What is Coding Kids?

Learning to build our first computer game and learning to code. 

Learning to build our first computer game and learning to code. 

Coding Kids helps children achieve digital literacy, that is technology production, through fun and play.

Coding Kids is a coding club for kids who want to create their own computer games, animations and digital art. Through their creations and with a focus on play, imagination and exploration children discover computer thinking, logic and design in a fun and engaging way. Coding Kids offers computer clubs at schools and community halls around Brisbane and South East Queensland.

We run computer clubs:

  • weekly after-school in primary school computer rooms
  • in school holidays
  • as in-school curriculum aligned classes

Children will be able to show you the games, animations, interactive stories and digital art that they create. Parents can even play the games their child creates.

If you would like to bring Coding Kids to your school, click on the button below.

David Iliffe interviews Coding Kids creator Emily de la Pena on 612 ABC Radio Brisbane. David and Emily discuss the importance of learning to code. Click on image to listen to the radio interview. 

David Iliffe interviews Coding Kids creator Emily de la Pena on 612 ABC Radio Brisbane. David and Emily discuss the importance of learning to code. Click on image to listen to the radio interview. 

Our children, including our girls, need the opportunity to learn computer science
— Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
Having fun during school holidays at the Python Code Camp.

Having fun during school holidays at the Python Code Camp.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I see the lesson plans for a beginner's Scratch course?

Please click here to our 8 lesson plans for learning to program in Scratch for beginners

This is a great starter pack for primary school teachers to introduce coding in your class rooms. 

 

Is coding kids in my child's school? 

If you want Coding Kids in your child's school, give us a call at 0449 162 667 or send us an email. We are currently serving the following schools (in alphabetical order):

Ashgrove State School

Bulimba State School

Camp Hill State School

Corinda State School

Hendra State School

Home School Groups (South Brisbane, Ipswich, Yatala)

Ipswich Junior Grammar School

Leichhardt State School

Middle Park State School

Norman Park State School

Oakleigh State School

Redeemer Lutheran College

Shorncliffe State School

St. Brendan's Moorooka

St. Catherine's Wishart

St. Joseph's Bardon

St. Joseph's Kangaroo Point

Sunnybank State School

The Gap State School

Yeronga State School

WHY ARE CLASSES BASED ON COMPUTER GAMES?

At Coding Kids we recognise the difference between playing games (technology consumption) and writing the software to build games (technology creation). We focus on technology creation because this is the foundation for building software, programmes, and apps whether they are enterprise software, data analysis or game design. The skills associated with game design transfers to all other software development in terms of problem solving, logic, algorithmic thinking, maths, user interface etc. 

Here is an example of what we do in class and the learning outcomes it brings. Click on this link to see our simple Pacman-style game that we built on Scratch. In building this game we learn these fundamental concepts to computer programming:

  1. sequencing (a computer will execute the commands from top to bottom unless specified otherwise and that one action or event will lead to another)
  2. branching / decisions (making decisions based on conditions)
  3. looping (repeating actions)
  4. collision detection (determining whether two objects are touching)
  5. variables - storing data (keeping score by storing this data in a variable called 'score' and increasing the value at specific events e.g. when Pacman eats a circle)
  6. Cartesian coordinates (using coordinates to control the movement of objects in 4 directions)
  7. animation using a sequence of still graphics

Whether building enterprise software or computer games, all programming languages, e.g. Python or C++, requires an understanding of these fundamentals. 

 

WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS CODING KIDS COURSE LEVELS?

Our courses are based on achievement of computer programming competencies. At each course level students learn to use a set of commands and approaches to problem solving. Here are the course levels for each subject:

Scratch

  1. Introductory Level
  2. Junior Coder Level 1
  3. Junior Coder Level 2
  4. Intermediate Coder
  5. Advanced Coder

Click on this link to get a detailed description of competencies achieved at each Scratch course level.

Python

  1. Python for Beginners Level 1
  2. Python for Beginners Level 2
  3. Intermediate Python

TinkerCad

  1. 3D design with TinkerCad

Programming with hardware

  1. Programming with MaKey MaKey
  2. Programming with mBot
  3. Programming with Raspberry Pi
  4. Programming with Arduino

MIT App Inventor

  1. Programming with MIT App Inventor

Invention Kits

  1. Build your own invention (using invention kits e.g. make your own MP3 player)

Send an email to curious@codingkids.com.au for more information on other courses. 

 

WHAT AGE IS CODING KIDS FOR?

Scratch for beginners and Intermediate Scratch are targeted to children in Years 2-6 (6 - 11 year olds).

Scratch for beginners is perfect for those who have zero or minimal coding experience. 

Intermediate Scratch requires children to already be able to complete the following in Scratch: move sprites using x-y co-ordinates, control sprites using arrow keys, animate sprites by changing costumes, change the background, add a new sprite, use a ‘When green flag clicked’ block when required, use the ‘repeat’ block to avoid repeating sequences of commands, use ‘if’ blocks to make decisions, use a ‘touching’ and 'if' block to check whether two sprites are touching.

