Today, we will get to know one of our most passionate and dedicated educators, Tan Yin Xuan!

With a love for working and teaching people, Yin Xuan’s foray into the tech industry to empower and educate her students definitely makes for an interesting story! Find out more about why she brings a unique perspective to her classroom!

Hi Yin Xuan, can you tell us more about yourself and your journey into teaching?

I am a graduate from NUS Sociology and I love to playing games or watch shows. I’m currently hooked onto the Animal Crossing video game and I also like to watch K- Dramas. I’m passionate about working with and teaching people, especially the kids! I participated in a community service project where we were mentors for low-income children back in 2019, and felt very inspired and had a great sense of fulfilment whenever my mentee manages to understand my guidance in her schoolwork. From there, I realized that I would love to teach children in the future!

Team Photo - Yin Xuan, Educator
Yin Xuan, our cheery and passionate educator!

Interesting! What made you decide to journey into teaching coding?

I was first exposed to coding at Coding Lab, through Scratch, the visual programming language. I was really amazed at the things we can do with a language meant for beginners and children, from simple things like controlling the actions of the sprite, to difficult challenges like making a game with different levels. From then, I learnt to program on other platforms like App Inventor, Thunkable and Python, and discovered the immense possibilities that you can achieve through coding!

It’s really remarkable that you decided to take up the challenge to learn coding. Why do you think it’s important to do so?

I think the logical way of thinking and problem solving behind coding (computational thinking!) is something that we can use in our daily lives! We often encounter problems in our lives that seem extremely difficult to solve, but coding skills help us to solve them. Back in school, I took a module on computational thinking where we had to make use of computational thinking to solve a real-life problem. Only then did I realise the importance of such skills.

What was your experience like picking up coding?

I was quite excited to be learning something new as I knew that coding is something that is very useful. Initially, I was a little apprehensive but I decided to give it a shot since I had the opportunity (along with great resources) to teach and continue to learn about coding!

With a background in Sociology, do you have a unique perspective that you bring to the classroom?

Sociology is a multifaceted discipline that trains us to think critically about social issues and relations. This has allowed me to view teaching and learning as a dual-way relationship, where teachers are not just simply instructing the students, but that the students also play a role.

“I believe that forming good relationships with them will help them to do well in their coding journey!”

That’s amazing! How has your journey been in Coding Lab as an educator been like?

Yin Xuan doing what she does best, teaching with utmost care and attention!

I have been with Coding Lab since 2020 during the circuit breaker, so my first few months of teaching were all online. Initially, it was definitely challenging having to get used to the Zoom functions, and having to make sure that the students can focus while being at home is definitely an issue. That being said, comparing that to physical classes, teaching online has its perks as well, as some of the students, especially the older ones, who may be shyer in physical classes, are more willing to interact online!

That’s really wonderful to hear! What motivates you to keep teaching?

Everyone working here is really friendly and I’ve met many lovely students and parents over the years! The challenge of learning new things is also something I’ve enjoyed. I love seeing the smiles on the students’ faces whenever they manage to apply what they have learned, such as the Scratch students making their own project that they’re proud of, or having the Python students run their hundred lines of code successfully.

Do you have any stories you would like to share from your classroom?

I had a Scratch 1 student who “complained” from the start that coding was so hard as there were many blocks and sprites to code, but at the end of the day, when she successfully made her “I Can Touch and Count!” project (which was split into two lessons), she was so excited to show everyone her project! When I asked her if she could make something like that again, she happily told me “YES, it was fun” and was eventually able to make something that she was proud of in her Hackathon as well.

“Be friendly with them and joke around with them (but at the same time, establish some rules so that they won’t be out of control)!”

Photo of Yin Xuan with smiling student (Yin Xuan's educator feature)
Educator Yin Xuan putting smiles on her student’s faces

Last but not least, is there any advice you would like to pass on to other aspiring educators?

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! I did not expect myself to be teaching years ago, much less teaching coding, something that seemed extremely foreign just a couple of years ago!

Thank you for sharing your journey with us Yin Xuan. We look forward to seeing you inspire and nurture the future generation into becoming future leaders!


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Giving their child the best of everything is what every parent wants. Starting off on a good note in their learning journey is extremely crucial for our young ones, especially for coding. The earlier you get a head start, the easier it is to grasp and understand the concepts! 

With an award-winning curriculum inspired by MIT, our Junior Coders Programme (JCP) is specially designed for little ones aged 5 to 6 to be introduced to the wonderful world of coding! They will learn computational thinking skills, which are applicable to both coding and other areas like Mathematics!

