Computational thinking is about looking at a problem in a way that a computer can help us to solve it. This is a two-step process:
1. First, we think about the steps needed to solve a problem.
2. Then, we use our technical skills to get the computer working on the problem.
There is a great deal more information on the Barefoot website for teachers to understand what computational thinking (CT) is made up of, plus a guidance document on what CT looks like for SEN pupils working below national curriculum levels (see https://barefootcas.org.uk/activities/sen/computing-send-guidance/ – login required). Below you can see the computational thinking concepts, approaches and computer science concepts covered.
Computational thinking can be taught very successfully through unplugged activities away from the computer, but it is important to link the activities to a computational model, and to refer to what is learnt during programming activities to make explicit connections. For students working well below NC level, unplugged activities can be relevant as learning experiences in their own right. See the teaching activities page for some ideas that work well with SEND pupils.