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Key Stage Three

In KeyStage 3 ICT we equip students with the essential ICT skills they need for the majority of their subjects in school, ensuring they have cross-curricular skills that can be applied between all subjects.


Topics taught in KeyStage 3 ICT create the foundation for students to transition smoothly into ICT at GCSE level, arriving to class already prepared with basic and intermediate skills in software packages that are embedded in the GCSE specifications.


Creativity is at the heart of KeyStage 3 ICT, pupils enjoy this aspect of ICT in Carrickfergus Academy, enabling them to unleash their artistic flair and creative eye in various 

applications.  But we also ensure we equip pupils with logical skills too and give them a taste of what programming is at KeyStage 3 level also.

Subject Leader

Mr C O'Loughlin

Teaching Staff

Mrs A Magill

Miss E Blair

Mrs S Compton

Mrs J Evans

Mrs M O'Neill

Year 8 pupils learn the following topics:

  • Google Classroom

  • Word Processing/Folder management

  • Email

  • Internet safety

  • Scratch programming

  • Photoshop basics

  • Comic book design

Year 9 pupils learn the following topics:

  • Graphic Design using Photoshop

  • Spreadsheet modelling

  • Game design using Kodu

  • Web design basics

  • Video editing

Year 10 pupils learn the following topics:

  • Game design using Game Maker

  • Databases

  • App prototyping

  • Trinket programming

  • Vector drawing



At GCSE level students are offered 2 vocational options from which they can choose.  Each option allows pupils to achieve the equivalent of 2 GCSEs.


Option 1: OCR Cambridge Technical in IT – Level 2


This specification is the equivalent of 2 GCSEs.


Course Content 

This is a vocational ICT qualification which will help students develop specific and transferable skills such as research, planning, reviewing, working with others and communicating creative concepts. 


This qualification is 100% coursework based and gives students the opportunity to learn a range of theory based knowledge and practical skills. 


Who should consider choosing this subject?

You should choose this course if you enjoy:

  • Key sage 3 ICT

  • Learning advanced creative ICT skills like Photoshop and web design

  • Prefer coursework instead of exams

  • Organised and can meet deadlines

  • Enjoy Art and have a creative flair

  • Learning about ICT is used in the business world


For further information visit:


Assessment overview

Unit 1 – Communicating in the IT Industry  –  25%  –  Internal Coursework

Unit 2 – Working in the IT Industry  –  25%  –  Internal Coursework

Unit 9 – Website Development  –  25%  –  Internal Coursework

Unit 11 – Multimedia Design  –  25%  –  Internal Coursework

Option 2: Pearson BTEC ICT – Level 2


This specification is the equivalent of 2 GCSEs.


Course Content 

BTEC ICT provides students with the knowledge understanding and skills to aid progression to A-Level ICT and the workplace.  This is a vocational course where learners develop knowledge and understanding by applying their learning and skills in a work-related context.  They engage learners to take responsibility for their own learning and to develop skills that are essential for the modern-day workplace.  

Skills include team-working, working from a brief, working to deadlines and producing various ICT based projects using a range of software packages.


Who should consider choosing this subject?

You should choose this course if you enjoy:

  • Key stage 3 ICT

  • Learning creative ICT skills like Photoshop

  • Learning creative technical ICT skills like databases

  • Enjoy learning theory topics and exams

  • Being organised and can meet deadlines


For further information visit:


Assessment overview

Unit 1 – The Online World  –  12.5%  –  External Exam

Unit 2 – Technology Systems  –  12.5%  –  External Exam

Unit 3 – A Digital Portfolio  –  12.5%  –  Internal Coursework

Unit 4 – Creating Digital Animation  –  12.5%  –  Internal Coursework

Unit 6 – Creating Digital Graphics  –  12.5%  –  Internal Coursework

Unit 9 – Spreadsheet Development  –  12.5%  –  Internal Coursework

Unit 11 – Database Development  –  25%  –  Internal Coursework



In ICT pupils follow the OCR Cambridge Technicals specification and will be assessed in 6 coursework units.  It is recommended that pupils have studied ICT at GCSE if considering this course.  


Due to the coursework based nature of the course it is recommended pupils have at least a C in English to enable them to gain a good grade for their written communication skills.  


This vocational course is the equivalent of an A-Level, recognised by both Queens University Belfast and University of Ulster for ICT based degrees.

This specification is 100% coursework based.


Year 13


Unit 1 - Communication and Employability Skills for IT

This unit will enable you to create ICT documents for certain audiences.  It will also allow to learn about different personal skills that are essential within the ICT industry. You will then learn about the different methods of ICT communication and be able to demonstrate ICT skills.


Unit 2 – Information Systems

This unit allows the student to demonstrate the information organisations hold and how this is valuable to an organisation.  It will help the student understand the legislation governing information which goes in and out of an organisation and the constraints and limitations that apply to it. Students will discover that if systems are in place, and information held is correct then the communication within the organisation is a powerful tool and can give any organisation a competitive edge with the use of management information systems.


Unit 27 – Digital Graphics 

This unit helps students learn advanced skills in Photoshop, skills that are used in the graphic design industry.  Students will complete 4 mini Photoshop tasks demonstrating a range of skills, and then complete a major task -  planning, designing and evaluating a variety of graphic design products for a given scenario.  In addition, students will learn the theory behind this area of ICT, including the hardware and software used in graphic design and the properties of various file formats and print mediums.


Year 14


Unit 12 – Website Production

This unit will prepare students to design, create and test a fully functioning professional website that uses a range of advanced and dynamic features. It also provides essential knowledge on the architecture, design and security issues that need to be considered when creating websites.  Pupils use WordPress to create their websites, equipping them with skills that can be used in industry.


Unit 19 – Spreadsheet Modelling

The aim of this unit is to help students understand how spreadsheets can be used to solve complex problems.  Students will learn how to create a complex spreadsheet model and to use a range of formulae and functions.  They will also learn how to automate and customise their spreadsheet models, the importance of testing spreadsheets for functionality and produce relevant documentation to support the spreadsheet.


Unit 43 – Understanding Social Media for Business

This unit gives students the understanding of what social media is, the scope and impact it has, how it is evolving and the opportunities these platforms provide to businesses when promoting themselves or utilising consumer information.  By reviewing business practice students will be able to identify how to improve service and customer delivery, raise awareness of business and products/services and improve market intelligence to develop a competitive advantage.

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