A Brief Introduction to the Digital Studies Department
The Digital Studies department offers 4 learning pathways in Key Stage 4 and it’s best to start here, to understand how we support Telford Priory students from when they join us in Year 7 to when they leave.
In Year 9, our students will embark on their Digital Studies qualification. The four routes are:
Technical route GCSE in Computer Science
Creative route Cambridge Nationals Certificate in iMedia
Digital Literacy Cambridge Nationals Certificate in ICT
Digital Studies Cambridge Nationals Certificate in Enterprise and Marketing
For each course, students follow 3 years of study and where possible they are provided with the maximum amount of practical experience possible. For Computer Science, they will focus on their problem solving skills, write programmes or create new networks. For iMedia, they will develop graphics for publishing, their own comic novels and now photography too. For ICT, students will develop their creativity by combining multimedia components into an interactive product whilst also developing their business skills by learning how to handle and manipulate data with spreadsheets. Our final qualification is Business Studies. This course has been carefully selected as one of the few available where students will investigate and build their case for their own business in the style of Dragons Den, which will be part of their final course. They learn how businesses are structured and financed, quickly moving on to marketing and pitching their business proposal. This is a fantastic experience which fully supports their Sixth Form and University applications and may even develop an appetite to become a business owner.
With such specialised pathways in Key Stage 4, we make sure that our Year 7s, and 8s have a varied menu of Digital Studies experience to help them make the right option decisions. We start off with some serious E-Safety for our Year 7s – helping to keep them safe in this online world and then they will also be offered chance to programme Lego robots. They’ll be making and editing websites in Year 8 as well as writing their own adventure games.
The specialist software we use will be Scratch 1.4, Python 3.4, Gamemaker 8 and online sites to support Microbits. We always aim to use software with Year 7 and Year 8 which is free to download so this can be supported at home. Lego Mindstorms is licenced software for the school as this works directly with the robots.
We run several clubs. Students can practise their animation and photography skills, build Lego robots and code them so they compete in the international First Lego League competition, as well as getting any support they need for their qualifications or homework.
Our aim is to make sure we can start our students on their own personal digital learning pathway from the moment they join us until the day they leave.