Computing – Data Packets

This half-term in computing, Year 6 are exploring Computer Systems and Networks with a specific focus on how we communicate. In our second lesson this week, the children learnt about data packets, this is how data is transferred from one computer to another across a network. We started by retrieving our knowledge of IP addresses from last week’s lesson where we found out what an IP address was and how they are similar to house addresses. Following this, we learnt that data is transferred in packets from one computer to another. Sometimes, data can be too large to send in one go so this is chunked into sections called data packets.

Data packets carry a range of information. On the header, it states the to and from IP address, the packet number and the number of packets. On the data payload part of the packet, all of the information which is being sent is stored in parts. We found out that data is carried by routers across a network to ensure it is delivered to the correct IP address. The receiving computer can then decipher the information by using the packet number and number of packets to put the information back together in an order.

We set up our very own server in computing this week! The children had to create data packets and then try to transfer them from one IP address to another – without any bugs getting in the way. The children successfully transferred 3/5 data packets on their first go and we were able to debug our server to find the remaining 2!

Well done Mandela!

Mr Howley

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