The Computing Curriculum explained
Posted 3 years ago
When the government introduced the new Computing curriculum in 2014 to replace ICT, many teachers did not feel confident in delivering the curriculum, with only 7% of teachers feeling ‘very confident’. The new curriculum involves understanding of algorithms, designing, writing and debugging of programs and a thorough understanding of online safeguarding.
A year and a half on from the curriculum changes and there are still mixed feelings prevalent within the teaching community; however the benefits of teaching computing to KS1 and KS2 pupils are huge.
In the words of Bill Gates, who knows a thing or two about computing, “Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains”. The updated curriculum was designed to equip children with the skills and knowledge required for an understanding of computing, fostering these ways of thinking at a young age in order for them to be utilised throughout their lives.
As the 2014 curriculum opens, “a high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world” (curriculum, 2013). The concept of ‘computational thinking’ relates to creating solutions to complex, open-ended problems and presenting these solutions in a way that both machines and people can understand. This increases the ability to conceptualise technology and to understand its scope and limitations, increasing resourcefulness and problem solving skills.
The process of creating a program transforms a concept into a reality and can be an inspiring experience for pupils, as well as developing their skills in both creativity and logic.
The necessity of working through issues in a program through the debugging process is an ideal way to promote a growth mindset. Through risk-taking and exposure to the possibility of failure pupils learn quickly through learning from their mistakes and building from their successes.
The core principles of computing and computational thinking can all be demonstrated without the need for specific technologies, and New Era offers an extensive range of activities and resources as part of the DB Learning Library. These invaluable tools can be used to guide both teachers and pupils through the entire computing curriculum.
To get a head start, here is a brief jargon buster to define some of the key terminology used in the curriculum:
Computing Curriculum Jargon Buster
- Algorithm – A precise sequence of unambiguous instructions for completing a specific task or objective, for example: the directions required for a rocket to make its way through space without colliding with asteroids
- Debug – The locating of a part of a sequence of instructions that makes the program not work as desired and then amend it. If the program functions in the correct way it has been ‘debugged’
- Logical Reasoning – Understanding how a program will behave and function within the rules of a programming language, and predicting the outcome of a set of instructions
- Sequence – The order of instructions, with each one being completed consecutively and in order
- Selection – Instructions that are determined by specific conditions, resulting in different outcomes e.g. if x, then y, otherwise z
- Repetition – The repetition of certain instructions on a loop until specific conditions are met or the program is stopped
- Digital literacy – The knowledge and behaviours used across digital platforms
- E-Safety – The safe and responsible use of technology with an understanding of the risks associated with being active online
- World Wide Web – A service provided for computers connected to the internet to view and interact with pages of hypertext like web pages
- Internet – A global network of computers interconnected using shared communication protocols
- Software – Computer programs such as operating systems and apps
- Digital content – any media created and viewed on a digital device including text, images and videos
- Input – Any data added into program e.g. via keyboard, mouse or other sensors
- Output – The information that a program produces for its user
To learn more about DB Primary and how it can help you get to grips with the computing curriculum get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 201701.