Burnside High School Burnside High School

NCEA Level 2 Practical Computing Skills

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr J. Creighton.

This course also offers an Achievement Standards pathway for students who wish to use this as a University Entrance option.

This course will provide an opportunity for students who wish to enhance their understanding of digital literacy and computing software packages as a bridge to further secondary or tertiary study. Students will obtain basic computer competency for job skills, and recognised accreditation.

Students can take either a University Entrance or a Unit Standards pathway, or a combination of both. 

Most students will take between 16-24 Credits.

The course offers a range of Unit Standards or Achievement Standards across:

  • Data Entry and Typing Skills
    •  (Students will learn to enter information efficiently)

  • Word Processing:
    • You will learn about the features that enable you to create complex and professional documents with a consistent look and feel. You will control how text flows, and use section, page, and column breaks in your documents. You will also learn how to implement time-saving features such as document templates and automated mailings. This advanced course is designed to help users secure information. This course also covers techniques for creating complex documents, such as forms or documents that require reference pages. 
      • Using the various parts of the Microsoft Word interface
      • Getting help in Microsoft Word
      • Creating, opening, and saving a basic document
      • Applying formatting to text
      • Inserting tables and graphical objects
      • Controlling paragraph and page layout using the tools on the Home tab, Layout tab, and Page Setup dialog box
      • Proofing a document for errors
      • Customizing the Microsoft Word environment

  • Desktop Publishing:
    • We will cover different features of the interface, show users how to create a publication, cover some basic publication tasks, discuss how to manage graphics in Publisher, and show how to prepare a publication for printing and electronic sharing. 
      • Adding Content to Publications
      • Formatting Text in a Publication
      • Editing Text in a Publication
      • Adding and Formatting Graphics in a Publication
      • Preparing a Publication for Printing and Sharing

  • Spreadsheets:  
    • This is intended to help all users become familiar with the more advanced selection of features of Excel.

    • This course is intended to help all novice computer users get up to speed with Excel quickly. The course will cover:
      • Working with formulas and functions
      • Modifying worksheets
      • Printing workbook contents
      • Managing workbooks
      • Customizing the Excel environment

  • Computer Management Competencies
    • We will begin by covering basics, such as the best way to save files for later use and tips for searching for and retrieving the files you want. We will learn how to organize larger projects by arranging groups of files and folders and making the best use of libraries and archives. We will also look at different storage options open to Windows users, from removable storage devices to network storage and cloud storage on OneDrive and Google Docs.
  • Effective Digital Communication in the Workplace Presentation Skills

The course also offers a range of Achievement Standards across:

  • Creating a Digital Information based outcome
  • Design and iteration
  • Critical reflection

Course Overview

Term 1
Getting Started with Word
Topic A: Identify the Components of the Word Interface
Topic B: Create a Word Document
Topic C: Use Document Views
Topic D: Help Features

Editing a Document
Topic A: Navigate and Select Text
Topic B: Modify Text
Topic C: Find and Replace Text

Formatting Text and Paragraphs
Topic A: Apply Character Formatting
Topic B: Align Text Using Tabs
Topic C: Display Text as List Items
Topic D: Control Paragraph Layout
Topic E: Apply Borders and Shading
Topic F: Apply Styles
Topic G: Manage Formatting

Adding Tables
Topic A: Topic Title
Topic B: Topic Title
Topic C: Format a Table
Topic D: Convert Text to a Table

Managing Lists
Topic A: Sort a List
Topic B: Renumber a List
Topic C: Customize a List

Adding Graphics
Topic A: Insert Symbols and Special Characters
Topic B: Add Images to a Document
Topic C: Add Media to a Document

Controlling Page Appearance
Topic A: Apply a Page Border and Color
Topic B: Add a Watermark
Topic C: Add Headers and Footers
Topic D: Control Page Layout

Proofing a Document
Topic A: Check Spelling and Grammar
Topic B: Other Proofing Tools
Topic C: Check Accessibility
Topic D: Using Accessibility Features

Advanced Topics
Topic A: Customize the Word Interface
Topic B: Additional Save Options
Topic C: Manage Additional File Types

Term 2
Getting Started with Microsoft Publisher
Topic A: Explore the Interface
Topic B: Customize the Publisher Interface
Topic C: Create a Publication

Adding Content to a Publication
Topic A: Add Text to a Publication
Topic B: Organize Text Boxes and Picture Placeholders in a Layout
Topic C: Control the Display of Content in Text Boxes
Topic D: Use Building Blocks

Formatting Text in a Publication
Topic A: Format Text and Paragraphs
Topic B: Apply Paragraph Styles
Topic C: Apply Schemes

Editing Text in a Publication
Topic A: Edit Text in a Publication
Topic B: Present Content in Tables
Topic C: Insert Symbols and Special Characters

Adding and Formatting Graphics in a Publication
Topic A: Add Graphical Objects to a Publication
Topic B: Manipulate the Appearance of Pictures

Preparing a Publication for Printing and Sharing
Topic A: Save a Publication
Topic B: Run the Design Checker
Topic C: Preview and Print a Publication
Topic D: Share a Publication

Term 3
Getting Started
Topic A: Getting to Know Excel
Topic B: Creating Workbooks
Topic C: Getting Help in Excel 365
Topic D: Working with Rows and Columns
Topic E: Sorting and Filtering Data

Working with Data
Topic A: A Closer Look at Formulas
Topic B: Using Formulas and Functions
Topic C: Working with Data

Modifying a Worksheet
Topic A: Formatting Text
Topic B: Formatting Cells
Topic C: Aligning Cell Content
Topic D: Search For and Replace Data
Topic E: Spell Check a Worksheet

Printing Workbook Contents
Topic A: Define the Basic Page Layout for a Workbook
Topic B: Refine the Page Layout and Apply Print Options

Managing Large Workbooks
Topic A: Format Worksheet Tabs
Topic B: Manage Worksheets
Topic C: Manage the View of Worksheets and Workbooks

Customizing the Excel Environment
Topic A: Customize General and Language Options
Topic B: Customize Formula Options
Topic C: Customize Proofing and Save Options
Topic D: Customize the Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar

Term 4
This term will offer students a chance to extend in an area they choose, or to learn a different software package. Alternatively student may use this term to reassess against assessment where they have not yet reached Achieved

Learning Areas:



NCEA Level 3 Advanced Practical Computing Skills

Career Pathways

Office Administrator, Receptionist, Business Analyst, Information Technology Helpdesk/Support Technician, Data Entry Operator/Transcriptionist, Office Manager, Data Analyst

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

$10 Consumables It is strongly recommended that students purchase a $20 Print Credit from the Student Office.