Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education is a fundamental part of Felsted’s Academic Curriculum, beginning in Reception and taught through to GCSE and A Levels.

The purpose of ICT in education is to make students familiar with its use, how it works and how it can be used for research and presentation across all subjects. ICT at Felsted equips pupils for the world of work, where the majority of jobs require at least basic IT literacy.

Felsted champions the use of Google’s technology to enhance teaching and learning via Google Classroom. With specialist technicians on site to support teachers and students, and a ICT Centre based on the Senior School site, Felsted is well known nationally as a leader in ICT provision.

Felsted School shortlisted for Best use of technology award by independent school awards 2018

Stewart House Ages 4-6

Pupils from Reception up to Year 2 learn how to use a range of digital devices and platforms to perform a range of specific tasks:

Basic computer skills include logging on and off, mouse skills, saving work to personal folders, and touch typing. Our young Felstedians learn how to use technology through play using Interactive Whiteboards, computers, iPads and Beebots. They will learn how to design simple artwork and to illustrate ebooks using Dazzle, 2Paintapicture and PowerPoint.

They will also learn how to use Wordl, Publisher and Word to create documents, changing font type, size, colour, and inserting images into their work.

Ffrome Court Ages 7-8

Pupils in Year 3 start to develop their creative skills using the technology available. They will design their own computer artwork using both Paint and Google Slides, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the programs. They will continue to develop programming skills using Scratch, and design leaflets to communicate information to others.

In Year 4, the time spent on improving their programming skills increases whilst attempting a range of tasks. They will learn how to create a slideshow presentation, be asked to design a creation of abstract art using a computer program of their choice.

They will create simple animations using Scratch and Pivot, and learn to use Google Docs and Google Classroom for assessment pieces.

Cloisters Ages 9-10

In Years 5 and 6, pupils begin their Computer Science studies, using a range of software and hardware to demonstrate their abilities in this subject area.

They will present a non-chronological slideshow of Endangered Animal and Plant species, as well as learning basic spreadsheet skills, creating tables, graphs and use of basic mathematical formulae to solve tasks. Pupils will learn Flowol Programming using logical, step-by-step instructions and will also create a silent movie stop-motion animation using Pivot Stickfigure Animator.

They will create a basic webpage using a simple HTML editor on a topic of their choice. They will learn Flowol Programming using logical, step-by-step instructions; 3D Animations using Muvizu, enhancing scriptwriting and voice acting; examining how digital technology communicate with other devices; analysing data and presenting information in a variety of formats. They will also begin to examine the use of Python as a computer programming language to solve "real-life" problems.

Courtauld House Ages 11-12

In Years 7 and 8, pupils expand their knowledge and understanding of Computer Science. They will discover what the components of computers are, what they do and how they work together to create a computer system.

They will examin how digital technology communicates with other devices and use VEXIQ Programming to provide instant feedback to “real-life” situations, using and programming robots using Python plugins.

Pupils will learn how to create 3D Animations using Muvizu, enhancing scriptwriting and voice acting. They will analyse data using more complex formulae in spreadsheets and use Microsoft and Google Office Suites for assessed pieces of work. They will also continue their development and understanding of Python.

Senior School Ages 13-15

In Year 9 the Computing course has been designed to build on previous knowledge and understanding of Computing and ICT. The course offers pupils a specialised route into further study of Computer Science. Pupils develop critical thinking, analysis and problem solving skills which can also be applied to other curricular subjects. The areas covered in the course are:

  • E-Safety
  • Computational thinking
  • Computer hardware and Software
  • Data Representation
  • Programming using Python
  • Web Design using HTML
  • Moral, Legal, Environmental Issues
  • Assessment

Assessment is carried out throughout the year by means of a number of projects primarily focusing on achievement in the practical production of tasks. Feedback is given to pupils on a regular basis in the form of verbal or written advice to highlight where the pupil has been successful or where they can improve. Students are encouraged to reflect upon this feedback and set targets for themselves based on the feedback.

In Years 10 and 11 students follow the OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science J276 syllabus which will enable them to develop computational thinking skills built on a sound base of conceptual learning and understanding. Students will study:

  • System architecture, including memory and storage
  • Wired and wireless networks, including topologies, protocols and layers
  • System security
  • System software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
  • Algorithms and programming techniques
  • Computational logic
  • Translators and facilities of languages
  • Data representation

Assessment consists of two one and a half hour written examination papers worth a total of 100% of the qualification. They also have a programming project set by the board to complete.

Sixth Form Ages 16-18

In Years 12 and 13 students follow the AQA A Level Computer Science syllabus where they study:

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Theory of computation
  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Fundamentals of communication and networking
  • Fundamentals of databases
  • Big Data
  • Fundamentals of functional programming
  • Systematic approach to problem solving

Assessment consists of two examination papers, one written and the other an online assessment - each two and a half hours and constitute a total of 80% of the qualification. There is also a non-exam assessment worth 20% of the qualification.

I was heavily involved in the Felsted Computer Society, where we learnt the basics of computing and undertook several exciting projects. Felsted had an old mainframe computer, but by the time I left it had one of the first Ethernet networks and several of the first personal computers. This was more than a decade before PCs and networks became common so it was ground breaking technology for the time.

I mapped out a plan before I even took my O-levels to study for a PhD, and become a researcher in one of the cutting edges of computing, Artificial Intelligence. And strangely enough, that's what I did. I now find myself working on AI projects at Australia's leading computer science research lab. I would say that Felsted provided me with a strong academic foundation and confidence in my abilities. These have helped me in a peripatetic career that has taken me across the globe.

Professor Toby Walsh, Felsted 1977-92
Deputy Director of Cork Constraint Computation Centre