‘Mum, I’m getting an ECDL!’

18 October 2016

Don’t panic – Mr Yule, Head of ICT,  answers some FAQs

What is an ECDL?

This is possibly the world’s number one IT qualification and proof of digital literacy. ECDL is short for European Computer Driving Licence.  It’s recognised by European and UK employers and companies  – over 2 million British people already have this qualification! It takes 120 on-line learning hours to get basic to advanced IT skills needed in the workplace and for further study. On-line assessments mean immediate feedback and motivation to keep going. No set exam date means students can take the tests when they feel ready – and get them out of the way before the GCSEs. Last year 179 Penryn College students passed – with 50% gaining the equivalent of A or A*!

If you are interested in this qualification – it’s designed for adults too, and many employers offer the opportunity to take it – you can find out more here:

How is it graded?

Results are reported acording to the percentages achieved:

Distinction * = 85%

Distinction = 80%

Merit = 75%

Pass = 70%

Who is doing it?

In the current Year 11, 175 students have completed the ECDL.  About 30 students are still working hard to complete it and have additional support during Personal Study time because they do not have timetabled ICT time in Year 11.  Currently in Year 10, 27 have already completed it (out of around 210 students in the year group). 67% of Y10 students have already completed and passed at least one of the four exams.  Current Year 9s have started their learning and we are expecting for a large number to be ready to sit exams from Easter 2017. This will really help with reducing the work load when they are students in Y10!

What support is there for my child?

The ICT department offer revision after school on Tuesdays, and extra help at lunch times from Mrs Foreman. They can sit the online assessments after school on Thursdays if they let let Mrs Foreman know that they are attending.

Year 11 students should be making every effort to get their last exam units complete as soon as possible, and definitely by Christmas as this will reduce their work load as we go into the GCSE exam season.  Revision guides are on the Virtual School – plus lots of practice materials. They need a 75% pass required for Word, Excel and PowerPoint – 70% for the final Productivity exam (which combines the three pieces of software).

Mr Yule’s Top Tips for ECDL Success

  1. Having done all the classwork and preparation, sit a Diagnostic test and treat this like the real exam. 65 questions – not timed.
  2. Review the results, it reports the questions you got wrong and the correct method to answer.
  3. Revise and learn these responses, practise using the software.
  4. Use the revision guides on the VS and attend support for the skills you struggle with.
  5. IF you got 70% or above in the diagnostic then sit the exam as soon as possible (within a week) after doing the diagnostic.
  6. If you got less than 70% you need to discuss with class teacher the bits you are unsure of before the exam is sat.