ICT is increasingly regarded as a new ‘literacy’, alongside reading, writing and numeracy. Cambridge ICT Starters is designed to introduce learners to the key ICT applications they need to use in order to acquire that literacy, and to understand the impact of technology on our daily lives.

At Key Stage 3, our students follow the “On Track” level which ensures that they have the skills necessary for IGCSEs in ICT and Computer Science, as well as the skillsets they will need in the real world.

The eight modules they will complete are:

  • Documents for a Purpose
  • Multimedia for a Purpose
  • Spreadsheets for a Purpose
  • Databases for a Purpose
  • Programming for a Purpose
  • Website Design for a Purpose
  • Networks for a Purpose
  • Video for a Purpose

Documents for a purpose

In this module, learners expand their word-processing skills and build on skills developed in so that they can create Microsoft Word documents for many purposes. They are able to use the software to change the look of the text, add tables and amend the page layout, including the way images are displayed in the document. They also learn how to make changes to the document as a whole, including adjusting margins, adding page numbering, or adjusting whether the page appears in landscape or portrait layout. They understand how to use the word-processing software to edit a document to make it more suitable for its purpose.

Multimedia for a Purpose

This module teaches the use of multimedia authoring software, like Microsoft PowerPoint. The aim is to create an automated presentation for a target audience, incorporating transition and simple animation.

While working on this module, you should encourage learners to find or create appropriate resources, and to consider appropriate use of transitions and timings. They should consider how well the presentation fits its purpose and the needs of the target audience.

Spreadsheets for a Purpose

In this module, learners use spreadsheet software, like Microsoft Excel, to create a working spreadsheet with a clear purpose. Learners work methodically through a design and development process, being able to test, correct and modify the spreadsheet as they progress. They are able to create a final spreadsheet which suits its purpose and is presented in an appropriate way for its audience. They begin to understand how to evaluate their work, and can assess how well their spreadsheet meets its objectives.

Databases for a Purpose

In this module, learners learn how to design and implement their own database using Microsoft Access. In doing this, they will need to consider how databases are used in the real world, and consider the features of a good database.

The aim is to allow learners to demonstrate that they can consider what features are needed to make a useful database. This includes consideration of how the database will be used, who can enter information, and who can access it.

Programming for a Purpose

This module teaches programming of interactive solutions using Python. Learners will code sequences of events to solve specific problems.

Website Design for a Purpose

In this module, learners are introduced to web page design. They learn how to create a simple series of connected webpages, incorporating links to other pages and to other websites, creating some basic navigation through their pages. They are able to select and arrange images and text on the pages, so that they are appropriate to a particular audience, and give the content some simple organisation. They understand the basics of HTML coding. The aim is that the learners begin to understand some of the differences between webpages and other documents, and start to think how to present content in a suitable way.

Networks for a Purpose

In this module, learners are introduced to networks. The aim of the module is for learners to become familiar with what makes up a network, and to understand a little about their purpose. They look at simple network design, and begin to understand how networks can be managed efficiently.

Video for a Purpose

In this module, learners are introduced to video-editing software. The aim is to demonstrate to learners that video can be produced, edited and applied with the aid of computer software and hardware. By the end of the module, learners should have created a finished piece of film, with a specific audience in mind.