"A high-quality computing education equips pupils to understand and change the world through computational thinking. It develops and requires logical thinking and precision. It combines creativity with rigour: pupils apply underlying principles to understand real-world systems, and to create purposeful and usable artefacts. More broadly, it provides a lens through which to understand both natural and artificial systems, and has substantial links with the teaching of mathematics, science, and design and technology.
At the core of computing is the science and engineering discipline of computer science, in which pupils are taught how digital systems work, how they are designed and programmed, and the fundamental principles of information and computation. Building on this core, computing equips pupils to apply information technology to create products and solutions. A computing education also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world."
The replacement states;
"A high-quality computing education equips pupils to understand and change the world through logical thinking and creativity, including by making links with mathematics, science, and design and technology. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, and how digital systems work. Computing equips pupils to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of media. It 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."
The opening sentence drops the idea of computational thinking (that reappears later) and instead proposes that the power of the subject arises from "logical thinking and creativity, including by making links with mathematics, science, and design and technology". That means that the rest of that first paragraph is gone. Peter Twining and many others have argued that the computing programme of study was diminished by the de-emphasis of creativity so I would expect that this change will be pleasing to those people. In the second section the phrase "computing equips pupils to apply information technology to create products and solutions" is altered to "equips pupils to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of media".This change also widens the scope of computing by introducing the idea (correctly I would say) that the creation of media artefacts is as much part of the subject as writing code. The statement about digital literacy thankfully remains almost unchanged.
|design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems||Unchanged|
|understand at least two key algorithms for each of sorting and searching||This has been changed to -|
"understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking, such as ones for sorting and searching"
|Apart from the obvious slight change in the wording so that students should look at more than 2 algorithms, the inclusion of the term "computational thinking" means that although it was removed from the opening statement about the purpose of study it lives on here.|
|use data structures such as tables or arrays||Changed to "make appropriate use of data structures such as lists, tables or arrays"||This change is similar to the previous. It widens the possible content and doesn't limit teacher choices.|
|use Boolean logic and wildcards in search or database queries||This has been removed||Interesting that this has gone. The danger with having a very specific requirement like this and then removing it may create the impression that it positively shouldn't be taught. I am pretty certain that conclusion would be a mistake.|
|use logical reasoning to evaluate the performance trade-offs of using alternative algorithms to solve the same problem||Changed to "use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem".||I'm glad that the phrase "performance trade-offs" is gone. Utility is a simpler and yet more useful tool for comparing differing algorithms.|
|understand how computers can monitor and control physical systems||This has been deleted||Perhaps this is now seen as part of Design and Technology. Dropping control from KS3 is a radical step. Perhaps like search queries the removal from the document shouldn't imply a direction not to teach control.|
|use two or more programming languages, one of which is textual, each used to solve a variety of computational problems||Changed to "use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems"||Seems a minor alteration.|
|understand simple Boolean logic (such as AND, OR and NOT) and its use in determining which parts of a program are executed||Changed to "understand simple Boolean logic (such as AND, OR and NOT) and some of its uses in circuits and programming"||This is a helpful widening of the content so that Boolean logic isn't confined to coding.|
|use procedures to write modular programs; for each procedure, be able to explain how it works and how to test it||Changed to "design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions"||This looks like the same content but better expressed|
|explain how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system||Simply now states they should understand how||A minor change for logical consistency in the document I think.|
|understand the hardware and software components that make up networked computer systems, how they interact, and how they affect cost and performance||Changed to "understand the hardware and software components that make up computer systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems"||This has reduced the amount of computer networking that could have been anticipated as part of new school curricula in September 2014. But it hasn't entirely eliminated the need to teach it. The focus seems to be more on internal computer systems.|
|explain how networks such as the internet work||This is gone||Less networking again.|
|appreciate how search engine results are selected and ranked||This is gone||Why it was first included seems more of a mystery than its removal.|
|explain how data of various types can be represented and manipulated in the form of binary digits including numbers, text, sounds and pictures, and be able to carry out some such manipulations by hand||Changed to "understand how data of various types (including text, sounds and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits"||It's a relief to me that the statement about "manipulations by hand" has gone, chiefly because I had no idea what that meant. This seems a much clearer statement, so it is a clarification and not a real change.|
|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||This is unchanged|
|create, reuse, revise and repurpose digital information and content with attention to design, intellectual property and audience||Changed to "create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability"||Correction of typos and changes to the criteria by which stuff will be judged. digital artefacts is a better term I think than "digital information and content".|
|There was no e-safety statement at KS3. Widely criticised.||New statement added|
"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"
|I for one am pleased that a statement on this topic has been added.|