Purpose of study
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to understand and change the world
through computational thinking. It develops and requires logical thinking and precision. It
combines creativity with rigour: pupils apply underlying principles to understand realworld
systems, and to create purposeful and usable artefacts. More broadly, it provides a
lens through which to understand both natural and artificial systems, and has substantial
links with the teaching of mathematics, science, and design and technology.
At the core of computing is the science and engineering discipline of computer science,
in which pupils are taught how digital systems work, how they are designed and
programmed, and the fundamental principles of information and computation. Building on
this core, computing equips pupils to apply information technology to create products and
solutions. A computing education also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able
to use, and express themselves through, information and communication technology – at
a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
The National Curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles of computer science, including logic, algorithms, data representation, and communication
- can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliartechnologies, analytically to solve problems are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Key Stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:
- understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following a sequence of instructions
- write and test simple programs
- use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
- organise, store, manipulate and retrieve data in a range of digital formats
- communicate safely and respectfully online, keeping personal information private, and recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.
Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught to:
- design and write programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
- use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output; generate appropriate inputs and predicted outputs to test programs
- use logical reasoning to explain how a simple algorithm works and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
- understand computer networks including the internet; how they can providemultiple services, such as the world-wide web; and the opportunities they offer forcommunication and collaboration
- describe how internet search engines find and store data; use search engineseffectively; be discerning in evaluating digital content; respect individuals and intellectual property; use technology responsibly, securely and safely
- select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.