to GCE ‘A’ Level Applied ICT in Years 13 and 14.

A Level ICT

Specification/Exam Board:  CCEA

Criteria for Entry:  Grade B or above in GCSE

This course is designed to encourage students to:

  • develop a broad range of ICT skills and knowledge of the uses of ICT in vocational contexts
  • develop knowledge and understanding of components, functions and applications of information systems within a range of organisations
  • develop an understanding of the main principles of solving problems using ICT and develop the skills necessary to apply this understanding and apply their knowledge and understanding of ICT and use skills e.g. planning, research, evaluation, problem solving in vocational contexts
  • develop an understanding of the impact of information systems on organisations’ personnel, policies and practices and develop project management skills and an understanding of the need to work with others.

Summary of Subject Content

AS Level

Unit 1     Information and Communication looks at the importance of information and communication within an organisation

Unit 2     Software Applications and Tools examines the role of operating systems and utility software applications.

Unit 3     Organisations and Information Systems investigates the nature of organisations and how they are structured and managed.

A2 Level

Unit 7     Investigating Systems will consider the role of systems analysis, systems design and how to conduct a systems investigation.

Unit 8     Database Design looks at how databases are structured and used in organisations, also facilities provided by a typical relational database and the importance of testing a user specified system.

Unit 9     Website Design and Management examines how to develop and design websites: also students will study different site models and evaluate site structure, ease of navigation and dynamic content.

Summary of the structures of AS and A2

Alevel ict table





This course will develop students’ ICT skills and is an advantage in all fields of employment. It can also lead to particular careers and higher study in ICT and digital technologies.


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