The draft version of the upcoming IT Curriculum for KS1-4 was released during February. If you agree with us that teaching computer programming rather than general ICT skills is essential then the new IT curriculum looks really good:
The National Curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
can understand and apply the fundamental principles of computer science, including logic, algorithms, data representation, and communication
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.
However, it will interesting to see what primary school teachers make of it … will they have the skills and knowledge to deliver the new programme of study … teaching algorithms to 5 year olds should be really fun!
Key Stage 1
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
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
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This document is also available via www.education.gov.uk/nationalcurriculum.