What is a computer?

  • **Newly created bespoke 'Knowledge organiser' for this unit has now been added. Please scroll down below to download**
  • When children picture a computer, they often think of a screen, mouse and keyboard. This topic explores exactly what a computer is, with pupils identifying and learning how inputs and outputs work, how computers are used in the wider world and designing their own computerised invention

Choose your lesson

Lesson 1: Computer parts

In the first lesson, children learn to name the different parts of a computer before creating an online drawing of a laptop, labelling the mouse, keyboard and screen and discussing the purpose of each


Lesson 2: Inputs

Learning how technology is controlled, children label a robot which has been programmed for a specific purpose, focusing on which forms of input it requires


Lesson 3: Technology safari

This lesson develops children's understanding of what a computer is, they also conduct a tour of the school, photographing the different examples of technology they spot


Lesson 4: Invention

In this lesson, children design their own inventions, which must include inputs and outputs, explaining how their idea works and how it's controlled


Lesson 5: Real world roleplay

In this lesson, children explore the different types of computers that are used in the real world and the roles that they play