Lesson 3: Fetch, decode, execute

Children learn about how the Mars rover follows instructions while developing their understanding of how computers work, including their RAM and ROM

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Learning objective

  • To identify and explain the ‘fetch, decode, execute’ cycle

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world-wide web, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: The games should be easily accessible to all and have a ‘help’ button.


Pupils working at greater depth: Should be encouraged to take a screenshot of the game, paste it into a Word document, and then write an explanation of the fetch, decode, execute cycle. They could also watch this video.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Richard Williams,  
Computing specialist
Richard is a Year 6 Teacher at St. Pancras Primary School. Richard’s passion for teaching was recognised when he received Suffolk’s ‘Raising The Bar’ award for Innovation 2016. With his class he made the world’s first guided VR:360 school tour…
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