A Parent’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Coding School for Your Child 

How to find the right coding school for your child

In today’s technology-driven world, coding has become an essential skill. Singapore, with its vision of becoming a Smart Nation, recognises the importance of equipping the younger generation with coding knowledge. Interestingly, 80% of Singaporean children under 7 are already on the internet. While some parents may see this as a point of concern, many in Singapore view it as an opportunity to prepare their children for the future. With this, many parents actively seeking the best coding schools that can provide their children with a solid foundation in digital literacy and computational thinking.

This article serves as a guide, we 5 of the most important things parents should consider when selecting a good school for their children.

1. Your Child’s Needs and Interest

Before delving into the technicalities of curriculum, class size, or instructor qualifications, the primary step for parents is to assess their child’s interests and learning needs. A child’s enthusiasm for certain areas of technology—be it game development, robotics, or web design—should guide the selection process for a coding school. Likewise, parents should consider their child’s age, past coding experience or lack thereof, preferred learning style, or particular learning interests.  

Recognising this, parents should take advantage of coding school’s trial classes. These exploratory classes, while usually only lasting an hour, would allow children to explore various areas of technology by experimenting with different coding projects. Such classes can help both parents and children identify areas of keen interest.

This personalised approach ensures that the learning experience is not only educational but also enjoyable, keeping the child motivated and engaged.

2. The Curriculum

Source: Medium

When choosing a coding school, the relevance of the curriculum to current and future technology trends, along with a clear progression path, is crucial for sustained learning and interest. Basically, a well-structured curriculum that evolves with technological advancements ensures that children are not only learning the basics but are also prepared for the complexities of tomorrow’s tech landscape.

In fact, the World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs Report 2020” emphasises the growing demand for skills in areas like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cloud computing. A curriculum that introduces these concepts at a higher level, post mastering foundational coding skills, can significantly benefit children by keeping them abreast of industry trends.

As such, parents should look for a curriculum that has a clear learning progression, starting with the basics and progressing to more advanced topics. For example, a program may start by teaching Scratch, a basic programming language, and then progress to a more complex language like Python. This can eventually lead to learning data science and AI. This progression mirrors the skills demanded by Singapore’s tech-driven economy and ensures that students remain engaged and challenged.

3. Hands-On Learning and Real-World Application

Hands-on learning and the application of coding skills in real-world scenarios are fundamental components of an effective coding education. This approach not only reinforces theoretical knowledge but also cultivates problem-solving skills, creativity, and the ability to work collaboratively on complex projects.

Interestingly, project-based learning, a key element of hands-on learning, has been shown to improve student attitudes towards learning and increase their engagement and retention of material. Fortunately, many schools employ this method to ensure their students gain a deeper understanding of the content they are learning.

In addition, schools also encourage their students to join competitions such as the FIRST LEGO League (FLL), Young Innovators Challenge, and Code XtremeApps (CXA) to test their students’ coding skills in a competitive environment, thus, allowing them to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.

Furthermore, programs like the Smart Nation Initiative encourage students to use their coding skills to contribute to national projects. This not only gives students a sense of purpose in their learning but also illustrates the direct impact their skills can have on society.

4. Qualified Instructors and Optimal Class Size  

The role of qualified instructors in the coding education of children cannot be overstated. Instructors with the right blend of technical expertise and teaching skills are crucial in making the learning experience effective and enjoyable. Studies have shown that students who are taught by highly qualified teachers are more likely to exhibit higher levels of achievement in subjects including mathematics and science, which are foundational to coding.

Hand-in-hand with qualified instructors is the importance of maintaining optimal class sizes that allow for individualized attention. Research indicates that smaller class sizes contribute to improved student performance, particularly in the early grades.

5. Flexibility and Accessibility

Flexibility and accessibility are crucial elements in the context of coding education, ensuring that all children, regardless of their background or circumstances, have the opportunity to learn and excel in this vital skill. As such, parents should look into coding schools that prioritise flexibility and accessibility, thus ensuring that students always have access to courses, materials, and platforms. Additionally, these materials should also be inclusive, and able to cater to children’s diverse needs and abilities.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the right coding school for your child in Singapore involves careful consideration of their interests, the curriculum’s relevance, hands-on learning opportunities, instructor qualifications, class sizes, and the school’s flexibility and accessibility. By prioritizing these factors, parents can provide their children with a robust foundation in digital literacy and computational thinking, preparing them for a future in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Denisse

Denisse loves reading and writing about culture, history, and politics. Outside writing articles for The Singaporean, Denisse enjoys musicals, gaming, and Harry Potter.

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