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P Scales for Computing

Performance descriptors for pupils with SEN working below the level of the NC

Miles Berry

Created by Miles Berry
last edited Nov 05 2015 by Miles Berry

The computing performance descriptors for pupils aged 5-16 with special educational needs (SEN) who cannot access the national curriculum.

This is just the computing pages from the full set of P-scales from the DfE. There’s further guidance available too. See below for information about a revised version that better reflects the new Computing Programs of Study.

A number of the statements here seem directly relevant to emergent computational thinking, for example:

  • P2ii: They perform actions, often by trial and improvement, and they remember learned responses over short periods of time
  • P3i: They explore materials in increasingly complex ways
  • P3i: They observe the results of their own actions with interest
  • P3ii: They apply potential solutions systematically to problems
  • P4: They know that certain actions produce predictable results
  • P5: They make connections between control devices and information on screen
  • P6: They show they understand that information can be stored on a computer

This document is covered by the Open Government Licence.

The Revised P Scales for Computing document is a first draft, created and reviewed by a number of teachers and educators from around the UK who are working with pupils with special educational needs. It contains statements for Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy - this is to provide some breadth within each level, though it is most relevant at the upper end. For more information about the work being done, please visit The next stage is to add more concrete examples of what computing will look like for these students.

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