ICT: Primary Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 14th March 2016.

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Photo of Royston Smith Royston Smith Conservative, Southampton, Itchen

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure that all primary school children are IT literate by the end of Key Stage 2.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The new computing curriculum, introduced in September 2014 and compulsory for ages 5-16, has a greater focus on how computers work including the basics of computer science as well as covering digital literacy and the application of information technology. In primary school, pupils will be looking at topics such as: creating and debugging programs; using technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content; and using technology safely, respectfully and responsibly. Through studying these topics, pupils are gaining insight into how the digital technologies that they use every day actually work, allowing them to become active creators, not just passive consumers.

The Government has spent more than £4.5 million over the past three years to support schools in delivering high quality computing teaching. This includes £3 million for Computing At School to build a national network of over 10 regional university centres and 300 ‘Master Teachers’ in Computer Science whom schools can commission to provide training for their teachers. A further £1 million was given to Computing At School to create online resources (Barefoot Computing) targeting primary school teachers specifically to help develop their computing subject knowledge, deliver in-school workshops, and set up computing self-help groups.

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