Studying ICT at Tollbar helps our students develop the skills and knowledge required to help them compete in the modern, digital world.

Please explore these pages to find out more about what we offer.

Ethos & Values

  • To enhance children's quality of learning through the effective delivery of Computer Science GCSE and Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA)
  • To raise attainment by creating a target-orientated highly driven culture based on the enhancement of ICT skills and creative use of them in coursework.
  • To have consistently high expectations and match these with high quality resources and learning strategies.
  • To provide a range of educational experiences appropriate to the age, ability and needs of our students utilising all the ICT resources to hand.
  • To manage and create resources to ensure maximum benefit ensuring all resources are of outstanding quality and are accessible as easily as possible.
  • To adopt a philosophy of continuous improvement in all aspects of the delivery of all subjects within the Faculty.
  • To be proponents of lifelong learning by continually training and developing new skills using the latest technology.

Knowledge & Skills

Whilst studying ICT students learn to use a wide range of applications and learn how to use these tools to create various products ranging from databases and spreadsheets to complex animations and websites. Students will study in detail many aspects of digital multimedia including web design, graphics, animation, sound production, video production and editing and digital music production.

Resources & Facilities

There are currently seven dedicated ICT classrooms equipped for multi-media design and general ICT work. All the classrooms have projectors. Resources are always being reviewed and updated; recently a fully digital recording studio has been purchased along with various music and sound production equipment including a studio quality condenser mike and several Digital Audio Workstations. We also have several digital and analogue cameras for video and still pictures and also have graphics tablets for multimedia and technical drawing packages.

Our main resource is our vast array of software. For instance, we have access to the latest version of Adobe's Creative Studio 4 (CS4) including:

Photoshop: A digital media editing application for editing images.

Adobe Photoshop Icon

Flash: An animation application that can be used for creating various multimedia applications such as videos, animations, games, and software which is the industry-leading authoring environment for creating engaging interactive experiences.

Adobe Flash Icon

Dreamweaver: Used to design, develop, and maintain standards-based websites and applications.

Adobe Dreamweaver Icon

Illustrator: This is a comprehensive vector graphics environment with new transparency in gradients and multiple artboards that invite you to explore more efficient ways to design.

Adobe Illustrator Icon

In-design: This is the foundation for dynamic publishing - in both print and digital media.

Adobe InDesign Icon

MS Office: We have the full Microsoft office suite for creating documents, spreadsheets and databases.

Microsoft Office Logo

In all the classrooms, wall space is positively used to create informative and stimulating displays that reflect modern practices, support the projects and create an expectation for achievement. Likewise, we make good use of corridor display space and have added several new displays within the last year.

Students follow the national curriculum in ICT using a range of applications such as creating their own websites, recording their own E-Safety movies and constructing applications to use on tablet PC's

In Years 9 to 11 students study a variety of qualifications including the popular ICT GCSE in which students learn about 'Living in the Digital World' and complete a controlled assessment 'Using Digital Tools'. We also teach the DiDA qualification which includes a variety of units including Multimedia and Graphics.

It is our long term strategy to teach Computer Science GCSE when the qualification becomes available as we are passionate about giving all our students the necessary skills to be ready for their further education.

Courses & Qualifications

Key Stage 3

Throughout Y7 and Y8, students will complete a Creative iMedia course. Creative iMedia is focused on the media sector, including film, television, web development, gaming and animation. It provides knowledge in a number of key areas such as pre-production skills to digital animation and has a motivating, hands on approach to learning.

ICT 4 Life
Key Stage 4
Dida - Connected to the real world


The CiDA qualification main emphasis is on creative computing. The course covers a wide range of different topics including imaging, creative multimedia website development and computer game production. The course is 60% coursework and 40%control assessment. The controlled assessment is based on a producing a websites to a set brief and target audience. The coursework is based on a different scenario each year, where students have to produce number of products.

