The National Curriculum for Computing – Key Stages 1& 2 (& for grown ups too)

The National Curriculum for Computing – Key Stages 1& 2

Below is a section from The National Curriculum in England Framework document for consultation which contains the outline for Computing for Key Stages 1 and 2 (ages 5-11). It will be taught across Key Stages 1-4 (ages 5-16, Primary to GCSE) but I wanted to focus on KS 1&2 as I think it is a great starting point for teaching adults too – something I’ve recently volunteered to do with a group of local business owners.

Note the use of the  phrase “All Pupils”. This can potentially create a new generation of computer literate school leavers across all disciplines. For example, we could see

  • Lawyers who are able to read code when looking at Software Quality or I.P. disputes
  • Entrepreneurs able to build their own prototypes
  • Artists able to create new forms of digital media
  • Business professionals able to hack on API’s and “big data” to perform their own analysis
  • … All without “having to ask the techy”, it’s quite a vision…

So here’s what our 5-11 year olds will be learning (so why not join in!):

Key Stage 1 (age 5-7)
All 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 (age 7-11)

All 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 provide multiple services, such as the world-wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
  • describe how internet search engines find and store data; use search engines effectively; 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.