Computing is taught throughout Key Stage 3 as a compulsory subject, and in Year 10 and 11 as an option. Computing enables students to develop both computational thinking and creativity to understand and adapt to the changing world. The subject links to mathematics, science, design and technology, among others. Within lessons, students are taught how digital systems work, the principles of information and computing, while utilising this knowledge through programming in different languages. Students are also taught how to use a range or programs to convey their thoughts and ideas through information and communication technology, skills vital for future employment.
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
• can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
• 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.
Pupils are taught to:
• design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems
• understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking [for example, ones for sorting and searching]; use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem
• use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures [for example, lists, tables or arrays]; design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions
• understand simple Boolean logic [for example, AND, OR and NOT] and some of its uses in circuits and programming; understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers [for example, binary addition, and conversion between binary and decimal]
• understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
• understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system; understand how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits
• undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices, to achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users
• create, reuse, revise and repurpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability
• understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns