Singapore

Pre-schoolers learn about coding on tablet games

Computational thinking for pre-schoolers

In the classroom of a childcare centre, 15 pre-schoolers areusing their fingers to drag shapes on the right of a tablet screen to fit into a shape on the left.

This went on for about 20 minutes last Thursday, in the Kindergarten 2 class at Carpe Diem Juniors in Pico Creative Centre in Kallang.

The children spend an hour each week on this School of Fish curriculum, and are among a growing number of children learning computational thinking, or the thinking behind coding, as part of pre-school.

About 400 children from 25 pre-schools are using the curriculum, which was piloted last year. Education firm Jules Ventures developed School of Fish.

This comes amid efforts to introduce coding to the young.

The Government last month announced a $3 million plan that aims to distribute 100,000 gadgets to school-going children and adults over the next two years to teach basic coding.

In the School of Fish app, each child has a virtual buddy that guides them to goals through activities that teach computational thinking, which involves problem-solving by drawing on concepts linked to computer science.

Six-year-old Chloe Oh said: "Algorithmic thinking means to do things step by step.

"Decomposition means to break something into smaller parts."

The game the K2 class played teaches decomposition, as the shape on the right of the screen is formed by fitting smaller pieces together, and algorithmic thinking, as they sequentially try to fit in the largest piece first, followed by smaller pieces.

Jules founder Jonathan Chan said: "Learning computational thinking is a valuable and vital life skill that enables our pre-school children to be effective problem-solvers in the 21st Century digital economy."

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