Coding logic is fundamental to every coding language, and are relevant regardless of coding language. This helps us to make sure that what we are teaching our students remains relevant for them in the future. We cannot predict which coding language will gain widespread acceptance when our students grow up, but we can make sure they have the foundations to learn quickly.
Coding logic flexes the mind and develops cognitive and problem solving skills. Just like being able to write a convincing and moving essay, it is the content and ideas within that is crucial, not the nuances of syntax.
Taking the extra step to maximize cognitive development to help our students excel in academics
You may have read that learning to code has many benefits. We whole-heatedly agree. We see a unique opportunity to provide a environment for our students to learn critical cognitive skills which has far reaching implications for academics and problem solving abilities. Thus, we take an additional step to to develop our student's cognitive abilities in the follow areas:
Spatial Thinking - This is the reason of adopting the Lego Robotics platform in most of our courses. Being able to conceptualize a design and build it in Lego Technic parts trains spatial thinking. Within our Core Coding Logic Program, we take it further still using math-olympiad styled spatial puzzles.
Logical Reasoning - We do this through our how we create our class activities. We systematically include an element of variability or uncertainty. The result is that our activities can only be solved through application of logic and thinking critically to formulate algorithms that can adapt to changes.
Development of these abilities have been linked to better math and science abilities that are well documented in research literature.
Interactivity and learning through experience
Learning to code and the logic behind is no easy feat. Similar to languages or math concepts, they cannot be taught effectively with words on a page. They are best taught through repeated exposure on a regular basis, providing the mind time to internalize and develop an intuitive understanding of the concepts.
Having 10-12 students per class with 2 instructors (except for the Junior Coders Series which has a student:teacher ratio of 3:1) provides an optimal mix between guidance and diversity of thought. Students will have all the hands-on practice they desire whilst under the guidance of our instructors. You can expect a dynamic environment in which learning occurs through trial-and-error, all while having fun.
We emphasize real-world application and encourages exploration of ideas. Our weekly courses are designed to increase in complexity, challenge your child and build upon concepts that were previously covered.
What platform do you use to teach coding logic?
Our courses utilize one or more of the following platforms: Lego Mindstorms EV3, Python, Microsoft Visual Studio Code and Scratch. After an in-depth review of all the platforms available, we decided on what in our view are the absolute best platforms to each coding to kids. Platforms always come with strengths and limitations, thus choosing the most appropriate platform(s) to teach a specific concept is important.
We explain why we picked these platforms below:
Lego Mindstorms EV3
This robotics platform offers numerous benefits over other competing platforms as it provides a unique combination of physical movement, ease of starting, graphical drag-and drop interface, and yet still allows for considerable complexity. We see the Lego Mindstorms EV3 as a means for children to visualize and interact with their codes in real-life. When children see their codes translating into physical movement, it creates excitement, curiosity, and the necessary stimulus for effective learning.
Most of our courses feature the this Lego robotics platform because of the spatial thinking development that it offers, that is lacking on in most other screen-based coding platforms.
This high-level language gives students a taste text-based coding, but without many of the complexities that come with other languages such as declarations. It also happens to be the language of choice for most corporations for data analytics. Coincidence? We think not. Corporations value Python for the same reason we do - its simplicity.
Microsoft Visual Studio Code
Microsoft created this development environment and made it free for everyone! We would like our students to be able to take what they have learnt in our classes and run with the concepts on their own. Using a open platform breaks down barriers and allows students to apply coding to their own lives.
Is this a robotics school?
No. We borrow the robotics platform (Lego Mindstorms EV3) to conduct our lessons as it provides real-world feedback for students, who tend to be tangible learners.
Our courses are specifically designed to teach the fundamentals of coding - Logic. This is distinct from syntax (Java/Python/C++) which refers to 'how we communicate with computers'. Coding Logic is fundamental to all coding languages, it does not become obsolete with time and will never be forgotten once understood.
We would use the analogy that learning syntax is similar to learning the grammar and sentence structures of English, Mandarin, Tamil or Malay. Staying within the analogy, coding logic is the content of the essay, it is 'what' is being communicated to the computer rather than 'how'. Merely knowing the grammar of a language is insufficient to write a moving and convincing essay - it is the ideas and thoughts that count.
What age should my child learn coding logic?
According to Piaget's theory of cognitive development, children aged 7-12 are at their Concrete Operational Stage of Development. During this stage children start thinking logically about concrete events. They first start using inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning later when they are closer to 12. This is the ideal time to expose them to the right stimulus in order to accelerate the cognitive development.
Inductive reasoning is the basis for sciences - it is the process of extracting generalizing conclusions from specific observations
Deductive reasoning is the basis for mathematics - it is the process of making conclusions based on previously known facts
Having a good grasp of logic is required not only for coding, but also in math and science.
Will there be assessments for my child?
Yes, there will be periodic assessments for our students which will vary in rigor and frequency depending on the course.
Junior Coders Series
There will be a practical assessment to determine if a student can start on the Core Coding Logic Program. The assessment will require a student to show an ability to build and code independently. On passing, the student will be awarded a Certificate of Graduation. There is no fixed number of sessions that a student will have to complete before taking the assessment and will be determined by the learning progress of a student.
Core Coding Logic Program
Students joining the Core Coding Logic Program will have to pass the Proficiency Assessmentbefore starting on the 6 levels. There is a Robotics Foundation to prepare students for the assessment. Students usually pass the Proficiency Assessment in 10-20 weeks and will be awarded with a Certificate of Proficiency. The rigor of the Proficiency Assessment ensures that students posses a well grounded foundation before embarking on the more cognitive demanding coding logic levels.
Once a student is in the Coding Logic Levels 1-6, regular practical assessment at the end of each level (20 sessions) to provide feedback on the student's learning progress. The assessments will require students to show competency in the coding concepts taught in the respective level. Certificate of Completion will be awarded on passing. This certificate will be personalized for each student, documenting the project undertaken - a proof of work. We think this will aid any other organization or entity to objectively assess what your child has learnt. Maximizing the value of the certificate within your child's portfolio.
Python Master Class
There will be a mid-term and final assessment for each Module within the Python Masterclass. These assessments are challenging, mirroring the question types that are found in university level computer science exams. The mid-term assessment provides a progress report for a student, a Certificate of Proficiency will be awarded on passing the final assessment at the end of each module. Students must pass the final assessment before moving on to the next module. It is not uncommon for students to take extra classes before passing the assessment.
What is the minimum age to sign up?
Our coding courses are suitable for children aged 6 and above.
As the pace of digitization accelerates, having exposure to coding logic becomes essential. Coding is no longer a field of knowledge that belongs to a small minority. Coding logic enables your child to have a natural understanding of technologies within our everyday lives, and to utilize these technologies effectively.
In addition, the computational thinking aspect of coding logic would aid in understanding science and mathematical concepts. We seek to inspire intellectual curiosity. We do this through our hands-on application focused curriculum that provides context for concepts taught in school.
Are there Holiday Programs?
Yes! We have holiday schedules for all our courses. The content covered is identical to that of the weekly class with the only difference being the class schedule (the number of class hours would be the same). These holiday courses typically last 3-5 full days.