The new revised Certificate in Digital Applications is designed to engage and enthuse young people with an interest in creative media and graphics production and to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to design and make effective digital products. It teaches young people how to express their creativity in an informed and responsible way and encourage them to reflect on what they produce and strive for excellence. It gives young people the skills they need to support future learning and to exploit the creative and commercial employment opportunities on offer in the digital world in which they are growing up. The themes and topic of the CiDA NG course is based on up-to-date real life scenarios. You will have the opportunity to be creative and develop your own ideas.

Computer Science

This three unit course is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and a look at what goes on 'behind the scenes'.

The course will help you learn about critical thinking, analysis and problem solving. We hope you'll find it a fun and interesting way to develop these skills, which can also be transferred to other subjects and even applied in day-to-day life.

You will learn how to;

  • Understand current and emerging technologies.
  • Acquire and apply knowledge and technical skills.
  • Understand the use of algorithms in programming.
  • Develop computer programs to solve problems
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs and solutions.

Key Stage 5

ITGS (Information Communication in a Global Society) Students study a whole host of ICT theory and relate it to current events in the media and discuss recent events. Students can study ITGS at either higher or standard level.

A Level

Applied Information and Communication Technology, both AS and A2 over a two year course.

Throughout this course, we aim to develop students who exhibit initiative, ideas, independence of mind, an ability to examine problems, and investigative skills. These aims are met through:

  • Working independently and in teams
  • Using the Internet to research information
  • Producing a multimedia package, to meet company requirements
  • Learning and developing new practical skills
  • Designing products, to meet a business specification
  • Working on real problems and business cases

The Applied course consists of:

  • AS - External exam 33.3%, two internal portfolios of work each carry 33.3% of the AS grade
  • AS - External exam 33.3%, two internal portfolios of work each carry 33.3% of the AS grade

Applied ICT will be interesting if you:

  • Want to find out about the practical applications of ICT in the real world
  • Want to learn more about the career opportunities available in ICT
  • Are interested in either a career or further education or training in ICT or a related field
  • Want to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of modern ICT
  • Want to learn and develop new skills in databases, multimedia and Web applications
  • Enjoy learning new concepts and ideas

Learning Outside The Classroom

ICT Club:

Students are invited to attend ICT club at break times to do anything from coursework to creating flash games. Students can also receive more in depth tutorials from staff regarding specific skills regarding ICT such as game creation and web design.

Coursework Catch-Up:

There are numerous sessions during the year where students are invited to attend coursework catch-up sessions after school and at weekends and during half term where they can come in and do their work in a relaxed atmosphere with more one to one help from staff.

Programming Club

Students from all years can learn how to program in various programming languages such as Scratch, AppInventer and Javascript. This can develop existing skills or build new ones that will help them undertaking Computer Science qualifications.

Media Awards:

Students voluntarily take part in the annual Animation Awards by producing a short animation on a suitable school topic of their choosing. The work is produced entirely by the students with some guidance from the school. Our best entries are sent to the University of Manchester whose National animation awards gives our students opportunities to assess their work against others and win prizes such as laptop computers.

Where Does This Take Me In The Future?

After completing this course, you will benefit from:

  • Opportunities for students who may wish to be employed in the IT industry or organisations that primarily use ICT.
  • Achieving technical and employability skills, knowledge and understanding which are transferable and will enable individuals to meet changing circumstances, whether these arise from a shift in their own status or in employment.
  • Motivating students through applied learning and continuous assessment - no external examinations.
  • Achieving CiDA and GCSE qualifications which are recognised by employers and education institutions.
  • Having a good progression route to more advanced qualifications e.g. ICT/Multimedia A Levels and Computer Science courses.
  • Having access to extensive resources offered to students who wish to learn about particular ICT areas in more depth such as web design or multimedia and students are encouraged to get involved in extra-curricular activities to use their skills.
  • Having the opportunity to gain qualifications can be used as a means to enter industry or university to study any IT related degree such as computer science, graphic design, multimedia or artificial intelligence.


Download the E-Safety document below for more information.

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Tollbar Academy Principal

Stephen Moon

Tollbar MAT Chief Executive

David J Hampson