National Curriculum


via )

There are three distinct stages for the new computing curriculum:

Key Stage 1 (5-6 year-olds): Children will be learning what algorithms are, which will not always involve computers. When explained as “a set of instructions” teachers may illustrate the idea using recipes, or by breaking down the steps of children’s morning routines. But they will also be creating and debugging simple programs of their own, developing logical reasoning skills and taking their first steps in using devices to “create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content”.

Key Stage 2 (7-11 year-olds): Slightly older primary-school children will be creating and debugging more complicated programs with specific goals and getting to grips with concepts including variables and “sequence, selection, and repetition in programs”. They will still be developing their logical reasoning skills and learning to use websites and other internet services. And there will be more practice at using devices for collecting, analysing and presenting back data and information.

Key Stage 3 (11-14 year-olds): Once children enter senior school they will be using two or more programming languages – “at least one of which is textual” – to create their own programs. Schools and teachers will be free to choose the specific languages and coding tools. Pupils will be learning simple Boolean logic (the AND, OR and NOT operators, for example), working with binary numbers, and studying how computer hardware and software work together.

At all these levels, children will also be studying computer and internet safety, including how to report concerns about “content or contact” online.

Extra curricular:


Earliest age: 9 years old via Code Club

Mission: Give every child in the UK the chance to learn to code. It is our aim to have Code Club in 25% of primary schools in the UK by the end of 2015. Activities here include: Projects are step by step guides for children to follow to create animations, games, websites and much more. Children will build up their programming skills as they move through the projects, and challenges provide opportunities to demonstrate and apply what’s been learnt.

There are enough Code Club Scratch projects to take you through 2 terms with your Code Club. If your club are ready to move on from Scratch, we also have projects for Python and HTML & CSS.

There’s also TechFuture Girls;

Since 2005, more than 150,000 girls in over 4,500 schools have experienced TechFuture Girls.

  • 84% of girls involved state they are more likely to consider further education or a career in technology as a result
  • 98% of teachers who run the clubs say that members’ IT confidence levels have improved

Also: (source:

Learn-to-code apps like Tynker,Hopscotch, ScratchJr and Hakitzu that can be downloaded and used at home; an online coding contest Shaun the Sheep’s Game Academy began earlier this year. The BBC is getting coding into some CBeebies and CBBC TV shows in the coming months.

The Scratch programming language, already used widely in schools, is freely accessible online at home too. Meanwhile, Codecademy, which runs online courses in programming and is working with a number of schools already, has plenty of courses suitable for secondary-school children.

The Kano build-it-yourself computer may be worth a look: it goes on sale soon, and includes its own visual programming language designed for children. If you’re flush with cash, the upcoming Play-i robots may also appeal: two personal robots with companion apps that encourage children to code to control the devices.

And then there are after-school coding clubs: Code Club has a network of nearly 2,500 around the UK for 9-11 year-olds, CoderDojo has dozens in the UK too, and a growing number of schools are running their own, run by enthusiastic teachers and/or parents and developers from local companies.

Further reading:

Computing at school: Computing in the national curriculum A guide for primary teachers:

Google for education: