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St Colman's High & Sixth Form College, Ballynahinch

Department Staff

Mrs C Grafton (Head of Department)

Mrs J King

Mr C Rice

Mr M Starkey

Ms C Grimley

Our department aim

ICT skills are an essential skill for life. No matter what job you find yourself in it is highly likely that you will use ICT in some way.

The ICT Department in St Colman’s are committed to ensuring that all pupils are equipped with these skills, whilst developing their confidence and providing fun and interactive methods of developing these skills. We use up-to-date teaching methods and resources via iPad technology to engage pupils. We encourage pupils to develop their ICT skills at home as well as in class by providing access learning material via Google Classroom which can be accessed using a home PC or on the pupils’ iPad.

We expect every pupil to ensure they bring their iPad to class and ensure that it is fully charged. 

At all levels we provide opportunities for students to learn more about future employment opportunities in the IT sector and this is supported by workshops and guest speakers from organisations such as Enterprise NI, Sentinus and Hyperpixel studios and many more. 

Key stage 3 provision

All pupils at St Colman's will have ICT for 1 hour a week.  At Key Stage 3 the pupils will follow a broad, balanced programme in accordance with the Northern Ireland Curriculum.  All pupils at Key stage 3 will start by learning about Digital Citizenship and how to stay safe when using the internet.  Pupils will also be learning about Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Emailing, Vector Graphics and Scratch.  Year 9 students will be introduced to Mobile App development in Term 3.  Year 10 pupils will be introduced to Computing Theory, Web Development using Dreamweaver, as well as Python Programming in Term 3.

Key stage 4 provision

OCN - Level 2 Certificate for IT Users 

This qualification is delivered over two years.  On successful completion of this qualification, the award is equivalent to a Grade B at GCSE.  

The pupils will cover the following units:

Unit name

Contribution to final grade

Assessment method

Word processing



Spreadsheet software



Email Software skills



Presentation software



Social media



This qualification is continually assessed via coursework and there is no formal examination.  Assessment will be through completion of work on Google classroom.

GCSE Digital Technology

We currently offer the CCEA Digital Technology - Multimedia route.  This course is delivered over two years.  Pupils acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of digital technology in a variety of contexts. They also develop creative and practical digital technology skills, either using a range of generic software or in an object-oriented environment. They explore the legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental impact of digital technology. This qualification also helps them to develop transferable skills such as creative problem-solving and teamwork.

This qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through the Cross-Curricular Skill of Using ICT.

This specification is unitised, therefore Unit 1: Digital Technology is assessed at the end of Year 11.  Unit 2:  Digital Authoring Concepts and Unit 3:  Digital Authoring Practice are assessed throughout and at the end of Year 12.

We deliver the following three units:

Unit name

Contribution to final grade

Assessment method

Unit 1: Digital Technology


1 hour written examination

Unit 2: Digital Authoring Concepts


1 hour 30 minute written examination

Unit 3: Digital Authoring Practice



This qualification equips pupils with the knowledge and skills to progress to study IT at Post 16 level.


Post 16

Level 2 Certificate in Creative Arts and Digital Technologies

The creative and digital technologies sectors are recognised as growth areas within the economy. The OCN NI Creative Arts and Digital Technologies qualification has been designed to meet emerging skills requirements in these sectors. The qualifications have been designed to offer a wide range of options mirroring the careers and occupations available within these sectors.

Units include:

  • Using Imaging Software Tools
  • Using Social Media to Market and Promote Events, Products and Services
  • Developing Websites
  • Photography: A Creative Approach to Picture Making


Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology (RQF)

This qualification is designed for pupils who are interested in an introduction to the study of creating IT systems to manage and share information, alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses.  This course is delivered over two years and is equivalent to one A-Level.  The course is recognised by Universities and Employers.

Pupils taking their first steps towards a new career need the right blend of technical and academic skills in order to become the highly skilled, work-ready individuals employers and universities look for.
BTEC Level 3 Nationals are vocational qualifications designed to help your learners succeed. They have been developed in collaboration with over 5,000 universities, employers and professional bodies with employability at the heart, to allow pupils to develop the skills and confidence they will need to step into their future.

During this course you will:

  • Learn about the fundamentals in IT, this will include computer hardware, networks and legislation in IT.
  • Learn about the design of relational databases and develop skills in developing databases.
  • Learn about Social Media and how it is used in businesses and manage your own Social Media campaign.
  • Learn about website design and development and design, develop and test your own website.

Entry requirements.

  • GCSE Digital Technology - Grade C or above.
  • GCSE Maths - Grade C or above.
  • An interest in the Computer industry with a possible desire to enter employment in this area is required.
  • You should enjoy using computers to research and produce material.
  • You must also be interested in the technical aspect of how the computer systems work and in the creative aspect of digital media.


  • Year 13:
  • Unit 2 - Creating systems to manage information (Exam - January 2023)
  • Unit 3 - Using Social Media for Business (Coursework May 2023)

Year 14:

  • Unit 1 - Information technology Systems. (Exam - January 2024)
  • Unit 6 - Website development (Coursework May 2024)

How you will be assessed:

A learner’s final qualification grade reflects their achievements across units in their BTEC Nationals course.
Both internally and externally assessed units are individually graded, and each final unit grade is allocated points.

Internally assessed units are marked and graded in the school by your IT teacher and are subject to external
verification by Pearson.

Externally assessed units are marked and graded by Pearson.

Units are graded Pass, Merit or Distinction with points between grades also recognised for external units.

Total points scored across all units are used to calculate the final qualification grade.

BTEC Grade A-Level equivalent UCAS points
Distinction* A* 56
Distinction A 48
Merit C 32
Pass E 16



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