Secretary of state for education Michael Gove has published the new national curriculum framework following a series of public consultations, with computing fully instated as a new programme of study.
The consultation, called Reforming qualifications and the curriculum to better prepare pupils for life after school, was opened in July 2013 for review. The majority the agreed curriculum will come into force from September 2014.
In July, Gove said the new curriculum would be designed to teach children how to create their own computer programs, rather than just learning to use those created by others.
“The new national curriculum will provide a rigorous basis for teaching, a benchmark for all schools to improve their performance, and give children and parents a better guarantee that every student will acquire the knowledge to succeed in the modern world,” he said.
The computing curriculum is split into two core areas: computer science; and information technology. Computer science will allow students to see “how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming”, while information technology will be taught for the creation of programs, systems and a range of content.
The final version of the curriculum states: “A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.
“Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.”
Listing the aims for each of the four Key Stages included in the curriculum, the overall plan is to ensure that all pupils:
- Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs 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.
By Key Stage 4, pupils should have studied all aspects of information technology and computer science “to allow them to progress to higher levels of study or to a professional career”.