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Online Coding/GCSE Computer Science (Year 7-11)

from £330Per Term

Description

Spark4Kids are offering online computer coding courses for Year 7-9 students as well as Year 10 and 11 GCSE Computer Science students.

The courses provide a structured pathway that teaches algorithms, flow-charting, pseudocode and computer coding starting in Year 7 and progressing through to Year 11.

For Year 7-9, the focus is on core computer science coding concepts as well as beginner/intermediate problem-solving. For Years 10-11, the focus turns to coding for GCSE Computer Science with further exploration of algorithms, longer worked examples, past-exam paper reviews and support for practical coding projects.

The primary coding language will be Python, though when appropriate, the courses will also use Blockly-based languages to illustrate deeper computer science concepts without the distraction of Python syntax.

Note that these courses:

  • are only available online (via virtual classroom platform)
  • have a minimum level requirement of Year 7 (exceptional circumstances are always considered)

 

Course Dates

The dates for the courses are based around United Kingdom school dates within an academic year:

  • For Year 7-10, the academic year is based on three terms – Autumn Term, Spring Term and Summer Term.
  • For Year 11’s, the academic year is based on two semesters – the Autumn Semester and the Spring Semester, with the end of the Spring Semester coinciding with the GCSE Computer Science exams held in May.

In all cases, the online courses break for holidays around the same time as schools (including half-terms as well as Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays etc.).

 

Attendance and Session Structure

Using our online virtual classroom platform, students on the courses attend computer coding sessions led by experienced, DBS-checked Spark4Kids tutors with 8-10 attendees per class. The coding sessions run once per week on the day and at the time for the selected Year group.

If an attendee has to miss a session, the following options are available:

  1. All online sessions are recorded, so attendees can review the course content in order to complete the exercises and any associated homework.
  2. Subject to availability, the attendee may also be able to attend the same session but with a different class during the week they missed their session (get in touch with us if you would like us to check availability of this option).

 

Online Classroom Features

The online classroom incorporates the following features:

  • Live classroom environment with instructing tutor(s)
  • Integrated coding environment with private virtual machines
  • Classroom Q & A/interactions, moderated by attending tutor(s)
  • All sessions recorded and available for attendee review and also for revision purposes
  • Assignment and homework management

 

Course Progression

The following topics are covered in their respective years. Do get in touch with us if you have questions about your child’s suitability for joining the courses and we can discuss various options for registering on the programme.

Listed below is a sampling of the high-level coding topics that will be covered in the online courses:

 

Year 7 Course Topics Include:

  • Blockly/Scratch & Python
  • Turtle Graphics
  • Basic HTML
  • Flowcharting

 

Year 8 Course Topics Include:

  • Python Programming
  • Problem-solving (Abstraction and Decomposition)
  • Data Types and Conversions (Strings, Numbers)
  • Iteration (Looping), Using Counters

 

Year 9 Course Topics Include:

  • Python Programming
  • Advanced Iteration (FOR/WHILE Loops), Checking Ranges
  • Sorting and searching algorithms
  • Extended Coding Challenges

 

For the Spring 2019 and Summer 2019 Terms, the weekly tuition sessions for Year 10’s and Year 11’s will be a mix of tuition sessions and group computer coding surgeries, where various coding topics will be covered according to the needs of the attendees.

Listed next are some of the high-level coding topics to be covered for Year 10 and Year 11 attendees:

 

Year 10 Course Topics Include:

  • Advanced Python Programming
  • Problem-solving (Abstraction and Decomposition)
  • Coding Challenges
  • Practical Coding Projects

 

Year 11 Course Topics Include:

Note that Year 11 sessions are 1½ hours long.

  • Advanced Python Programming
  • General support with Coding and Algorithms
  • Practical Coding Projects
  • Past exam-paper Reviews

 

Discounts

We offer sibling discounts for families with more than one child enrolled on these series of courses. The discount is 10% off additional children’s fees, which is automatically applied during the booking process.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I find more information about these courses? Spark4Kids periodically runs online webinars where we cover details of these online courses and answer questions from parents. You can find out more about Spark4Kids’ webinars here.

 

  • Do we need special software or equipment to attend these online classes? No – a PC or Mac with a browser and a fast internet connection are the minimum equipment needed to participate. Having said that, attendees will experience a richer experience if they install a fuller-featured PC/Mac client software to experience the classroom (we provide the details of these). Given that these courses last up to a year, sometimes more, we recommend that attendees opt for the fuller-featured software option, in order to obtain the full benefit of the course.

 

  • When do the sessions run? The sessions run on weekdays, after school.

 

  • How many attendees are usually present in an online session? This can vary, depending on the class, however we aim to limit the number of pupils in a class to between 8-10 attendees. Note that most sessions have 2 tutors present for the duration of the online class.

 

  • Will attendees have to complete homework? Marked homework is given to attendees where appropriate. Otherwise, attendees are set open tasks that encourage discussion and practice of the relevant subject matter.

 

  • My child is new to computer programming – can they get extra tutor support? Yes, you have the option to book additional tuition and support if needed. This can take the form of recurring sessions (also online, via the virtual classroom) to bring an attendee up-to-speed so they can join an existing class, or additional support for topics that an attendee needs extra help with. You can schedule 1-to-1 tuition sessions with a Spark4Kids tutor here.

 

  • I have done Scratch/Blockly/Python before – am I really going to learn anything new? Scratch/Blockly and Python are great software development environments/languages to learn computer coding with, and most children would have had some exposure to one or more of these. Having said that, these courses go into specific detail on computer coding/GCSE topics. In many cases, we are able to adjust courses to ensure that attendees get the full benefit of a structured KS3/GCSE coding course, whilst remaining challenged.

 

  • Can attendees register for the GCSE Computer Science exams as part of these courses? No, Spark4Kids is not a registered examination centre – attendees who are registered to take their GCSE Computer Science exams through their school, simply attend Spark4Kids’ courses for extra support as you would with a private tutor. For home-schooled attendees, or for students where GCSE Computer Science is not offered as an exam option at their school, you will have to privately register at an exam centre in order for the attendee to sit GCSE Computer Science exam (we can provide exam centre details upon request).

 

  • I am a teacher, and would like to find out more about professional training/CPD opportunities on computer coding – where do I go? Please get in touch with us (either by email or phone, see website footer), and we’ll be able to go over your options. We also offer 1-to-1 sessions for Teachers, if you have a specific coding problem that you may want us to help you review. More information is available here.

 

Interested in this course? Book online now!

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£330.00£570.00

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