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Teaching resources

World-class lesson plans, unit guides and teacher guides to help you teach computing.

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Key stage 1

Year 1

  • Computing Systems and Networks – Technology Around Us

    Develop your learners’ understanding of technology and how it can help them. They will become more familiar with the different components of a computer by developing their keyboard and mouse skills, and also start to consider how to use technology responsibly.

  • Creating Media – Digital Painting

    Explore the world of digital art and its exciting range of creative tools with your learners. Empower them to create their own paintings, while getting inspiration from a range of other artists. Conclude by asking them to consider their preferences when painting with, and without, the use of digital devices.

  • Creating Media – Digital Writing

    Promote your learners’ understanding of the various aspects of using a computer to create and change text. Learners will familiarise themselves with typing on a keyboard and begin using tools to change the look of their writing, and then they will consider the differences between using a computer and writing on paper to create text.

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Year 2

  • Computing Systems and Networks – Information Technology Around Us

    How is information technology (IT) being used for good in our lives? With an initial focus on IT in the home, learners explore how IT benefits society in places such as shops, libraries, and hospitals. Whilst discussing the responsible use of technology, and how to make smart choices when using it.

  • Creating media – Digital photography

    Through the lessons in this unit, learners will learn to recognise that different devices can be used to capture photographs and will gain experience capturing, editing, and improving photos. Finally, they will use this knowledge to recognise that images they see may not be real.

  • Creating Media – Making Music

    Learners will explore how music can make them think and feel. They will make patterns and use those patterns to make music with both percussion instruments and digital tools. They will also create different rhythms and tunes, using the movement of animals for inspiration. Finally, learners will share their creations and compare creating music digitally and non-digitally.

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Key stage 2

Year 3

  • Computing Systems and Networks – Connecting Computers

    Challenge your learners to develop their understanding of digital devices, with an initial focus on inputs, processes, and outputs. Start by comparing digital and non-digital devices, before introducing them to computer networks that include network infrastructure devices like routers and switches.

  • Creating media – Desktop publishing

    During this unit, learners will become familiar with the terms ‘text’ and ‘images’ and understand that they can be used to communicate messages. They will use desktop publishing software and consider careful choices of font size, colour and type to edit and improve premade documents. Learners will be introduced to the terms ‘templates’, ‘orientation’, and ‘placeholders’ and begin to understand how these can support them in making their own template for a magazine front cover. They will start to add text and images to create their own pieces of work using desktop publishing software. Learners will look at a range of page layouts thinking carefully about the purpose of these and evaluate how and why desktop publishing is used in the real world.

  • Creating Media – Stop frame animation

    During this unit, learners will use a range of techniques to create a stop frame animation using tablets. Next, they will apply those skills to create a story-based animation. This unit will conclude with learners adding other types of media to their animation, such as music and text.

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Year 4

  • Computing systems and networks – The internet

    During this unit learners will apply their knowledge and understanding of networks, to appreciate the internet as a network of networks which need to be kept secure. They will learn that the World Wide Web is part of the internet, and be given opportunities to explore the World Wide Web for themselves to learn about who owns content and what they can access, add, and create. Finally they will evaluate online content to decide how honest, accurate, or reliable it is, and understand the consequences of false information.

  • Creating media – Audio editing

    In this unit, learners will initially examine devices capable of recording digital audio, which will include identifying the input device (microphone) and output devices (speaker or headphones) if available. Learners will discuss the ownership of digital audio and the copyright implications of duplicating the work of others. In order to record audio themselves, learners will use Audacity to produce a podcast, which will include editing their work, adding multiple tracks, and opening and saving the audio files. Finally, learners will evaluate their work and give feedback to their peers.

  • Creating media – Photo editing

    In this unit, learners will develop their understanding of how digital images can be changed and edited, and how they can then be resaved and reused. They will consider the impact that editing images can have, and evaluate the effectiveness of their choices.

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Year 5

  • Computing systems and networks – Sharing information

    In this unit, learners will develop their understanding of computer systems and how information is transferred between systems and devices. Learners will consider small-scale systems as well as large-scale systems. They will explain the input, output, and process aspects of a variety of different real-world systems. Learners will also take part in a collaborative online project with other class members and develop their skills in working together online.

