The 2014 national curriculum introduces a new subject, computing. This represents continuity and change, challenge and opportunity. It gives schools the chance to review and enhance current approaches in order to provide an even more exciting and rigorous curriculum that addresses the challenges and opportunities offered by the technologically rich world in which we live.
Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Pupils studying computing will gain an understanding of computational systems of all kinds, whether or not they include computers. Computational thinking provides insights into many areas of the curriculum, and influences work at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines.
Why is computational thinking so important? It allows us to solve problems, design systems, and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. It is a skill that empowers, and one that all pupils should be aware of and develop competence in. Pupils who can think computationally are better able to conceptualise, understand and use computer-based technology, and so are better prepared for today’s world and the future. Computing is a practical subject, in which invention and resourcefulness are encouraged.
Things that have long been part of ICT in schools, such as finding things out, exchanging and sharing information, and reviewing, modifying and evaluating work, remain as important now, for a broad and balanced technological education, as they ever were. The new programme of study provides ample scope for pupils to develop understanding, knowledge and skills in these areas.. Primary teachers currently equip pupils with highlevel skills in using ICT, preparing them to apply these across the curriculum in secondary education.
To find out more about computing in the National Curriculum click here.