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. In the robotics club topic children work in pairs. This team approach lets each child contribute with their own individual strengths… it’s also really good fun to have someone at another end of the room when there’s a robot that needs stopping!
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.