Skip to main content

Teaching Computing Systems and Networks to 5- to 11-year-olds

CO042 Online course

Improve your subject knowledge and develop your teaching to help young children understand the computing systems and networks around them.

Skip to course booking
Computer networks Computer systems Key stage 1 Key stage 2 Primary certificate
Free online course Approximately 8 hours of self-study

Help young children understand the Computing Systems and Networks around them

Whether stand-alone, connected in a local network or plugged into the internet, computers are central to many everyday tasks and routines. It’s important for young people to develop their knowledge of how these devices work, so that they can appreciate the impacts that computers and networks have on the world around them. On this three-week course you’ll explore how you can build up young learners’ knowledge in an age-appropriate manner. You’ll start by thinking about how you can to help your learners recognise information technology - and how computers process an input to give an output.


In the second week of the course, you’ll learn about the key pieces of technology that allow us to connect computers into networks, and the advantages that networks can bring. You’ll also consider how you can make the concept of a computer network relatable to young children.

The internet, the web, and networked services

By the end of week two, you’ll be able to explain why the internet and the world wide web are not the same thing - as well as identifying a range of services that run over the internet. This will provide you with a solid basis for the third week, in which you’ll investigate computer systems consisting of multiple devices working together.

Safety and digital citizenship

Young people also need to understand how to act on the internet - both for their own safety and to contribute to a pleasant online environment. You’ll think about the skills and attitudes that young people need, and how you can help them develop these not only while teaching about computer networks, but also more generally across the curriculum.


  • Explain the Input-process-output (IPO) model of computing systems
  • Evaluate the impacts of computing systems and networks on everyday life
  • Model a computer network with your class
  • Summarise several ways in which people can communicate and collaborate over the internet
  • Lead your pupils through the working of big IT systems that span multiple networks
  • Demonstrate the skills and attitude needed to be a good digital citizen

This course is part of Teach primary computing

Teach primary computing

Our nationally recognised qualification will support you to demonstrate your commitment to developing your own practice and to computing as a school subject.

Find out more

Join this course

You need to be logged in to start the course.

Login to join

Not got a STEM Learning account?
Create an account

This course is from Teach Computing and delivered by Raspberry Pi Foundation

Adapted teaching and effective learning interventions in secondary computing

Develop an evidence-informed approach to education recovery over a sustained period, securing the computing education of young people following a period of great disruption.

Live remote training course

An Introduction to algorithms, programming and data in computer science - remote

Create some simple block-based computer programs and discover how to implement them in the text based language Python.

Live remote training course

An introduction to algorithms, programming and data in GCSE computer science - face to face

Create some simple block-based computer programs and discover how to implement them in the text based language Python.

Face to face course