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W: edtechnology.co.uk | T: @Educ_Technology


THE COMPUTING CURRICULUM: A GUIDE TO THE 2014 CHANGES From using computers to understanding how they work, Rebecca Paddick explains all about this year’s computing curriculum change T


he new national curriculum for computing has been developed to equip children and young people in England with the


skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. The changes will be a compulsory part


of the national curriculum for schools in England at all key stages from September, and aims to ensure that primary school children have practical experience of designing and writing computer programs, and that they can understand the fundamental principles of computer science. Key stages 1 and 2 will be taught what


algorithms are and how they are used in digital devices. They will also learn how to write and test simple programs and to organise, manipulate and store digital content. They will be taught how to use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private, and will be taught how to identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content. Key stages 3 and 4 will be taught to


understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking. They will also be taught how to use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems. They will be expected to undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using and combining multiple applications across a range of devices.


HELP FOR TEACHERS Education Minister Elizabeth Truss has announced funding of £1.1m for the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT, to develop a computing readiness programme aimed specifically at primary school teachers with no prior experience of computer science. “We want children to be enthused by


the possibilities of computing – writing programmes for computer games or designing apps for smartphones,” said Truss, adding: “The new curriculum will do that and this funding will mean that primary school teachers – even those with litle or no experience in teaching computing – will be able to deliver it.” Computing at School (CAS) in


collaboration with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and Naace has issued


guidelines to help prepare primary school teachers to deliver the new curriculum. Writen specifically for primary teachers, the guide provides advice on how to build on current practice and will help them understand the new requirements. It also includes help for schools in terms of planning and gives guidance on how best to develop teachers’ skills. Bill Mitchell, director of BCS Academy


of Computing, said: “It is important that we support teachers in making the new curriculum come to life. We will continue working in partnership with the CAS group to ensure computing becomes an exciting and inspirational subject in all schools across the country.” Read the guide: ‘Computing in the


national curriculum,’ on the ET website: www.edtechnology.co.uk ET


The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:


✥ can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science


✥ 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 analytically to solve problems


✥ are responsible, competent and creative users of information and communication technology.


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