SINGAPORE, 8 December 2017
– Skool4Kidz is the first preschool in Singapore to host the global Hour of Code movement, introducing 250 preschool students and their family members to the field of computer science, and demonstrating that participants of almost any age can learn coding and develop skills in computational thinking and active problem solving.
Held across 13 Skool4Kidz preschool centres, the event is supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), as an activity to help children become not only familiar with tech, but to actively participate in using technology to explore, experiment, analyse and problem solve. In embracing a digital future, key skills such as these will build the foundations of a digitally participative society where people will be able to innovate and creatively build solutions to address problems, contributing socially.
Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, officiated the Hour of Code Finale at the Skool4Kidz Campus @ Yishun at 61 Yishun Avenue 11. As part of the Hour’s activities, Mr Lee interacted with the preschool children who carried out problem solving by using programmable tech toys to address challenges given to them by their teachers.
Already incorporated into the curriculum, these tech toys are a part of the school’s Playmaker activities and originate from Skool4Kidz’s STEAM (for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) pedagogy. These are designed specially to help both young and young-at-heart ones learn simple coding and to inspire them in various subjects, such as Mathematics, Physics, History and English through well-loved preschool stories. Fun-filled coding activities scheduled in a month-long integrated Early Learning Curriculum are specially designed into Skool4Kidz lesson plans and home-based learning experiences involving daddies and mommies.
A keen supporter participant in the IMDA PlayMaker Programme, Skool4Kidz has included basic coding in their lesson plans to enhance the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) approach in its early learning curriculum to aid preschoolers’ learning. It involved introducing unplugged and plugged activities across all its existing 13 centres allowing children to learn simple “programming” using technology toys. Encouraged by the overwhelming positive feedback from their centres taking part in the IMDA PlayMaker programme, Skool4Kidz is inspired to engage more children to make and tinker with technology to ignite their creativity. This is in line with their long-term goals to integrate technology aids into their core curriculum.
To further enhance its classroom delivery of Technology-driven curriculum, Skool4Kidz begun sending its teachers for a new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course with the support of IMDA.
According to Skool4Kidz Curriculum Founder and Director, Dr Jane Ching-Kwan, the Hour of Code synergises naturally with the preschool’s unique curriculum that emphasise inquiry-based learning, supported by the meaningful use of technology to gather information in a rich learning environment. “Coding is a very powerful way to put control into the hands of the children to create the things they want to,” said Dr Jane.
“Young children can be inspired to create with technology, experiment, fail and try again, imbuing them with the confidence to be creative. Technology is a tool to help children develop these valuable skills, when used to facilitate learning in an age- and developmentally- appropriate manner with good pedagogy. This initiative demonstrates how technology can be effectively integrated into the preschool curriculum,” said Ms Koh Li-Na, Senior Director, Digital Readiness Cluster, IMDA.
“Code.org is excited that Skool4Kidz children are participating in the Hour of Code. The IMDA’s efforts to start coding education early are commendable, and we look forward to increased participation from Singapore,” said Hadi Partovi, CEO and founder of Code.org.
Skool4Kidz Pte Ltd (Skool4Kidz) is a consortium established in 2013 by Kinderland Educare Service Pte Ltd and Dr Jane Ching-Kwan, an early childhood expert. It is an Anchor Operator appointed by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) to provide quality and affordable childcare services in Singapore’s heartland. It has been in the forefront of providing technology-aided learning focused on a comprehensive ‘learn-as-you-grow’ curriculum.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.
For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter@IMDAsg.
About Hour of Code
The Hour of Code (HOC) is a global movement that began in 2013 as a one-hour introduction to computer science to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort and has reached more than 100 million students in 180+ countries. Hour of Code is supported by the likes of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former US President Barack Obama and Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron. It has more than 300 major partners and corporate supporters, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
For further information, please contact:
Director Communications & Liaison, Skool4Kidz Pte Ltd
DID: (65) 63424835
Christopher KOH (Mr)
Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 6211 1709