Seven Computer Skills Your Child Should Learn in Primary School

by Christine Chadwick

Some students are surrounded with opportunities to use technology at home as well, but students in a primary school setting typically have frequent chances to work with computers today. Computer labs filled with desktops, tablets in a cart tolled from class to class or laptops that follow the student from class to class--every school manages student technology use a bit differently.

No matter how your school approaches computer classes and uses for students the following is a list of basic skills an elementary student should develop and work toward improving. This base will prepare these students for more advanced computing in middle and high school and beyond. Keep in mind elementary students will develop these proficiencies over a number of years.

Identification Of Components And Basic Positioning

Younger students will be expected to identify the keyboard, the monitor, the mouse, headphones and printers. They will be able to sit at a computer station with proper posture, turn on the machine and login with a shortened password. Students acquire knowledge of common icons and symbols. The cursor can be pinpointed and moved.

Graphic Programmes

Students will practice and become proficient at choosing tools, colors and shapes. Filling, erasing, and detailing will become routine over the elementary years.


To start with students manipulate the space bar, letter/number keys, enter key, escape, delete and shift keys. As they move through school most basic keyboarding functions are added, with practice at home row based keyboard mastery. The goal is to increase typing speed and confidence, often accomplished with online tutorials or software written for youngsters.

Intermediate students will use spelling, grammar, dictionary and thesaurus applications. Spacing and text alignment proficiency will develop. Copy and paste commands will be mastered. Tables may be copied and inserted, lists formatted and blocks of texts moved within a document as skills increase.

Manipulation With Mouse And/Or Touchpad

Beginning with simple pull-down menus and single and double click commends elementary computer users will select options and pull and drag items. Programmes can be selected and launched and then closed as skills progress. Graphics and text block can be added to documents and resized. Fonts, text colors and font style can be selected and changed.

Documents And Archiving

After documents are created the elementary student will become adept at naming, saving and printing. Saved documents will be located and reopened at later times to edit and complete.

Spreadsheets And Graphing

Students will master elementary spreadsheet applications and software. With the information entered into spreadsheets students will be able to create graphs and charts.

Safe Internet Browsing

Younger students will be taught how to log in with a username and password. While online the students will respect the internet protocols of their school districts and will practice safe browsing.

Individual student's capabilities will vary as they acquire these computer skills, often correlating with the opportunities they have at home to practice. With the increased availability and use of tablets in schools some of these skills may be adapted for those more mobile devices.

Tags: computer I.T. primary
Categories: I.T. skills