  • Creating media – Vector drawing

    In this unit learners will find out that vector images are made up of shapes. They will learn how to use the different drawing tools and how images are created in layers. They will explore the ways in which images can be grouped and duplicated to support them in creating more complex pieces of work. This unit is planned using the Google Drawings app other alternative pieces of software are available.

  • Creating media – Video editing

    This unit gives learners the opportunity to learn how to create short videos in groups. As they progress through this unit, they will be exposed to topic-based language and develop the skills of capturing, editing, and manipulating video. Active learning is encouraged through guided questions and by working in small groups to investigate the use of devices and software. Learners are guided with step-by-step support to take their idea from conception to completion. At the teacher’s discretion, the use of green screen can be incorporated into this unit. At the conclusion of the unit, learners have the opportunity to reflect on and assess their progress in creating a video.

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Year 6

  • Computing systems and networks – Communication

    In this unit, the class will learn about the World Wide Web as a communication tool. First, they will learn how we find information on the World Wide Web, through learning how search engines work (including how they select and rank results) and what influences searching, and through comparing different search engines. They will then investigate different methods of communication, before focusing on internet-based communication. Finally, they will evaluate which methods of internet communication to use for particular purposes.

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Key stage 3

Year 7

  • Impact of Technology – Collaborating Online Respectfully

    A primer for learners on how to use the school network appropriately. This unit builds in time for teacher-led discussions on why appropriate usage is important, as well as allowing for opportunities to highlight online safety issues.

  • Using Media – Gaining Support for a Cause

    Do you want your learners to change the world? Here’s a good place to start. They will develop a deeper understanding of information technology and digital literacy by using their skills across the unit to create a blog post about a real world cause that they are passionate about and would like to gain support for.

  • Modelling Data – Spreadsheets

    Introduce your learners to the wonderful world of spreadsheets and the concept of cell referencing. Ask them to collect, analyse, and manipulate data, before turning it into graphs and charts. Data is beautiful!

  • Networks: from semaphores to the Internet

    Imagine a world without computer networks: there would be no more YouTube, Google, instant messaging, online video gaming, Netflix, and iTunes; no online shopping; no file sharing; and no central backups of information. This unit begins by defining a network and addressing the benefits of networking, before covering how data is transmitted across networks using protocols.

  • Programming essentials in Scratch: part I

    This unit is the first programming unit of KS3. The aim of this unit and the following unit (Programming II) is to build learners’ confidence and knowledge of the key programming constructs. Importantly, this unit does not assume any previous programming experience, but it does offer learners the opportunity to expand on their knowledge throughout the unit. The main programming concepts covered in this unit are sequencing, variables, selection, and count-controlled iteration. All of the examples and activities for this unit use Scratch 3.

  • Programming essentials in Scratch: part II

    This unit begins right where ‘Programming I’ left off. Learners will build on their understanding of the control structures’ sequence, selection, and iteration (the big three), and develop their problem-solving skills. Learners will learn how to create their own subroutines, develop their understanding of decomposition, learn how to create and use lists, and build upon their problem-solving skills by working through a larger project at the end of the unit.

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Year 8

  • Representations: from clay to silicon

    Humans use symbols to record, process and transmit information. Introduce binary digits to your learners as the symbols computers use to perform these tasks and focus on the representation of text and numbers.

  • Programming: Mobile app development

    Today, there’s an app for every possible need. With this unit you can take learners through the entire process of creating their own mobile app, using App Lab from code.org. Building on the programming concepts learners used in previous units, they will work in pairs to perform user research, design their app, write the code for it, before finally evaluating and publishing it for the world to use.

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Year 9

  • Cybersecurity

    This unit takes learners on a journey of discovery of techniques that cybercriminals use to steal data, disrupt systems, and infiltrate networks. The learners will start by considering the value their data holds and what organisations might use it for. They will then learn about social engineering and other common cybercrimes, and finally look at methods to protect against these attacks.

  • Representations: going audiovisual

    In this unit, learners will focus on making digital media such as images and sounds, and discover how media is stored as binary code. You will draw on familiar examples of composing images out of individual elements, mix elementary colours to produce new ones, take samples of analogue signals to illustrate these ideas, and then bring all these things together to form one coherent narrative. The unit has a significant practical aspect; you will use design software (GIMP and Audacity in this case) to manipulate images and sounds. This will help you to understand how the underlying principles of digital representations are applied in real settings.

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