KS3 NC Levels and spreadsheets

In my ongoing quest to get back down to basics with the KS3 NC for ICT I have been looking at how we deliver spreadsheets.  In keeping with the ‘back to basics’ theme I have looked at the level descriptors that I feel can be used with a spreadsheet topic and edited some of them so that they make more sense.  I also arranged them into the levels so that some sequence might become clear.  The result of this was the following:


  • predict what will happen in a model or simulation based on my decisions
  • exploring the model or simulation to see patterns and relationships
  • input of poor quality data = output of poor quality data


  • what happens when I change a variable


  • use a model to make predictions
  • Change the rules in a model
  • compare output of a model with information from other sources
  • ask complex questions to test a hypothesis


  • Design a model including procedures and variables to meet a need


  • Evaluate a model by looking at the situation which it was developed for
  • Evaluate a model by looking at how efficient it is, how easy it is to use and how appropriate it is for the purpose it was designed for

I then also looked to see if I could include other descriptors from different parts of the programme of study when teaching spreadsheets.  I ended up with the following list:

Fundamentals and organisation


  • Use sensible folders and file names to save work


  • Find and open work saved in logical / sensible folders and file names
  • Use ICT safely
  • Use ICT responsibly


  • Create a portfolio of evidence that is structured logically

Audience and Purpose


  • I can plan my work

Reflection and evaluation


  • Reflect critically on own work and then improve it


  • Review my work

Next up is to put down in writing exactly what ‘teaching spreadsheets’ actually means.  I will post shortly on how I arived at a list of topics that I believe should be included.