What is Coding?
Coding is the ability to instruct the computer to work as you please by translating lines of text into actions. In order to communicate with the computer, you must learn to use a language that the computer can understand. Just as how English or Mandarin can be languages that we use daily to communicate with our teachers, friends and family, the language that the computer uses is coding. There are many different coding languages, (Eg. C++, Java, Python, Perl, PhP) and each language has its niche in different industries. For example, Objective C is used to develop iOS apps, and a similar app on the android phone is programmed using Java. C# is used to build Windows applications while PHP is used in many web applications. You can take a look at this infographic which explains the use of different languages in a fun way. However, the fundamentals are all the same. What is most important is the ability to break down the problem in to smaller pieces (Decomposition), think logically and give step-by-step instructions (Algorithmic thinking) to the computer, regardless of which coding language is used.
Why should my child learn Coding?
Coding teaches one to think logically and can also help develop creativity. By planning out the actions step-by-step, one needs to think through the process and make it most efficient to achieve the final results. Most importantly, almost all technology that we interact with today are a result of coding. Love your iphone? The iOs operating system, the Apps and games that you love (Eg. Angry Birds, Flappy Bird) are all a result of coding. Your commands in code will apply to the different game components, such as the actions your characters will take with the different keys pressed, as well as the graphics and animation that are involved in making the characters look nice.
How will this help my kid in school?
Logical thinking will benefit your child in all subjects at school, as they will learn how to structure their answers and think through the problems in an organized way. Your child may find that what they have learnt at coding class can be easily applied to Science and Math. Coding and mathematics are very closely linked, and children who have difficulties understanding or who are advanced and simply want to learn more will find that coding is very useful in understanding key mathematical concepts. Using code to create their own apps enable concepts such as fractions, time, algebra and angles to come to life for your child and hones their mathematical capabilities. This will help them to develop a solid mathematical background which not only helps them at school, but also in coding.
I want to minimize screen time for my child. Does this program encourage more screen time?
Today, many of our children are exposed to digital technology at a very young age. This will become a key part of their lives later on. We have to differentiate between good screen time and bad screen time. Bad screen time happens when your child mindlessly play games or watch videos with no educational value. Whereas good screen time educates your child by stimulating their brains. Coding requires your child to think – they first have to creatively think of an idea, break down the idea into smaller blocks and finally apply logical thinking to develop clear instruction steps to control the computer.
My child’s school already covers coding. Do I still need to sign up for this programme?
It is good that the school is introducing your child to coding, where they will learn the fundamentals. Based on our experience, most of our past participants have commented that this programme enabled them to have superior understanding of the fundamentals, and that our small class size of 8 made it easier for them to learn faster and ask questions easily. Our experienced instructors provide your child with personalized attention. Our series of coding classes for kids are also developed to progressively move the kids to an advanced level of understanding that goes significantly beyond the curriculum taught in public schools.
How old must my child be in order to learn coding?
Fostering Logical Thinking is a lifelong skill, and we believe that every child can benefit from it. Our preschool programme introduces children to computational thinking and concepts such as “Loops” and “If and “Then” from the age of 4. More advanced mathematical concepts and coding principles (Eg. Game and App Development) are taught in our programmes for ages 7 and up, and the older students (Ages 10 and up) will eventually move on to learning about concepts such as Data Analysis, IoT, Big Data.
Why is your Upper Primary (10-12) Beginners camp for 17.5 Hours? Does it need to be this long to learn basic coding?
The key takeaway from our Beginner Camp is a solid foundation on which to base your child’s future Coding skills on. Therefore, at our camp, we ensure that these 17.5 hours of instruction will provide your new learner a strong understanding of the fundamentals, and most importantly, to create something of their own. They will be challenged not only to absorb the principles of Coding, but to plan out and apply their understanding of code into their very own showcase at the end of the workshop. Look at our students’ amazing collection of original games and animations here.
Why is there a placement test for your intermediate course?
We want to ensure that every student who come to our classes benefits and learns. To do that, we first need to make sure the children are enrolled in the course which will provide them with the right level of challenge. The Intermediate course builds on the knowledge of our Beginners course and thus critical that students have the right foundation when they join this class. Our Beginners course provides almost 20 hours of instruction, by the end of which students are able to create simple games. You may see the showcase of our students’ works in our testimonials. If your child has not studied the Beginners course with us, we will need to assess your child’s foundation as the curriculum offered by other coding schools may be different.
We offer bridging courses for children who may need to build on their foundation before attending our intermediate classes.
I want to sign up but am unable to confirm on the timeslot as the school holiday schedule is not out. What should I do?
Being fellow parents, we understand the challenges that you face in planning your child’s holiday schedule. We will try our best to accommodate requests to change time slots, subject to availability. Just go ahead to sign up to secure a place with your tentative time slot and drop us an email/call. We will inform you the moment any of our time slot is low on vacancy to allow you to switch if needed.
I want my 10-year-old to learn Python. Does he/she still have to go through your Beginner Scratch Programme?
We would highly recommend that your child start on their Coding journey with Scratch, as it is a program which was designed specifically with the objective of teaching young children programming (for ages 7-12). Used by Harvard for their Introduction to Computer Science course, this program remains the best for people of all ages to pick up the fundamentals of Coding.
The skills which they have learnt in Scratch will be easily transferable to other block-based programming languages such as App Inventor and even real-world languages such as Python, and our kids find that they pick up the more complex coding languages very quickly because they have already understood critical programming concepts with Scratch.
Lastly, as parents ourselves, do you remember how we inculcated the love of reading to our young ones via picture books first, followed by the alphabet, phonics, punctuation and grammar only at a later stage? The same applies to Coding! Let your child start with Scratch (Picture books), and move on to punctuation and grammar (Python). At the end of the day, our objective is to inspire our young to pick up Coding; whether as a Rocket Scientist or a lifelong hobby, we hope that they will continue to practice Coding on their own at home.