The Department for Education (DfE) has published the national curriculum for computing that will come into force from September 2014.
The curriculum covers Key Stages 1 through to 4, which is for children aged between 5 and 16, and has been designed to have computer science theory as its foundation. It will replace the current ICT curriculum, which focuses more on the use, rather than the creation, of computer programs, such as Microsoft Word and Excel.
"The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
"Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content."
The more rigorous national curriculum for computing will also ensure that pupils become "digitally literate", the DfE said, "at a level suitable for the future workplace".
Under the new curriculum, pupils will be taught how to understand and apply the fundamental principles of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
They will also be able to analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs to solve such problems.
Meanwhile, as well as learning about the technical side of computing, children will also be taught from the beginning about how to use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private and where to go for help if they have any concerns about content or contact on the internet.
Earlier this month, Camden Council was revealed as the first local authority to introduce computer programming clubs in all of its primary schools.