Technology is an integral part of our lives and the ICT department's mission is to prepare pupils for the future.
The girls at The Mount are in the enviable position of having access to six computer suites. There are two dedicated ICT suites for Senior girls together with a computer suite in the Careers department and a suite for use by the Design Technology, Maths and Science departments. We have a research suite in the library, and The Mount Junior School has an ICT suite for class and specialist teaching. There are data projectors and interactive whiteboards throughout the School and several networked colour multifunctional scanning and printing devices for students.
The S7 (Year 7) girls have an ICT lesson each week, covering a range of topics providing a balanced, interesting and relevant experience. The girls receive direct teaching on Microsoft Office Word, Publisher, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. Girls are taught about the safe use of the internet and social network sites, health and safety, and appropriate use of email, blogs, text and Twitter style sites.
Throughout S8 and S9 (Years 8 and 9) all students undertake a formal ICT qualification. The new 'Cambridge National' involves producing coursework to demonstrate skills in different software, and there is also an exam at the end of the course. The course is designed to challenge students, offering the chance to be creative and work independently. The content is up to date and relevant to the lives of students today.
In ICT lessons the girls work at their own terminal, however it is sometimes appropriate to arrange the girls in groups to encourage collaborative learning. The students have access to the suites in the morning, before lessons, during break and at lunch time. The boarders have access to complete work until 21.30.
The school intranet contains many department related resources and information for students, and is accessible any time form anywhere in the world. Students are encouraged to use their school email address, and homework is often distributed and submitted this way. The School operates a wireless network for students wishing to use their own laptop or tablet to access the school network and internet. Many boarders find this an excellent way keep in touch with friends and family. There is, of course, powerful internet filtering software, a school firewall and anti-virus software for everyone's protection. We use the latest Microsoft Operating System, along with industry standard Microsoft Office software, preparing students for future study and work.
These practical software skills are obviously important as is a flexible and enthusiastic attitude to information technology. The girls are encouraged to experiment with software, and we strive to foster a love of learning, often discussing issues surrounding ICT, its ethics and place in society, enabling the girls to express and share their views and experiences.