Introduction to the codetoday curriculum
At codetoday we have developed an extensive curriculum that ranges from the very basic and fundamental principles all the way to intermediate and advanced areas of programming across a broad range of applications for students who want to learn Python.
Our focus is on teaching programming thoroughly. We have designed a path through the topics available in coding that enables us to rapidly move to more complex and engaging projects. Our approach is to introduce the fundamentals very early on in their most basic form, and then to revisit these topics adding breadth and depth later on as students become more confident and proficient.
An important aspect throughout our whole curriculum is the focus on best practices and neat and efficient coding styles. Often beginners write inefficient code as this has little or no effect on simple, short programs. We feel that this should be corrected early on, before it becomes a problem (when programs become longer and more complex). We therefore model and discuss best coding practices right from the very beginning and throughout all our courses.
Our approach is to find the right balance between introducing new topics and consolidating existing ones. You can download an overview of the Beginners and Intermediate Stages of our curriculum.
An important aspect when moving from beginner to intermediate is the ability to deal with more complex projects. The topics in the early Stages may be well understood by themselves, but combining them into a complex project requires more expertise.
Progressing through the Curriculum
Our approach is to start from the fundamentals of coding at all age groups to ensure that these key topics and understood well and thoroughly.
However we progress at different paces for different age groups. We go through the basics relatively quickly at the older age groups and then slow down when we reach more complex stages. For younger students however we progress at a more gentle pace to make sure they master the basics well.
Live Online Courses:
Levels and Age Groups
Live Online Courses are grouped by age and level. Each age group, 7-9, 10-12 and 13-16 years old, starts from Level 1 but Levels are not the same across age groups. For example a Level 3 for 13-16 year olds is significantly more advanced than a Level 3 for 7-9 year olds as we progress faster at older age groups.
You can see how we progress through the Levels at each age group in our Live Online Course Summary which maps Levels to Stages within the curriculum.
Moving to a higher age group
Kids grow fast so they won't stay in the same age group forever. As the Levels between different age groups do not match, when moving age group we recommend do follow one of the recommended paths to make sure there are no gaps in knowledge and that your child will not find the new course too difficult.
You can read more about the recommended cross-over points between age groups here. For example if a student has completed the Level 3 course at 7-9 year olds, we strongly recommend they move on to a Level 3 at 10-12 year old if they have moved to the 10-12 year old age group (otherwise they should of course proceed with Level 4 at 7-9). If in doubt just contact us and we'll be very happy to advise.
Done Python before and not sure where to start?
Our courses are designed to follow students right from the beginning all the way through to whatever level they wish to achieve. Sometimes there are students who have already done some coding in Python in the past and would like to know which level to start at when joining codetoday.
It is always best to speak to us first so we can advise based on your child's particular situation. However, very often students find that in our Level 1 courses we cover material beyond what they are familiar with and in more detail. The amount of Python coding done in most schools in the UK, both independent and in the state sector, is very limited and basic. In most instances we would advise students to start at Level 1 even if some of the material will be familiar.
Often, unlike with other subjects, parents rely on the children's own assessment of how proficient they are in coding. With very few exceptions, when students say that they have done a lot of Python and are quite advanced, they are not, and very often they may have picked up some bad practices, especially is they have taught themselves or have had inexperienced programmers teach them.