Beginners Python is targeted to students in Years 5-9 (10-14 year olds). No previous coding experience is required. Scratch experience is not a pre-requisite. 

 

WHAT DO CHILDREN CREATE AT CODING KIDS?

At Coding Kids children build their own games, animation, interactive stories, multimedia projects and digital art. Children build games with inspiration from the classics such as Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Pac-Man, Breakout, Tetris and Space Invaders.

 

WHY CHOOSE CODING KIDS?

Exploration and Creativity - Focus is on play and exploration, not work. Children are engaged because coding unleashes imagination.

Create games you can play - Coding Kids has tangible results. Children can share their games and creations with friends and family. 

Enthusiastic tutors - Our tutors are passionate about coding and are excited to share their knowledge with the next generation. 

 

WHY LEARN COMPUTER PROGRAMMING?

Coding is essential in the 21st Century. Help your child be future-ready by learning computer programming, logic, graphic design, animation and problem solving in a fun and playful way. Digital literacy, that is technology creation not just technology consumption, is as vital as traditional literacy and numeracy.

 

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN CODING KIDS?

  • We build our own games, animation, interactive stories, multimedia projects and digital art. We build games such as Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Pac-Man, Breakout, Tetris and Space Invaders and even create our own twists to the classics.

  • We explore and discover logic: sequence of events, looping/repeat, decisions/if/else, calculations, x & y coordinates, random numbers, variables, inputs & outputs.

  • We learn to plan our projects, test and retest our code, collaborate with others and develop a clear approach to problem solving.
  • We use free online tools: Scratch, Code Academy, Code Combat.
  • We cover cyber safety.
  • We discover how coding is used in the real world: games, websites, animation, apps, driverless cars, internet of things ...

WHICH CLUB SHOULD MY CHILD BE A PART OF?

Coding Kids offers separate groups for Years 2-4 and Years 4-6. Booking times will display targeted grades. 

Introduction to PythonIntroduction to HTML and CSS, and Project Spark are targeted to children in Years 5-7 (10-12 year olds). 

 

WHICH COMPUTER SHOULD I BUY FOR MY CHILD?

Short answer:

Almost any laptop on the market is suitable for your child to use at Coding Kids. If it has a keyboard, screen, WiFi, and runs Windows, OSX, or a Linux flavour, it's more than sufficient for use.

Long answer:

There are a number of different hardware options that differentiate a cheap laptop from an expensive laptop. It’s up to you to decide what’s right for you.

  • Storage
    You have two main types of storage: older HDD (hard disk drive) and SSD (solid state drive). HDDs are slower, more prone to failure, but are much cheaper and store much more. SSDs are much faster, but have a higher price for less storage space. A SSD will make your computer boot (turn on) very quickly. It is also useful for anything that requires loading of files. A SSD is also a lot more power efficient.
    The best option is a SSD that your operating system boots from with secondary HDD storage for documents, photos, and videos.
  • Processor
    The processor generally dictates how fast your computer will be. It controls almost everything. A single core processor can only run one instruction at a time. The more cores a processor has, the more instructions can be processed at once. The processor’s speed (usually expressed in GHz) tell you how many instructions are processed per second. Generally, the higher the better.
    If you only plan to do light activities, such as web browsing and typing documents, a single core processor such as an Intel Atom, Pentium, or i3 is fine. If you plan to multi-task, do video or photo editing, or game, an Intel i5 (dual core) or i7 (quad core) is desirable. Comparable AMD processors are also good.
  • Graphics
    Everything you see on your computer is controlled by your graphics card. The graphics card controls each individual pixel on your screen and tells it what to do. Nearly all laptops have integrated graphics, which are graphics chips that are bundled with the processor. Some laptops also have discrete graphics, which are much more powerful chips. Desktops generally have discrete graphics cards.
    For everyday activities, the Intel HD 500 series is more than enough. If you plan on video or photo editing or gaming, you should consider a computer with discrete graphics. The NVIDIA 10 series (GTX 1050-GTX 1080) of chips/cards are excellent in this regard. The NVIDIA 9 series (GTX 950-GTX 980, laptop variants have M) are aging but will get the job done. AMD cards are also good.
  • Memory
    Memory is different from storage. Memory is everything that your computer is using at the time: open files, loaded applications, etc. As such, the more memory you have, the more things you can have open at once without impacting performance. In general, the supplied RAM with your computer should be sufficient. 4GB is a good amount.
  • Battery
    Your laptop requires power to function. When it’s not connected to the wall, it runs off its battery. Your battery life depends on two main things: how big your battery is and what your laptop is doing. Lighter laptops generally have smaller batteries. However, they have less powerful hardware, meaning they last longer.

 

    If you would like to bring Coding Kids to your school, click on the button below. 

    A lovely message from one of our students to their tutor. 

    A lovely message from one of our students to their tutor. 

    It is important that we move beyond only teaching students how to consume technology and instead focus on technology creation.
    — Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia
    Building our first computer games during school holidays at the Scratch Code Camp.

    Building our first computer games during school holidays at the Scratch Code Camp.

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