Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Our tutors are passionate about coding and are excited to share their knowledge with the next generation.
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.
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, programs, 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:
- sequencing (a computer will execute the commands from top to bottom unless specified otherwise and that one action or event will lead to another)
- branching / decisions (making decisions based on conditions)
- looping (repeating actions)
- collision detection (determining whether two objects are touching)
- 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)
- Cartesian coordinates (using coordinates to control the movement of objects in 4 directions)
- animation using a sequence of still graphics
Whether building enterprise software or computer games, all programming languages, e.g. Python or C++, require an understanding of these fundamentals.
- We build our own games, animation, interactive stories, multimedia projects and digital art. We build games similar to Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Pac-Man, Breakout, Tetris and Space Invaders and even add our own twists on them.
- 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…
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.
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 prerequisite.
Coding Kids offers separate groups for Years 2-4 and Years 4-6. Booking times will display targeted grades.
Introduction to Python, Introduction to HTML and CSS, and Project Spark are targeted to children in Years 5-7 (10-12 year olds).
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:
Our Scratch courses are built on five course levels:
- Introductory Level
- Junior Coder Level 1
- Junior Coder Level 2
- Intermediate Coder Level 1
- Intermediate Coder Level 2
- Advanced Coder Level 1
- Advanced Coder Level 2
Each course level focuses on achieving a set of competencies. Students discover the new competencies. They may take 1 or 2 terms to explore their new skills in various contexts and consolidate them in that course level. Afterwards they are able to proceed to the next level to discover, explore and consolidate new competencies.
- Python for Beginners Level 1
- Python for Beginners Level 2
- Intermediate Python
- 3D design with TinkerCad
Programming with hardware
- Programming with MaKey MaKey
- Programming with mBot
- Programming with Raspberry Pi
- Programming with Arduino
MIT App Inventor
- Programming with MIT App Inventor
- Build your own invention (using invention kits e.g. make your own MP3 player)
Send an email to [email protected] for more information on other courses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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