Computing is an important subject within the National Curriculum, especially within the exciting and ever growing technological world of today. The aims of the National Curriculum for Primary Computing (2013) are listed below:
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- 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 unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
The National Curriculum for Primary Computing is also a collective term to encompass the three strands that make up the curriculum:
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Digital Literacy
1. Computer science involves pupils learning how to analyse computational problems and terms whilst developing experience of programming. Children will be exploring and learning how to code and write programs, whilst analysing and debugging programs if any issues arise. Pupils should be able to experiment with a variety of systems and programs, thus aiding the perseverance characteristic of learning. Similarly, computer science relates to pupils developing and appreciating computer networks, the world wide web and search engines, whilst developing an understanding of how these work.
2. Information technology is the more commonly known aspect of computing.It involves the work children do whilst using a wide range of technology and applications to create digital content. The creative aspect within computing is still expected to be learnt through a variety of applications effectively such as the use of animations, blogs, publisher and powerpoint.
3. Digital literacy refers to children becoming confident, competent and creative whilst using technology but also remaining responsible and safe. Therefore children must have an awareness of the dangers technology possesses and how to minimise these risks accordingly. They will also develop an understanding of technology as a communication tool and will grow up within an technological generation safely and respectfully. My E-Safety blog expands on this aspect further.
The CAS Computing in the national curriculum: A guide for primary teachers, is a great resource which outlines how to introduce computing into your classroom and why it is important.
Another useful website which gives a detailed overview of the National Primary Curriculum for Computing was created by Simon Haughton at www.simonhaughton.co.uk. The picture below is taken from his website and breaks down the aspects of computing into potential learning objectives: