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Information and communication technology (ICT)

Please be aware that this section contains information prepared in 2009 and may now be out of date. Some links may no longer work. We are reviewing this section.

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What is Information and Communication Technology?
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is one of the subjects you must be taught at school under the current National Curriculum. A good understanding of ICT is really important as we now rely on technology for finding and processing information.

At school you will learn how to use ICT to find information for a particular task and to judge the accuracy and reliability of the information you find. You will also learn to develop words and numbers into reports, presentations and spreadsheets and into information systems and computer models.

Your ICT education will begin at Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2) and will continue throughout your primary and secondary school education. In the LINKS section below are some links which take you to more detailed information about what exactly you will be taught in the different key stages. Generally you will develop your ICT knowledge and skills by learning and mastering a range of activities including:

  • Technical skills and understanding when to use them, such as how to gather information about a particular subject from a variety of sources (people, books, internet, radio, television etc)
  • Gathering and processing information safely and responsibly. 
  • Questioning the information you find and learning the ability to process new information for yourself.
  • Problem solving and using different sources of information to do this. 
  • Broadening your knowledge of and giving you access to information and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures. 
    Applying ICT effectively in your continued learning, everyday life and in the world of work ahead.

ICT is a compulsory subject throughout primary and secondary school (Years 1 - 11). You do not have to take a qualification in ICT but most schools offer the option of national qualifications. For more information about the qualifications available to you, visit the links below.

Although ICT is taught in school as a subject, you might find it useful for assisting your learning in other subjects. Children and young people with autism and Aspergers often say that they are more comfortable using computers to learn than other methods. If you feel that technology would help your learning in other areas, we suggest you talk to your teachers about using ICT in other lessons / subjects. You could also talk to your parents / carers about it as you might find that having access to a computer at home would help with homework or revision.

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Internet for: ICT Free online ICT tutorial to develop internet skills. Part of the Intute: Virtual Training Suite funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee

ICT: updates and resources Gives you detailed information about what ICT is, the qualifications you can choose to take and its importance to our modern society.

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Links


Information for children and young people:
Detailed information about ICT in Key Stages 1 to 4 including what will be taught and how pupils will be assessed:

ICT in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)
ICT in Key Stage 2 (Year 3 to 6)
ICT in Key Stage 3 (Year 7 to 9)
ICT in Key Stage 4  (Year 10 to 11)

ICT Qualifications Information about the range of ICT qualifications available to you. If you want to take one of these qualifications you will need to find out if your school offers it. Speak to your ICT teacher about this.  

Information for parents and professionals:
ICT at Key Stages 1 and 2 Information from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) for teachers of ICT at Key Stages 1 and 2 about how to translate the ICT Programme of Study into manageable units of work.

ICT at Key Stage 3 Information from the DCSF for teachers of ICT at Key Stage 3 about how to translate the ICT Programme of Study into manageable units of work.

BECTA The government agency leading the national drive to ensure the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning.

Primary Focus Magazine The termly online journal for primary school practitioners published by NAACE. (NAACE is the professional association for those concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of ICT.)

Computer Education Magazine The termly journal, published by NAACE, for all education practitioners involved in the teaching of ICT.

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Case studies


ICT Case Studies A range of case studies about how different schools have used ICT to enthuse and encourage pupils across a wide range of subjects.

ICT in the curriculum Examples from BECTA (see above) about how ICT skills can be developed across a range of subjects for a range of pupils with practical help and advice.

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