Digi Explorers – Lower Primary (Ages 5 -7)

NCC Education is a UK awarding body, active in the UK and internationally. Originally part of the UK National Computing Centre, NCC Education started offering IT qualifications in 1976 and from 1997 developed its portfolio to include Business qualifications, IT qualifications for school children and a range of Foundation qualifications.

With Centres around the world, NCC Education aims to employ the latest technologies for learning, assessment and support. NCC Education is regulated by Ofqual (the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, (www.ofqual.gov.uk) in England and Northern Ireland.

1 – Why choose this qualification? (NCC Education’s Digi-Explorers)

NCC Education’s Digi-Explorers:

  • Is suitable for candidates at Key Stage 1 of the English national curriculum (ages 5–7), as well as older (including adult) learners;

  • Introduces students to key concepts of digital citizenship and online safety – this means that candidates will gain the core skills and understanding of the online world which will allow them to become safe and responsible members of online communities;
  • Prepares candidates to be part of their country’s next generation of digital innovators – Digi-Explorers not only helps to prepare candidates to become critical consumers of hardware and software but also allows them to gain the basic knowledge required to write and test simple programs, which will lay the foundation for them to become active producers of new and innovative software;
  • Provides teachers with a fresh and innovative syllabus containing all the concepts, activities and resources to be able to deliver with confidence the new programming elements of the English national curriculum;
  • Is quality assured by a UK awarding body with considerable expertise in providing high-quality IT/Computing qualifications and programmes;
  • Sits within NCC Education’s well-established suite of IT and Business qualifications, which are recognised and valued by employers and universities worldwide;

2 – Structure and Assessment for the Qualification

a – Assessment objectives

Digi-Explorers is assessed by a single two-part examination once candidates have completed their preparation. This single examination consists of a written theory component and a practical component. All Learning Outcomes are satisfied by this single examination.

The single examination’s theoretical and practical component can be delivered independently to enable more flexible delivery (for ease of timetabling) and to provide candidates with the opportunity to engage with the assessment in two short sessions, to aid their concentration.

The written theoretical component of the single examination comprises multiple-choice questions (Part A), linked to the qualification’s Learning Outcomes. The practical component (Part B) will require candidates to complete one or more tasks. The two parts of the assessment will allow candidates to demonstrate that they have met the qualification’s Learning Outcomes – in other words, that they can successfully demonstrate their knowledge and comprehension of the subject matter in addition to computational problem-solving and practical skills.

b – Overview of Digi-Qualifications Assessment

An examination is a time-constrained assessment that will take place on a specified date and usually in an NCC Education Approved Centre. In the above table, ‘Theoretical Component’ refers to questions which require candidates to recall relevant information and write or type answers into an answer booklet. ‘Practical Component’ refers to a computer (lab) based task or tasks which require candidates to individually produce a particular digital artefact or artefacts.

An examination mark is calculated by combining marks awarded to candidates in the theoretical and practical sections of the single examination. Theoretical and practical components are equally weighted (50%).

NCC Education Centres can provide candidates with a specimen examination paper and marking scheme, past examination papers and marking schemes will also be available.

Examinations are marked by the centre and NCC Education moderates all assessment components (Part A and Part B). For practical questions which require candidates to produce a digital artefact, Centre staff are required to record marks for candidates’ work according to the marking scheme guidance issued by NCC Education.


Examination:Theoretical Component (Part A)

Examination: Practical Component (Part B)

Level 1 – Digi-Explorers

30 minutes

30 minutes

Level 2 – Digi-Navigators

45 minutes

45 minutes

Level 3 – Digi-Trailblazers

45 minutes

45 minutes


c – Accessibility of Assessment

We review our guidelines on assessment practices to ensure compliance with equality law and to confirm assessment for our components is fit for purpose

d – Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration

NCC Education is committed to providing reasonable adjustments and special consideration so as to ensure disabled candidates, or those facing exceptional circumstances, are not disadvantaged in demonstrating their knowledge, skills and understanding.

Further information on NCC Education’s arrangements for giving reasonable adjustments and special consideration can be found in the NCC Education Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy.

e – Supervision and Authentication of Assessment

NCC Education Approved Centres are required to organise all assessment activity for this specification according to NCC Education’s Policies and Regulations.

Candidates’ identity and the authenticity of their work for the practical component (Part B) is verified and NCC Education moderates the examination papers (Part A) and the artefacts (Part B) to ensure that the marking carried out is fair and reflects the standard achieved by candidates, relevant to the specification Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria. Detailed guidance on this process and how candidate work must be submitted to NCC Education is given in NCC Education’s Examination Guidelines and Moderation Manual.

3 – Administration

a – Assessment Cycles

Four assessment cycles are offered throughout the year, in March, June, September and December.

Examination dates and submission deadlines are published in the NCC Education Activity Schedule, which is provided to Centres by NCC Education Centre Support. It is also available on Connect, NCC Education’s candidate registration system.

The Activity Schedule also gives the key dates for registering candidates for assessment cycles, and the dates when Centres can expect to receive assessment documentation and the assessment results from NCC Education.

b – Language of Assessment

All assessment is conducted in English.

c – Candidates

NCC Education’s qualifications are available to those Centre candidates who satisfy the entry requirements as stated in this specification.

d – Qualification and Unit Entry Requirements

The Digi-Explorers syllabus and assessment is suitable for candidates aged 5–7 (at Key Stage 1 of the English national curriculum) as well as older (including adult) learners.

It is expected that candidates who are non-native English speakers are able to cope with the demands of preparing for and taking the Digi-Explorers assessment in English.

e – Candidate Entry

Candidates are registered by Approved Centres for assessment via NCC Education’s Connect system and according to the deadlines for registration provided in the Activity Schedule.

Further details can be found in NCC Education’s Centre Handbook.

f – Syllabus overview

The Digi-Explorers syllabus contains the following topics, topic sections and Learning Outcomes. Syllabus topics may be covered in any order (as best suits the requirements of the candidates and their wider curriculum).

Syllabus content


Topic Section

Learning Outcomes

Digital Citizenship

Working with technology safely and respectfully

• Understand how to be safe and respectful online.

Working with the World Wide Web

• Understand how the World Wide Web can be used as a tool for research.

• Use a web browser to view and navigate web pages.

Technology beyond school

• Identify ways that technology is used outside school.

Digital Design and Creation

Working with digital images

• Capture still and moving images.

• Use tools in paint packages to draw an image to convey meaning.

Working with video animation

• Use captured images to make an animation.

Working with sound

• Use recorded sound files to communicate meaning.

Presenting Information

Working with text

• Use a range of text input devices effectively.

Working with digital presentations

  • Use text, images and sound to create simple linear presentations for a purpose.
  • Present information clearly and appropriately using a range of tools.

Handling Data

Working with data

• Sort data in a range of ways to ask and answer simple questions.


Working with algorithms

  • Understand the need for precise instructions to implement an algorithm.
  • Recognise the actions that will result from a sequence of instructions.

Working to create and debug programs

  • Devise simple programs.
  • Predict what will happen if changes are made.


g – Results and Certificates

An overall numerical mark is awarded to candidates. Candidates who obtain an overall examination mark of 50% or above are classed as a pass. All candidates who obtain marks below 50% are classed as failed in the examination.

After each assessment cycle, results slips are issued (in electronic format) which detail the final mark. Certificates are then dispatched to Centres.

=> Download Brochure pdf: NCC Education’s Digi-Explorers

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