A2 Level ICT WGS

Finalising ICT6

We’re almost at the end now. Students should hand in their ICT6 projects for final correction by tomorrow, the 8th May. This will allow any alterations to be completed by early next week. They need to reach the moderator by the 15th May.

May 7, 2009 Posted by | A2 ICT | | Leave a comment

14.8 & 14.9 Software

Welcome back! If we get moving and finish the last two topics in ICT 5, we will have a little more time to tweak and finalise ICT6. As Fatmax says, this is a pretty short topic, particularly if we consider that the second point (in the key points below) is largely ‘Software Evaluation’ covered in 14.2. Practically all of this topic is covered elsewhere in the specification as well. 

  • Understand that there are different ways of providing software solutions to specialist applications, e.g. user written,  internal development team/department, external software house to specification.
  •  Describe the possible criteria for selection of software solutions to specialist applications and the place within the corporate strategy.

Nevertheless, North Chadderton has a good set of notes, with some older exam questions at the end. Please find more up to date ones from the AQA website when revising this section.

On the topic of Software Reliability, which is really all about testing software – AQA expects that you cover the following:

  • Describe methods of ensuring that software is reliable: α testing, β testing, agreements between software houses and purchaser for testing.
  • Understand the reasons why fully-tested software may fail to operate successfully when implemented as part of an information technology system.
  • Understand the need for maintenance release(s)

Again, good notes are available from North Chadderton – but please use other resources, including current past exam papers on the AQA website to refine this section.

April 21, 2009 Posted by | A2 ICT | , | Leave a comment


Here’s wishing students a good break. Do have a break, I’m sure you will, but also use the time to consolidate the work we’ve covered this term and work on your coursework projects.

We have two sections on Software to cover in the Summer term (14.8 & 14.9) of ICT5 and then we have completed the content for A2 ICT. Final date for completion of ICT6 is Friday 8th May.

April 1, 2009 Posted by | A2 ICT | Leave a comment

14.6 & 7 Human Computer Interaction/Interface

Although seperate topics, students should see these two themes together. The exam board description for 14.6 is:

  • Describe the psychological factors that affect human/computer interaction, e.g. user friendly, give help to novices, provide short cuts for experts, make use of human long-term memory to maximise efficiency, 

                                                and for 14.7

  • Recall different approaches to the problem of communication with ICT systems and discuss the resource implications of sophisticated HCI. 
  • Discuss the implications for customising software to develop a specialist HCI.

A close inspection of past exam questions shows typical responses expected. However, the last question on the worksheet I’ve created a link to, covers the final bullet point which is not typical, so be aware. Not all resources agree on what or how to cover this topic, so I’ve encouraged students to pull together two sets of notes from the Fatmax website. The first is a set of notes on 14.6 is from Clive Morley and another very comprehensive summary from North Chadderton.

Notes for 14.7 from the above two contributors:

Clive Morley & North Chadderton.

Take a look at the Powerpoint summaries to the right of the blog post, as well.

March 24, 2009 Posted by | A2 ICT | , | Leave a comment

14.10 Networks & Communication Worksheet

We’ll discuss a typical set of questions on this topic today. If there are any unclear areas on this topic, we’ll iron them out.

March 20, 2009 Posted by | A2 ICT | , , | Leave a comment

14.10 Portability of Data

Since we’re on Networks and Communications, it seems fitting that we cover Internet Protocols and Standards at this point. The specification lists:

  • Know of the existence, benefits and limitations of standards.
  • Understand the protocols and addressing mechanisms used to
    support the World Wide Web.

A set of notes is available on this topic. Please peruse the videos on this topic as well. (Protocols, TCP/IP.) We’ll complete a worksheet on this topic on Thursday.

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

14.4 & 14.5 Worksheet

We’ll discuss the worksheet on the two sections referenced above today. These cover the last six years of exams, so will give students the opportunity to become more familiar with the style of AQA questions and answers on Communications and Networks.

I would also urge students to ensure that their notes on Intranets and Extranets are complete. Please use this link to some notes from the Fatmax WJEC website on this topic.

March 13, 2009 Posted by | A2 ICT | , | Leave a comment

14.5 Network Security, Audit & Accounting

A fair bit of this topic is content we’ve covered before in some shape or form, so its not a lengthy section. However, there are also some new facts to cover.  The teach-ict website is a good place to start. I’m including summary notes which I’ve compiled from the Fatmax website, as well as  those from North Chadderton. Tomorrow I’ll post AQA past questions and mark schemes on this topic.

March 10, 2009 Posted by | A2 ICT | , , | Leave a comment

14.4 Communication & Info Systems

The topic we’re dealing with this week largely covers Networks. A quick refresh of the AS level work is best at this stage, so I’m directing you to November 2008 on the AS blog. This work you’ll need to cover in your own time as I want to use class time to cover Distributed Databases and Client Server Databases. Notes on this topic are from North Chadderton. A comprehensive presentation on the whole topic is available from Fatmax, as is this presentation on Client Server Databases. Please ensure that you use text books for reviewing the content as well.

March 4, 2009 Posted by | A2 ICT | , , , | Leave a comment

14.3 Database Management Concepts

At the beginning of the week we looked at the first two items in this topic: the purpose of a DBMS and the role of the Database Administrator.

With this topic, it is essential that students know the difference between a flat file, a relational database and a DBMS. They should also be aware of the modelling and defining of databases. This will include Entities, Attributes, Relationships etc. and database structure which includes: Tables, Fields and Keys. 

A DBMS has a definition and some common advantages which students must be aware of.  As for the concept of a DBMS, this image is a good place to start. Two very good sets of notes are from North Chadderton and Gerard Horsley (courtesy of Fatmax). students must also know what data consistency, redundancy, integrity and independence are. On Thursday we will be covering Normalisation and on Friday we’ll be looking at QBE and SQL.

An excellent teaching booklet on Databases is available from Dr Kevin Bond, formerly from Aylesbury Grammar School.  It is for A level Computing, but is still very relevant. It also has some good exercises to work through. I have put up a typical set of ICT5 exam questions for this topic, to be found to the right of the blog entry under ‘Mark Schemes’.

February 25, 2009 Posted by | A2 ICT | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment