WhAT ARE Grades?
We use grades to stream our students at the start of each term, based on the amount they've learned in previous terms. While students still get to move at their own pace we find that everyone (students and teachers!) tend to benefit from having a class that's more or less at the same point in the course.
Are These Different from last term's grades, or "Stages" Used in previous Terms?
Each term we revise the way we grade students based on feedback from parents, students and our own instructors. the idea remains the same, but hopefully we improve things a little bit each term. This does mean that grades are not necessarily directly comparable term-to-term.
In particular, please note that we have expanded the scope of junior grade I for this coming Autumn term, so most students who were grade I before the summer will be advised to stay in grade I in the Autumn. This does not mean that they will be repeating the same material.
What are the Different Grades?
As we grow we will be able to provide a wider range of classes, which will hopefully allow us to continue to improve the learning experience for our students. As of this writing (Spring-Summer term 2016) we have four class choices.
- Beginners - All students who have not previously attended classes with us should start here
- Grade I - Generally for students who have been with us 1-2 terms and who understand the basic building blocks of Processing
- Grade II - For those who have progressed beyond the basic building blocks on to more demanding logic and data structures. Older students might reach this level after 1 or 2 terms, while younger students might take 3 or more terms to become sufficiently comfortable with Grade I material
- Grade III - For the most advanced students. Generally students at this level will have been with us several terms, and they will usually be at least 12 years old (and often 14/15+). They will cover significantly more complex material, and will have the chance to really get their teeth into some bigger problems and projects
At all grades we work hard to ensure that both new and returning students have new and interesting material to keep them engaged and excited.
Please note that the length of time taken to progress through each grade depends on a number of factors, including age, prior experience with coding, length of time at the Academy of Code, effort in class and more besides. If you would at any time like to discuss the progress of your daughter or son please feel free to Contact Us.
You can see the various day/time options on our courses page.
What if two students want to attend together but aren't in the same Grade?
We understand that friends and siblings will often want to attend classes together, but might not always be at the same level with their programming. If they have been streamed into different classes (or if a new student is joining a returning student) and you still want them in the same class then they should both attend the less advanced class.
In general we've found that a student being ahead of most of the class is no major issue, whereas a student who is far behind her/his classmates can find the experience frustrating and demoralising. As always, get in touch if you have any doubts or questions about this.
Will This Mean Some Students Have to Repeat the same material over more than one term?
We have always been committed to differentiated teaching at the Academy of Code, and this is further commitment to that ideal. Regardless of what class any student is in they will cover material appropriate to their ability and experience. While we like to keep our classes in sync where possible, we will never hold back a student who is moving quicker than their classmates. At the same time some students may take more than one attempt to fully grasp some of the more complex topics - that's fine too, and we will continue to approach that topic with them from different angles until they manage to wrap their heads around it.
What about students who attended the Academy of Code prior to the introduction of the end of term assessment?
Generally Grade I is a pretty safe bet for anyone who has attended a single course/term with us. If in doubt just get in touch and we can advise on a case by case basis. Often we will be able to recommend a class straight off (collectively we have a pretty good memory of our past students!).