Decomposition is a way of thinking about problems, algorithms, artefacts, processes and systems in terms of their parts. The separate parts can then be understood, solved, developed and evaluated separately. This makes complex problems easier to solve and large systems easier to design.

For example, if we are developing a game, different people can design and create the different levels independently provided key aspects are agreed in advance. Through decomposition of the original task each part can be developed and integrated later in the process. A simple arcade level might also be decomposed into several parts, such as the life-like motion of a character, scrolling the background and setting the rules about how characters interact.

The following links to cs4fn articles that illustrate decomposition.

More of our resources, including linked computing ‘story’ booklets can be found in our resources section. You may also want to look at cs4fn’s teacher resources or browse the latest cs4fn magazine.

It is suggested that:

  • Primary teachers focus on the badge statements from the Pink to Purple row.
  • Secondary teachers focus on the badge statements from the Purple to Black row.
  • The white row overlaps with the KS4 qualification specifications.

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