St Thomas More Catholic High School


As a Computing and ICT Department we are committed to providing excellent facilities and teaching staff to enable all of our pupils to achieve their potential in Computing and ICT.

Pupils have access to a wide range of software including Microsoft Office, programming language Python plus many other specialist bespoke software. All of our pupil’s tasks and resources are accessed using our school Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle VLE.

We have full time technical support from our ICT Network Manager and ICT Technician.
Pupils have discrete ICT lessons throughout years 7, 8 and 9 using a wide range of software, resources and equipment.
They are given opportunities to create, communicate, find and analyse information according to the National Curriculum programme of study.
There is a greater emphasis for our pupils in Key Stage 3 to gain an understanding in Computer Science aligned with the traditional ICT skills and knowledge.
We offer a full and wide range of courses in Computing and ICT that we feel meets the needs of our   pupils.
Our GCSE Computer Science course gets pupils working with real-world, practical programming techniques that give them a good understanding of what makes technology work.

 The qualification is split into two components:

  • Component 1 - Practical programming - is examined by controlled assessment
  • Component 2 - Computing fundamentals - is exam based
Component 1 - Practical programming 
  • Approximately 50 hours of controlled assessment (2 tasks of 25 hours each)
  • 60% of the marks
  • 126 marks (63 marks for each task)
  • 180 UMS
  • Internally assessed, externally moderated
  • Different tasks will be provided by AQA each year
  • Each pupil should complete two tasks from a choice of four

Working independently pupils demonstrate their ability to code a solution to a given problem.  The tasks will be set in engaging and relevant contexts, e.g. gaming, web, mobile phone applications.

Tasks may be completed and submitted on paper or electronically (saved to CD and posted to the moderator). 
Component 2 - Computing fundamentals 
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 40% of the marks
  • 84 marks
  • 120 UMS

Externally assessed.  Schools/colleges can choose to enter pupils for either a paper-based or on-screen version.

All questions will be compulsory and will be taken from across the subject content.
This component will include a range of types of questions from very short to extended answer.
GCSE Information and Communication Technology helps pupils develop their knowledge of current and emerging technologies, a range of ICT tools and techniques and society's use of ICT.
This specification requires pupils to develop their ability to work collaboratively.
The Full Course is made up of one externally assessed examination worth 40% of the qualification and two controlled assessment units worth 30% each.
Unit 1 Systems and Applications in ICT (120 marks) 
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 40% of the marks
  • Externally assessed

Section A:  10 structured questions featuring a range of types of questions from very short questions requiring 2 or 3 line answers (72 marks)

Section B:  3 structured questions featuring short and extended answer questions (36 marks)
All questions will be compulsory in Sections A and B
Section C:  1 essay question from a choice of 2 (12 marks)


Unit 2  The Assignment: Applying ICT (100 marks) 
  • Approximately 25 hours of Controlled Assessment
  • 30% of the marks
  • Internally assessed, externally moderated

The description of a situation will be provided by AQA each year.  Within the given situation, and working independently, candidates will be asked to solve one or more tasks requiring independent use of ICT.  A new Assignment will be provided every year by AQA.  Candidates must submit the Assignment current for the year in which they enter for the exam.

Unit 3  Practical Problem Solving in ICT (100 marks) 
  • Approximately 25 hours of Controlled Assessment
  • 30% of the marks
  • Internally assessed, externally moderated

The purpose of this unit is to ask candidates to solve practical problems which they may meet in education, the community or in the work place. ICT must be used to solve the problem. 

Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA) is a level 2 vocational qualification for creative learners with a passion for digital applications.
Unit 1: Developing Web Products Level: 2 Guided Learning Hours: 30
When your attention is captured by a web page advertising a competition, promoting an event or  launching a new product, what makes you stop and look?  Don’t be fooled by technical wizardry.  It may have spectacular images, eye-catching animation or attention grabbing text, but what makes it effective is the way the components work together.  This unit aims to give you the knowledge and skills you need to produce attention grabbing web products using web authoring software, multimedia assets and navigation features.  You will demonstrate your ability to design, build and test a web product in a practical computer-based examination.


Unit 2: Creative Multimedia Level: 2 Guided Learning Hours: 90
Digital tools can be used to communicate information using any combination of text, images, sound,  video and interactive components such as buttons and hyperlinks.  Products that use these different components at the same time, such as websites, presentations and games, are multimedia.  This unit aims to give you the skills to use the tools and techniques provided by multimedia authoring software to design and create effective multimedia products for specified purposes and audiences.  You will investigate a range of existing multimedia products to find out how different components are used to convey a particular message.  You will discover that you like some of these products more than others and you will need to consider why this is the case.  Once you have a good understanding of the possibilities offered by multimedia, you will learn how to design multimedia products of your own.  This will involve detailed designs setting out exactly how you want each screen to look, the components you need and how the user will interact with the product.


Coding at Home 
Smart Basic is a fee programming language from Microsoft that is well supported and an excellent language to start coding with.
An excellent game making program developed by MIT in America. It is graphic based interface to building games but more importantly provides an excellent and intuitive introduction to programming and is completely free of charge
A site full of resources and tutorials on learning how to code in lots of different languages for all ages


Revision Tips 
Download Scratch and Small Basic at home and set yourself challenges to make different programs – practice makes perfect.
Learning how to program computers is entirely different to other subjects. It’s ok to look at other people’s work on Scratch and  SmallBasic to see how other people have solved problems – it’s a good way of learning techniques you can reuse.
Documenting code gives you more marks than the code itself as it shows the examiner you understand what you are doing. Exam boards are not concerned if your code does not work – they are more concerned about your thinking skills so don’t fall into the trap of thinking working code gets you full marks – it doesn’t!


You can contact the Lead Teacher of ICT by e-mail here.
You can contact the Head of Technology department by e-mail here.