Our new computing curriculum helps learners understand how computers work. This stimulating course gives students the opportunity to look inside a computer to understand the purpose of different components. They will develop coding skills in text-based programming languages, such as Python, and learn that computers can only perform actions that humans ask them to do.
What will students learn?
Students develop the computational thinking skills and vocabulary they need to:
- extract key information from a set of instructions, break down problems into smaller parts and recognise patterns within sequences of instructions
- present sequences of instructions both verbally and visually, with increasing precision
- think logically to identify and solve errors in increasingly complex computing scenarios
- see themselves as computer scientists and understand how skills such as programming and logical thinking help in local and global industries
- understand the role that computers, other machines and data play in their lives.
Schools that are looking to develop learners’ skills on how to use computers and stay safe online might consider Cambridge Lower Secondary Digital Literacy.
We have divided the curriculum into five strands:
- Computational Thinking supports learners to create and present solutions to problems using algorithms, logic and precision.
- Programming helps learners to understand the common constructs of programming languages and to appreciate the contribution that Computer Scientists make to our lives.
- Managing Data encourages learners to reflect on how computers store and analyse data on an ever-increasing scale.
- Networks and Digital Communication shows how computers and other machines communicate with each other across networks and how the networks are created through a combination of hardware and data transmission protocols.
- Computer Systems helps learners to understand that computers follow precise sets of instruction to process inputs that are given by humans, to make decisions and produce outputs.
How is the programme taught?
You can teach Cambridge Lower Secondary Computing using a broad range of activities and contexts. We have included plenty of opportunities for learners to investigate and create programs using the constructs that they discover. We encourage you to revisit programming activities such as creating interfaces, quizzes and data input and output systems throughout each stage.
Activities that enable learners to create instructions away from the computer, such as those related to decision making, will help them to consider and discuss the key principles of logic and precision. These activites will also introduce them to widely used methods for presenting algorithms, such as flowcharts and pseudocode.
Opportunities to see and interact with real networked hardware and emerging technologies that control other machines, will help learners to understand the context of computing systems beyond those that they use in the classroom or at home. This will include the automated systems that are becoming increasing important to regional and global economies.
How is Cambridge Lower Secondary Computing assessed?
There are no Cambridge Lower Secondary Progression Tests or Cambridge Lower Secondary Checkpoint Tests for this subject.
The emphasis is for teachers to give learners formative feedback on the skills they want students to develop. This can be through discussion, observation and lesson outputs where teachers discuss with students ‘what went well’ and how they can improve further, so that students can reflect on, and improve, their performance.
To support assessment in the classroom, we have produced some guidance that is available on the Cambridge Lower Secondary support site.
Support to help you deliver this course
Visit our Cambridge Lower Secondary support site to download a wide range of resources to help you plan and deliver the course:
- Assessment guidance.
- Curriculum Framework.
- Training (Face-to-face and online).
- Schemes of work.
- Teacher Guide.
To find out more about the Cambridge Lower Secondary programme, download our brochure (PDF, 3MB).
Computing is free of charge to registered Cambridge schools that offer Cambridge Lower Secondary. If you are already registered with us, you can start teaching the programme immediately. If you are interested in becoming a Cambridge school complete our Expression of Interest form.