Computing

The principal aims of the ICT department are to stimulate the boys’ interest in new technology, to help them appreciate its place in our society and to help them develop the necessary skills in order that they may become confident and competent users of IT hardware and software.

Computers and other technological aids are used throughout the school. The ICT room is a popular retreat amongst the boys, and contains 25-30 computers (all Google Chromebooks) that are used extensively both in lessons and free time. All classrooms contain either an interactive whiteboard or projector for interactive teaching and learning.

ICT skills are taught as part of the weekly timetable. These skills can be broadly separated into 4 themes as follows:

  • Communication (word processing, email, presentations, photos & video editing etc)
  • Research & E-Awareness (internet research, e-safety, use of online resources)
  • Handling data (spreadsheets, graphs, databases)
  • Control, Modeling & Simulation (programming and “what if” scenarios)

To ensure pupils receive a broad and balanced ICT experience, all four themes are addressed in each year group. Some of the skills are taught explicitly in IT lessons, but others are embedded within cross curricular teaching & learning. For example, boys might be asked to undertake a class history project making use of multimedia presentation software.

E-Safety is of paramount importance in all aspects of the boys use of ICT both at home and at school. Guidelines are given to all boys in the course of their ICT lessons, and this is supplemented with advice from external e-Safety specialists who run workshops for the boys on an annual basis.

Upon arrival at Cothill, all boys are given their own cloud-based account on the school network, as well as an email address which is a popular means of communication with parents in the boarding environment. Skype is also available to those that request it.

Boys are able to access the computer room for short periods 3-4 times each day in their free time, and the ICT room is always supervised by a member of IT staff. All computers are internet linked but content is strictly filtered in the interests of safety.