A new computing curriculum, which replaces ICT (Information Communication Technology), will be introduced into all schools in England from September 2014.
Technology is essential to everyday life and ‘computational thinking’ is a vital skill when it comes to participating in an increasingly digital world. With this in mind, the new curriculum has been developed to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and understanding of computing that they will need throughout the rest of their lives. Young people will learn how computers and computer systems work, how to design and build programmes, and how to develop their ideas using technology.
The curriculum teaches students from the beginning of primary education to the end of secondary school how to use computers, how computers work, and how to design and build programmes. There is a focus on computational thinking and creativity, as well as scope for innovative work in programming and digital media.
Computing will be a core subject for pupils aged 5 to 16 and the curriculum comprises the following three strands:
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Digital Literacy
As the Academy of Computing, part of the Chartered Institute for IT, we have collaborated with a wide range of partners to emphasise the value of computing as part of a rounded school curriculum and to highlight its importance in the development of the future workforce. This work has included playing a pivotal role in advising key stakeholders on policy issues, providing strategic guidance to schools, proposing curriculum content and supporting teachers with the move to the new subject.
What you can do next:
Find out more about what your child will be learning in computing lessons
Read about other people’s experience
What we’re doing to support teachers
We have several initiatives running to help teachers learn to deliver the new computing curriculum including:
- We have a Department for Education (DfE) grant to create a national computing professional development infrastructure for teachers. Read more.
- In collaboration with the DfE we are running a scholarship scheme to incentivise a new generation of trainee Computing teachers. Read more.
- With funding from the DfE we are running our Barefoot Computing project which is designed to provide support for primary school teachers. We are runing this in collaboration with BT. Read more.
- With funding from DfE and Microsoft our QuickStart Computing (formerly Countdown to Computing) project will provide further support for a number teachers. Read more.
- Computer Science is now included in the English Baccalaureate school performance measure as the 4th science alongside Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Read more.
One of our key partners is the Computing at School (CAS) working group. CAS is a grassroots organisation with a membership of over 13,000 teachers, university academics, examiners, and representatives of industry and professional societies. CAS' main activities include:
- supporting computing teachers with teaching materials, training, local hubs, newsletters and networking opportunities
- acting as a subject association for computing teachers
- working with institutions on the design of computing curricula and qualifications
- advocacy at national policy level regarding computing education
- More information can be found on the CAS website.
If you want to get involved and find some activities to do with your child, you can visit:
- CS Unplugged is a collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around.
- Cs4fun is an online magazine where you can explore how computer science is about people, solving puzzles, creativity, changing the future and, most of all, having fun.
- Code Club is a network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. Code Club is looking for enthusiastic programmers to run after school clubs in their local areas. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Code Club directly.