Bear with us – it’s Saturday 25th Feb and we are busy whizzing up the coms4kids website!
Exciting stuff. This site should be completely transformed by Monday.
Coms4kids is a dynamic and fun after school technology club based in Guildford, Surrey. Our computer clubs run in primary and junior schools around Guildford and are intended for children in years 5 and 6.
We are an innovative after school technology/computer club running clubs in schools in and around Guildford, Surrey. Instead of introducing children to freely available software which will have little relevance to their further educational or vocational needs, we teach REAL technology using the latest innovations.
Recent clubs completed before the summer break at Boxgrove and Sandfield Primary Schools, and Knaphill Junior School, with other schools in Surrey joining shortly. If your school needs a club teaching real technology, then please get in touch.
Clubs are designed so the children not only have fun with a computer, but also realise how it is used in the real world. Our image manipulation and web design club has led to several children setting up their own secure websites giving them a massive jump ahead of other children even before they enter secondary education. The new club in 3D design and printing not only provides children with the tools to continue in a field reported to be ‘the most important development in technology this decade’, but also allows them actually print their designs and be introduced to software used by production design teams across the World right now.
This video covers our Image and Website Design topic. Watch out for our new video covering 3D Design and Printing (coming soon)…
What we do:
We teach REAL core technology, and the kids really love it.
What we do not do:
We do not teach anything that just involves clicking buttons.
“We want kids to gain the advantage of learning critical technology skills, and we hope our coms4kids pioneers will grow to become the technology pioneers of the future.”
It’s all about the kids…
Children are great at multi-tasking. They sift through digital information at speed and adopt technology with ease. However the technology they use often doesn’t teach them how it works, or how they have the power to develop it themselves. Aged 9-11 (or earlier) is the perfect time to introduce them to the inner workings of their digital world through a fun, educational and rewarding school club.[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]
The key aim for coms4kids is to introduce students to the type of software and technology they may encounter in secondary education and in the world of employment. Each step of the way the club topics link back to the new schools’ computer curriculum, augmenting their core skills and fulfilling core educational objectives. For example:
Image and Web Design
- Learn a web design system used by over 80% of websites which have a content management system (CMS) and open their eyes to the power of the web and how to control it.
- Build their own website learning image and coding skills so they can take those forward into secondary education and on to professional careers.
- Most importantly, we also include an extensive module on Internet safety.
3D Design and Printing
- Use a simple 3D design software which is perfect to teach the fundamentals of this area of technology (considered to be the most rapidly growing area of technology with its vast array of applications).
- Actually send their work off to a commercial 3D print company using stereolithographic printing (a soup of resin!) and receive the results. Much like a professional team creating prototype product designs.
- Take those skills on to learn how to use a more advanced professional cloud based 3D design software used by the professionals (REAL technology).
Robotics, Programming and STEM
- Rolling out after Easter this year is our new and exciting Robotics Club. Unlike some existing clubs that only pick up on one aspect of robotics or STEM subjects, our robots can be used to an extensive range of extremely fun activities.
- The children use software they already know, but in a way that will make them think in completely different ways. We can’t give too much away at the moment, but enough to say it’s all REALLY exciting!
- Come back soon to find out more, or get in touch with us if you’d like coms4kids in your school.
If you aren’t just ‘another club’…
what’s your USP (Unique Selling Point)?
At coms4kids, children are taught technology in depth. They are taught how to master the tools used by professionals right now in industry. For example, one module of our Image and Web club teaches the children how a website page is structured and lets them change key parts. They learn how it all fits together (and how it fits into the internet structure), how to upload it, what happens when a search engine sees it (how does a search engine do that?), how they can protect it… how they can do it at home… Every topic is rich in content and serious FUN!
Every club aims to give the kids technology skills they can use as soon as they leave the club. The software and resources they need are out there, and are usually totally free. We give the kids a tool box of skills with everything they need, and clear direction on where to find other tools.
LINKS to core educational objectives:
Almost everything we do at coms4kids opens kids’ eyes to the possibilities surrounding STEM subjects (Science, Tech, Engineering, Maths). Imagine a kid who now understands algorithms and basic coding concepts learnt in school (as part of the schools’ computer curriculum), then imagine that kid applying those principles to change variables to make an object fly across their website.
AHEAD of the curve:
We not only want kids to surf that technology wave, but to land safely back on the beach and walk with confidence and pride. All primary aged kids have HUGE potential to learn real technology and gain skills they can take on to secondary education. We want to hear more of this in secondary schools: “!! … you know that already?”.
How does the club work?
At coms4kids we cover a lot of ground, but each session is structured to achieve specific objectives, and the club builds over time. Skills introduced earlier on are put into practice again in later modules. By the end the children are doing things will ease that might have seemed daunting first hand. Bite-sized chunks of information link together using a variety of teaching/interactive methods. There is beauty in purpose. We never teach in isolation, so we never hear the words “why are we doing this?”.
By way of example from the first club, one minute everyone is checking a concept on the interactive whiteboard, the next they are on the coms4kids mini website putting that instruction into action, or they are amending code on their own website and seeing immediate results. They learn the basics of X, Y and Z axis in 3D design and actually take ideas from two dimensions (on paper) into three dimensions in easy understandable steps. We don’t let anyone flounder. There are kids with amazing IT skills already and there are others that will save something on their computer, then not be able to find it again. We ensure the club has a ‘buddy’ atmosphere. We help everyone whatever their aptitude, and if we get a kid with amazing skills then we actively encourage them to help their friends too.
Some tasks need a group approach and some are individual challenges. If anyone misses a session, then we bring that club session to them at home through a secure link. As long as they have a good look round before the next club, then they’ll be flying by the time they get back. We want everyone to cross the finish line with the same box of tools.
Coms4kids now has two often over-subscribed club topics, with a third on the way and demand continues to grow. Word travels fast!
If you would like your child to become one of the coms4kids pioneers, then we would love to hear from you:
What about the younger kids and adults?
Coms4kids is a club targeting years 5 and 6 in primary education. However, we plan to cover younger and older technology pioneers in the future (including teachers and parents).
Our clubs allow kids to work with software used by professionals in the fields of technology right now. We can teach kids aged 9-11 (and above) some complex topics using bite-sized chunks of information. The idea is to incrementally build and reward their new skills. At this level some of the topics may be too challenging for younger kids. However, in the future we aim to design modules for years 3 and 4 which give a focused introduction to the concepts of technology, computing and programming. This will not only go hand in hand with other tools used as part of the computer curriculum for schools, but it will make them better prepared for a continually evolving spectrum of advanced technology clubs in the future, especially those designed by coms4kids.
Helping teachers with the computer curriculum for schools.
There are many online tools available to help cover the new schools computer curriculum, but the choice is vast. As part of a new initiative, coms4kids is aiming to generate a free repository of material next year which will be linked to the coms4kids clubs that can be used to design projects and augment lessons.