The following has been taken from the Computing at School's Computer Science Curriculum

Computers

Key Stage 1
  • Computers are electronic devices using stored sequences of instructions.
  • Computers typically accept input and produce outputs, with examples of each in the context of PCs.
  • Many devices now contain computers.

Key Stage 2
  • Computers are devices for executing programs.
  • Application software is a computer program designed to perform user tasks.
  • The operating system is a software that manages the relationship between the application software and the hardware.
  • Computers consist of a number of hardware components each with a specific role.
  • Both the operating system and application software store data.
  • The above applies to devices with embedded computers, handheld technology and personal computers.
  • A variety of operating systems and application software is typically available for the same hardware.
  • Users can prevent or fix problems that occur with computers.
  • Social and ethical issues raised by the role of computers in our lives.

Key Stage 3
  • Computers are devices for executing programs.
  • Computers are general-purpose devices.
  • Not every computer is obviously a computer.
  • Basic architecture: CPU, storage, input/output
  • Computers are very fast, and getting faster all the time (Moore's Law)
  • Computers can 'pretend' to do more than one thing at a time, by switching between different things very quickly.