Five-year-olds to be taught vital computing skills like coding in schools
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Tuesday 02 September 2014
Parents will struggle to help five-year-olds with their homework now they are being taught computing skills for the first time, according to a survey published today.
Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of the parents interviewed admitted they did not understand what an algorithm was, which is something children in future must know from the age of five.
In addition, one in three admitted they could not use technology to create, organise and store digital content.
The new reforms, under which five-year-olds will be taught coding, have been introduced because of concern over the standard of computer technology teaching in the past.
Coding, however, is just one of a series of reforms to the national curriculum being introduced this term. In primary schools children will be expected to learn their 12 times tables by the age of nine. Basic fractions will also be taught to that age group for the first time.
English will strengthen the importance of Shakespeare in secondary schools with 11 to 14-year-olds being expected to have studied at least two of his plays.
The history curriculum will take primary school pupils from the Stone Age to the Norman Conquest chronologically, while secondary school pupils will study British history from 1066 to 1901, and then go on to study world events from 1901 including the Holocaust and Winston Churchill.
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