We’ve got four exciting themes in the curriculum:

  1. Scratch Junior
  2. Tinker with STEM
  3. Hands-On Robotics, and
  4. Montessori

You can opt to attend our regular Weekly classes (5 x 2 hours) which go in-depth into each theme, or dip your child’s toes into various themes with our Holiday Camps (5 x 2 hours). You can also sign your child up for our themed workshops, which only takes 2 hours in order to accommodate the children’s short attention span! 

1) Scratch Junior

Our young coders get introduced to their first-ever visual programming language, Scratch Junior. With inspiration from classic stories such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Five Little Monkeys, and more, kids get to code scenes and understand how to use coding blocks and sequence them correctly to form a story or a mini-game. They will have fun while learning important computational thinking skills to prep them for an increasingly digital world. What an awesome start to their programming journey!

See how our young coders like the one of the right become really focused on making their own creations on Scratch Junior! 👉

A Peek into JCP - Scratch Junior

2) Tinker with Stem

A Peek into JCP - Tinker with Stem

Our tiny tots get to let their imagination run wild in our classes! They are given the opportunity to explore and learn to create light-up circuits with conductible materials, and afterwards, program them to work.

You may be wondering – what exactly does this have to do with coding? Our JCP focus not just on coding, but on equipping our students with computational thinking skills which are adaptable to different programming languages that they can learn in the future! Training their mindset to think logically will help them in the future – whether it be coding, or in other areas such as Science.

👈 Here’s one of our little tots proudly showing his light-up circuit!

3) Hands-on Robotics

Have you ever heard of Photon the Robot? In our Robotics-themed classes, our Junior Coders will get to go on interactive adventures with Photon as they program it to go on a treasure hunt for fruits, play sounds, blink in various colours and much, much more! Similar to Scratch Junior, they will learn to sequence blocks/instructions to achieve their desired outcome – an important problem-solving skill useful in various areas in life.

Our students here are absorbed in programming Photon, the educational robot, using the tablet. With sensors, lights and adorable sounds, Photon makes learning even more exciting! 👉

A Peek into JCP - Hands-on Robotics

4) Binary and Pixels – Montessori-style (Screen-free!)

What is the Montessori method?

Discovered by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907, the Montessori Method is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play [Source].

This allows children to make their own creative choices when learning, while the classroom and trained teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. With the Montessori Method, children will discover and explore knowledge as they work in groups or individually, and gain a deeper understanding of what they are learning!

A Peek into JCP - Montessori method
Our Junior Coders are playing with the Learning at home set by Learning Beautiful!

A Peek into JCP - Montessori
You can get your own Learning at home set by Learning Beautiful here for your child to use at home!

As your child learns through engaging activities, he/she would also get the opportunity to get hands-on with Montessori-inspired coding toys that have been designed at MIT and ethically produced in the USA!

Our Montessori-themed classes utilise the gorgeous wooden Learning at Home Set by Learning Beautiful. Suitable for ages 3 to 9, the set has hands-on materials such as the binary tree and pixel boards that enable children to learn the basics of computer science without screens. A sneak peek of the concepts taught include binary, conditionals, randomness and many more! By combining play and hands-on learning, your child will gain a good foundation in programming concepts while having endless hours of fun with the set! 

So why Coding Lab’s Junior Coders Programme?

“Before I came to teach at Coding Lab, I did not know that programming concepts could be taught to young children in such interesting and effective ways! During our JCP classes, I can see how much the children enjoy learning from their excited faces. There were plenty of hands-on activities in the lesson plans that were very suitable for young children.”

– Educator Wan Xuan

As a trusted partner of IMDA, Coding Lab has brought the unique JCP curriculum to many preschools. We’ve even helped more than 7,000 bright preschoolers start their coding journey through our Tiny Thinkers initiative! 

In addition to our thoughtfully planned and curated curriculum, our educators undergo extensive training so that our students will learn while having fun at the same time! 🤩

“We enjoyed our session very much. My child typically doesn’t sit still for too long, but he managed to follow the session, and the satisfaction and having created his own little program was unspeakable… pure joy written all over his face.”

– Meiling, Mother of Asher, one of our Junior Coders

As our Junior Coders are involved in engaging activities with Scratch Junior, STEM, Robotics, and Montessori-inspired toys, our passionate educators will be right by their side to ensure an enriching learning experience. We ensure a maximum student-to-teacher ratio of 1:6, so every child gets the attention that he or she deserves.

So what are you waiting for? Give your child the best head start – book your slot here today! 😉

* Tablets (Twin-sharing) are provided for Scratch Junior, but students are welcome to bring their own! All equipment is provided for Tinker with STEM, Robotics and Montessori. 😊

@codinglabasia Check out what our little rockstars do in our Junior Coders Programme! 🌟 #coding #singapore #sg #codinglab #juniorcoders #coders ♬ Pope Is a Rockstar – SALES

Take a sneak peek of the fun and learning awaiting our future Junior Coders 👆

Here’s how you can become a Junior Coder (ages 5 to 6)!

