Mr N King (Head of Department)
Mr M Hawkins (2nd in Department)
Mr J Karra (ICT Teacher)
Mrs J Stanton (Post 16 Coordinator)

Mr C Eaton (Technical Operations Manager)
Mr A Kilcullen (ICT Technical Manager)
Mr U Salim (ICT Technician)


Information and Communication Technology is part of the core curriculum at Handsworth Grammar School. This means that every child in years 7 to 11 will be taught ICT as a discreet subject.

The Department aims to ensure that every pupil at HGS will leave the school competent and confident in Computing & Multimedia technologies and be familiar with a wide range of commonly used applications and peripherals such as interactive whiteboards, projectors, digital cameras, camcorders, scanners, tablets, Raspberry Pi’s, monochrome and colour laser printers.

The Computing & Multimedia curriculum that is delivered at HGS has been designed to enable students to develop skills that can be used throughout the whole of their education with emphasis on particular computing skills including programming, graphic design, animation and web authoring.


Departmental resources include five dedicated computer suites consisting of 30 computers in each room. There are a further eight additional computer suites, across other curriculum areas, giving a total provision of around 500 computers throughout the school. Our extensive facilities allow all students to have individual access to a computer when required. The dedicated computer suites incorporate the latest technologies, including CTouch laser 70” interactive screens. This has fully opened the world of touch technology in lessons, enabling increased engagement, involvement and collaboration.

In Key Stage 3 our ICT curriculum has been enhanced to incorporate multimedia & computing topics aligned to workplace competencies expected by employers.

Year 7

In year 7 pupils have one lesson per week. The students begin with an induction unit to help them become familiar with the ICT facilities in our school. This unit also develops good working practices and emphasises the importance of saving all school work onto their networked Home Drives, which is backed up daily.

Year 7 – One lesson per week
7.1 Induction
7.2 Baseline Assessments
7.3 How Computers Work
7.4 E-Safety and Security
7.5 Professional Presentations
7.6 Word Processing using Word
7.7 Digital Imaging using Photoshop
7.8 Spreadsheets using Excel
7.9 Programming using Kodu
7.10 Presenting using Moviemaker
7.11 App Inventor

Year 8

In year 8 pupils have two lessons per week. The course operates in a similar manner to year 7, with some new skills being learned and some existing skills being extended to an intermediate / advance level. The units of work are as follows:

Year 8 – Two lessons per week
8.1 Databases using Access
8.2 Advanced Spreadsheets
8.3 Advanced Animations using Flash
8.4 Advanced Digital Imaging using Photoshop
8.5 Advanced Programming using HTML
8.6 Networking
8.7 Programming using Kodu
8.8 Programming the Web using Javascript
8.9 Digital Audio using Audacity


In year 9 pupils have one lesson per week. The course continues in a similar manner to years 7 and 8, with new skills being learned and some being developed further.

Year 9 – One lesson per week
9.1 Expert Databases using Access
9.2 Expert Spreadsheets using Excel
9.3 Expert Animation using Flash
9.4 Professional publications using Publisher
9.5 Advanced presentations
9.6 Web graphics using Fireworks
9.7 Expert programming using HTML
9.8 Advanced web design using Dreamweaver
9.9 Programming using Python
9.10 GCSE Unit 1: Living in a Digital World

Key stage 4

Year 10 to 11

Computing and Multimedia is compulsory in Key Stage 4 and the department currently offers the following qualification at Level 2:

Edexcel GCSE in Information and Communication Technology.


This GCSE helps provide students with the analytical, technical and communication skills they will need as an active participant in our dynamic, exciting and technologically advanced world. Course content includes Social networking, e-safety, personal digital devices, online security, digital design and digital publishing.

The single award has one exam paper worth 40% of the total marks, and one controlled assessment worth 60%.

The double award has a further two units consisting of two exam papers worth 40% of the total marks, and one controlled assessment worth 60%.

Key Stage 5

After year 11, students may choose from 2 subjects, AS/A Level ICT, using the WJEC exam board or AS/A Level Computing, using the AQA exam board.

The ICT A level will extend knowledge and skills gained at GCSE level in the most commonplace software applications, such as, MS PowerPoint, MS Word, MS Publisher and web authoring software, with theory topics based on ICT in business, education, health and home.

The Computing A level will extend thinking skills, logic and problem solving as well as learning technical details about computer hardware, diagramming and creating actual program code.

The ECDL Certification and Advanced (level 2 and 3) are offered as part of the Enrichment Programme in year 12. These are modular courses assessed by on-screen practical and theory tests.

ICT AS/A2 Level


Computing AS/A2 LEVEL

Computing A-Level is an ideal introduction for those wanting to pursue a career in Computing / IT as systems analysts, software developers and IT professionals as well as complementing many other careers.

The courses are not just about learning to use tools or training in a programming language. Instead the emphasis is on computational thinking, a kind of reasoning used by both humans and machines. Thinking computationally is an important life skill, which means using abstraction and decomposition. The study of computation is about what can be computed and how to compute it.

In the AS specification there are two units.


Unit 1 is a practical, on-screen, examination which allows candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental principles of the subject: Problem Solving; Data Representation and the System Life Cycle, using theory style questions and then focusing on programming through a practical, time limited, problem-solving scenario using pre-release material.

Unit 2 focuses on the fundamentals of: Computer Systems; Hardware and Software elements; Machine Level Architecture and the social and Economic consequences of Computing, including the structure of the Internet and Web Design.

The A2 specification builds on the content of AS and also consists of two units, the same as AS but in more depth and detail and a third unit.


Unit 3 is an internally assessed practical unit, where candidates are required to complete a report on a computer-based, programmed, solution to a problem solving exercise of their choice, including a relational database solution, Computer-aided learning system or a scientific or mathematical problem.

ECDL / ITQ (European Computer Driving Licence)

What is ECDL?
The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) is an internationally-recognised series of qualifications for people who need to demonstrate to potential employers their competence in the key concepts of computing, or who simply require a solid foundation of computing skills upon which to build their future IT experience. It can be delivered in school, college, university or in work places. ECDL is the BCS’s brand name for ITQ.

ECDL Certificate

ECDL Advanced