The updated computing curriculum came into effect in September 2014.
Click the link below to read the computing curriculum
What does it mean?
The Computing Curriculum can be divided into three inter-related strands:
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Digital Literacy
This strand of the curriculum links closely to the control element of the old ICT curriculum.
Pupils need to understand what algorithms are – this is the basis of what they need to know in order to write computer programs. Each programming language has its own vocabulary and grammar but they all follow the same type of logic. It is possible and beneficial to learn computer science away from computers or other digital devices. Role play and kinaesthetic activities can help pupils develop logical reasoning.
Pupils need to be able to write algorithms and programs. They also need to be able to find mistakes (bugs) and fix them. When children write programs they will learn that there are often different ways of getting the right outcome, and they need to be able to evaluate the programs to decide which is the most efficient.
While children will make mistakes in their own programs it is often easier to find mistakes in code that has been produced by other people. Providing pupils with example programs give them the opportunity to predict what they will do and identify any bugs. Working collaboratively is also an effective method. As pupils get older the programs they write will become more complicated. They will need to use sequence, selection, repetition and variables in their programs.
The computer science strand also requires knowledge of networks and how searches are performed.
This strand of the curriculum equates to what was most of the areas from the old ICT scheme of work. Most of it can be covered by using technology to support other subject areas though it may be necessary to teach some discrete skills. Students should understand that technology is everywhere, be able to identify the technology they encounter and have a basic understanding of how it works. This will link to work on programming and algorithms.
Appropriate activities include word processing, creating images, taking and using photographs and video, creating music and animations, using and creating databases, producing websites and contributing to blogs. As well as creation of digital materials pupils should have experience of manipulating and editing their own work and resources from elsewhere. They need to know how to use the tools available but also to have an element of digital literacy – awareness of audience and good design principles. Pupils should experience a range of different applications and software, initially the teacher will select the programs they use but over time pupils should be encouraged to make decisions themselves.
Pupils also need to know how to store and organise their files so that it can easily be found again. They need an understanding of the devices they can use including: hard drive, USB sticks, school network server, and the cloud storage on the internet.
Children need to be able to use technology safely. They need to keep their
personal information private and treat other people with respect. If something
goes wrong or they see something they don’t like they should know what to do
and where to go for help. As children get older they need to know about how to use technology responsibly. As well as thinking about how their online behaviour affects
others they need to be aware of legal and ethical responsibilities, including
respecting copyright and intellectual property rights, keeping passwords and
personal data secure and observing terms and conditions for online services. They need to understand the main risks relating to:
Content – being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
Contact – being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
Conduct – online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm
Children should understand an age appropriate version of the school’s
Acceptable Use Policy. E-Safeguarding should link with the school’s general child protection policy and should not be seen as a separate issue.