Using ICT is one of the three Cross-Curricular Skills at the heart of the curriculum. Developing pupils’ digital skills encourages them to handle and communicate information, solve problems, pose questions and be creative in using digital technology.
The emphasis in Using ICT is on pupils using digital skills appropriately while engaging in meaningful and purposeful activities. Ideally, teachers will provide a context of relevant, real-life situations when developing these skills.
Teachers have a responsibility to provide pupils with experiences of Using ICT that are appropriate to their subject. They should also help pupils to acquire and develop the skills necessary to become informed and responsible users of digital technology.
ICT can transform and enrich pupils’ learning experiences and environments across the curriculum. It can empower pupils, develop self-esteem and promote positive attitudes to learning.
The creative use of ICT can improve pupils’ thinking skills, providing them with opportunities to become independent, self-motivated and flexible learners.
Teachers should enable pupils to make effective use of ICT in a wide range of contexts to access, manage, select and present information, including mathematical information.
At Key Stage 3, teachers use the Levels of Progression to assess pupils in Using ICT. Teachers do not have to use the Levels of Progression at Key Stage 4. However, teachers can use them to support ongoing teaching and learning, especially where pupils are working up to Level 7.
See Guidance on Teaching, Learning and Assessment at Key Stage 4 and Assessment and Reporting at Key Stage 4 for more details.
Schools should embed e-safety education into teaching and learning in the Areas of Learning through relevant topics. This will give pupils opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of e-safety.
For more information on internet safety education for pupils, see the Department of Education’s article on Education in Safe and Effective Practices.
The Department of Education’s 2016/27 circular on e-safety provides guidance about keeping pupils safe online and prioritising online safety within a school’s curriculum and safeguarding policy.
CCEA's ScamWise resource has information and links that we think are particularly useful for this topic.
We provide a range of qualifications that build on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through this Cross-Curricular Skill. These include:
There are also opportunities for pupils to demonstrate higher level digital skills through qualifications such as: