Spotlight on the new National Curriculum for Computing

The new National Curriculum has brought with it a brand new subject – Computing! To support teachers in the delivery of this new subject, EducationCity has decided to create its first brand new module for several years. As Senior Producer, I have been tasked with shaping the initial phase of development, ensuring we offer a balanced spread of engaging content across both key stages, with support materials for both pupils and teachers.

The new module will be a combination of engaging Activities, stimulating Student Tools, interesting Topic Tools, informative Learn Screens and thought provoking ThinkIts. Through this stimulating variety of content delivery, pupils will be able to explore new ideas to help them use computational thinking and creativity to understand the world around them.

I have heard a lot said along the lines of “I have never heard of an algorithm before” or “how on Earth are pupils in key stage 1 ever going to programme?” Without realising it however, many teachers have been doing these things for years. For instance, I am sure many teachers will be familiar with Logo or Roamer – this is programming! A set of instructions or ‘an algorithm’ is inputted, and an action is carried out. I appreciate that this unfamiliar terminology may sound a little daunting, but with EducationCity producing clear and informative materials, it is time for many teachers to go back to what they’ve experienced and for others to give it a go!

James and the computing charactersAs well as the programming aspects, I think the most interesting and perhaps relevant objectives from the programme of study relate to the safe and responsible use of technology and how pupils should be taught to behave in the digital world. The World Wide Web is open to everyone, good and bad, but pupils do not only need to be aware of others and what they get up to on the Internet, they should also consider how their own actions can affect other people too. We already provide an array of ThinkIts covering this topic, but much more content will follow.

With a new subject comes a new character on EducationCity but Computing is a little bit special in that we will be introducing two new TWIN characters – a boy and girl! Names for the new characters are yet to be decided, however they are already primed and ready to take pupils and teachers alike though the new computing curriculum.

I hope you enjoy using the new Computing module as much as I am enjoying making it. The next Steve Jobs (Apple co-founder), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook co-founder) or Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web!) could be in your classroom!

To keep in touch with all the current news and updates on the computing module follow me on Twitter @JamesEdCity.