In all areas of study at Wizard, students are constantly encouraged to make full use of technology and opportunities to apply their learning in practical applications are always available, either through simulation excercises through a series of challenges or in real life situations in connection with one of our Enterprises.
An awareness of online safety, PC security and using software and equipment responsibly and effectively are essential areas for anyone using IT today, personally or professionally. It is therefore important to work towards students taking ownership of these issues for themselves. Each student is assigned their own laptop which they will be encouraged to set up with their choice of background and default values. Where possible, they will perform their own updates and general maintenance as required on their own user account.
To enable students to continue using IT after they leave the resource rich environment of school, all students are introduced to open source software and encouraged to select, install (where applicable) and use suitable programmes. Students are encouraged to use and search the internet safely and effectively, use email, word processors, and basic graphics programmes. As their skills increase, more able students are encouraged to develop their skills further using specialist software (or their equivalent in open source) for design, spreadsheet modelling, desk top publishing, databases, website building or maintenance, sound and video recording or editing and animation. Year 11 students will also be introduced to using local and government services for finding employment or further education, careers information and opportunities online including trying out practice online car and motorcycle theory tests.
All students are encouraged to take formal qualifications in ICT appropriate to their ability including GCSE ICT, Functional Skills Level 1 or 2, or Entry Level 3, 2 or 1.
Some sample work produced by some of our engagement students can be seen here:
Junior has helped set up several real life customer sites and Ryan B worked with a customer as part of Web Designer Swindon Enterprise project whilst Kesley and Shaun have also made major contributions to the following websites:
As part of the animation work students were doing several designed, created and evaluated their own games, samples of their work can be seen here: http://scratch.mit.edu/users/wizardeducation
For some students, their interests lie within the workings of the computer rather than just it's use. Several students have brought in their own laptops and have been shown how to repair and set them up for themselves. With the support of specialist IT support staff, Kesley even took two non working laptops completely apart and rebuilt one working computer for himself to use in class resulting in his being the fastest to load up! He has continued to maintain this laptop almost entirely on his own and the report and support guide he wrote recording his achievement was used as part of an English assessment.