We place great emphasis on the development of ICT literacy for pupils in all year groups. ICT is delivered as a cross-curricular theme — in keeping with the NI Curriculum. Pupils also have the facility of supervised internet access, to encourage independent research.

Indeed, in recent years the College has again invested substantially in the development of ICT hardware facilities. We now boast five dedicated and state of the art computer suites with a plethora of hardware and software, along with the facilities incorporated within departments.

During Key Stage 3, pupils will have the opportunity to develop their ICT skills through a broad range of subject-based projects. All areas of learning incorporate ICT into their schemes of work and provide the opportunity for ICT application (e.g.) research and coursework. In particular, the department has eagerly embraced the New NI Curriculum and caters for all aspects of assessment.

At Key Stage 4 the College offers both GCSE and BTEC Information Technology, to all pupils.

These courses provide the opportunity for our pupils to develop more advanced skills in software such as Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint and Internet applications – as well as in-depth study of computing theory including its application in society and the environment. Indeed, many of our Year 12 pupils find work placements in computer-related business.

Further, the department also offers GCE (A-Level) ICT, and BTEC Information Technology Level 2 for Post-16 students.

These courses give our boys who decide to remain at the College after Year 12, the platform to advance to third level education. The modular courses are similar to University style study, and many of our past-pupils have followed this pathway.

Indeed, our pupils are given an insight into this world of work through our participation in the ‘Bring ICT On’ Seminars which promote careers in the ICT industry.

In essence, the ICT Department at St Patrick’s remains at the forefront of this important educational field, not just as a standalone subject but integrated throughout academic life at the College.