New Curriculum Highlights - Autumn 2018

Autumn courses now open for registration at theacademyofcode.com/autumn-2018. Evening and weekend courses begin the week of September 10th, after-school tech clubs and other classes vary by venue.

Like redecorating a house or embarking on a new fitness regimen, curriculum development is a process which never really ends. There's always room for an improved exercise here, a different project over there - and perhaps some fresh flowers in the kitchen?


This summer we've been at the "knocking down walls and adding a basement extension" end of the spectrum, and as the new term approaches we're really happy with how things are shaping up. It's not finished (nor will it ever be, really), but there's tons there for students to look forward to in the new year. Here's a few of the highlights:

  • An all-new nine grade curriculum structure gives students and parents a clear roadmap of where they are today, and where we're aiming to get to in the future. Each grade takes one year to complete. Existing students will be slotted in at the appropriate stage of the new curriculum.
    • Grade 1: a "pre-coding" module. Currently scheduled for launch in January 2019, this is aimed at younger students (1st-2nd class) and brings together keyboard and mouse skills, internet safety, computational thinking and an introduction to coding through Scratch.
    • Grades 2-3: these are our "early coding" grades, aimed at those up to 4th class. These grades combine the foundational skills which are the focus of grade 1 with a variety of coding and electronics projects which include tasters of Python, HTML, Micro:bit and more.
    • Grades 4-6: our core coding curriculum. This is a refined version of our Processing curriculum from previous terms, and takes students from total beginners through to advanced coding concepts.
    • Grades 7-9: our advanced curriculum. These grades combine masterclasses in a variety of subjects (computer vision, Internet of Things, advanced OOP concepts and more) with student driven projects, culminating in a Masterpiece at the end of grade 9. We also have lots of other exciting plans for students at this level, and look forward to rolling them out as students reach these grades over the coming years.

 

  • Academy of Code Discovery Sessions: most lessons now integrate mini lessons on computer history, computers in society, how networks work (and how hackers use them), surveillance technology and more besides. This will give students a broader appreciation of technology generally - and it will integrate into every student's favourite part of class, the end of class kahoot quiz!
  • Community of Coders: our new curriculum integrates events and fun competitions which bring together coders from all of our venues, either virtually, with touch typing and mouse skills leaderboards and real-time multi-class quizzes, and with in-person coding events and exhibitions. 
  • 21st Century Teaching & Learning: the new curriculum integrates best practice from the latest education research, with a focus on collaboration, communication and presentation skills.
  • Industry Tips: we have integrated a range of "insider tips" from professional software developers on how to be a better programmer. These give students an insight into the real world of coding, and help us encourage students to follow "best practice" coding approaches by showing them how they help the coders produce great software.

We can't wait to hit the ground with the new curriculum in a few weeks time, and to hear what you all think about the changes!