Read next: A Peek Into our Advanced Computer Scientists Course –Broad-Based Exposure to STEM Topics

(Written by Zulaikha and edited by Thinzar)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Rachel is our nurturing and patient educator. With her enduring passion for teaching and guiding young students along the path to coding literacy, our Educator Rachel is here to share about her teaching experience with Coding Lab.

Team Photo - Rachel, Educator
Teacher Rachel – as her students fondly call her – has been an Educator with Coding Lab since 2018!

Hello, Rachel! Could you share about yourself and how you embarked on your coding journey?

My background in coding originates from my Diploma in Electronics, Computer and Communications Engineering at Nanyang Polytechnic. Coding actually wasn’t my first choice, but having been given the chance to enter the course, I decided to make good use of the opportunity.

I picked up programming languages such as C++, C# and VHDL (Very High-Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language is a description language used to describe hardware). I then went on to complete my final year by featuring on the Director’s List!

Overall, my learning experience throughout the course highlighted the importance of coding as a future-oriented skill to me. It also inspired me to venture into hardware electronics and coding as a career.

“I’ve watched so many of my students learn and grow. It truly makes teaching a really rewarding career, and it’s heartening to know that I contributed to their learning journey in their lives!”

Photo of Rachel With Students And Certificates (Rachel Educator Feature)
A very special moment at our Parkway Parade campus: the end of a course is always a bittersweet moment, but it’s all worth it to see her students with their hard-earned certificates!

That’s amazing! What inspired you to teach?

Since my teenage years, I had always considered teaching and early childhood-based careers. I also used to participate in volunteering events for beneficiaries, such as food drives and spring cleaning, and found joy in helping and interacting with others. What I love the most is being around kids – their infectious energy makes me feel like a kid again myself!

When my older brother also suggested teaching as a career to me and I came across Coding Lab, I decided to give it my best shot. This was back in 2018, when I officially joined the team. I still remember when I first entered the Parkway Parade campus, I was pleasantly surprised by the ‘chill’ environment! The green beanbags really added to the comfortable learning atmosphere and made me feel right at home.

Fast forward to today, where I’ve watched so many of my students learn and grow. It truly makes teaching a really rewarding career, and it’s heartening to know that I contributed to their learning journey in their lives!

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Coding Lab?

The flexibility of my schedule is something that I really like. I also enjoy conducting Coding Lab’s curriculum! From teaching preschoolers to older coders and hands-on hardware, knowing that there will always be subsequent batches of students who can learn from it is endlessly exciting.

I do get attached to my students, so it does feel a little sad when they graduate from a course – especially my term students, who I see weekly for months. But it is truly bittersweet as I know that their learning experiences and knowledge will be with them for life!

“Our courses show children little glimpses of fields they might choose to pursue in the future, opening up potential career paths.”

Educator Feature Rachel Header (1800x1200px)
Teacher Rachel is always there to lend a warm guiding hand!

Why do you think it’s important for children to learn coding?

Coding hones logical thinking. It involves programming computers to make logical decisions – but as the programmers behind the coding, the children’s thought processes are strengthened too. There are applications beyond practical usage too – it can help in making rational life decisions, such as weighing the pros and cons about their future.

Coding is also beneficial to students regardless of their intended career pathways in the future. For instance, Scratch encourages creativity and inspires them to explore other things such as animation. App Inventor gives kids hands-on experience in creating games and software. Python trains students in statistical analysis. Our courses show children little glimpses of fields they might choose to pursue in the future, opening up potential career paths.

Are there any memorable moments you’ve had with your students?

Yes, I’ve definitely had many! Once, a student baked a box of homemade cookies as a show of thanks at the end of a course. Another student drew a card depicting me at my table with a laptop – she even included the detail of my ponytail!

Oh, and one more that comes to my mind – after physical classes first resumed (during the pandemic), a student and his mother gifted me a homemade unicorn mask after a 5-day camp. I keep these heartwarming moments close to my heart, and it’s also great fun to see each and every student’s different talents and abilities outside of classes!

You mentioned the break in physical classes – the pandemic has shifted some Coding Lab classes online. How has this transition been for you?

Photo of Rachel in Zoom Class (Rachel's Educator Feature)
Online classes with Teacher Rachel are always brimming with enthusiasm!

It was actually a smooth transition for me! I’m well-practised at using my computer for work, so there wasn’t much of an issue – I was already comfortable with online communication, webcams, chat monitoring and other features. Multitasking with two devices was a big learning point for me though! Overall, working from home has allowed me to comfortably save time on travelling.

But physical classes are good too! It’s good to be back at the learning centres. When students that have been attending classes online for months suddenly transition to physical classes, it almost feels as if we’re long-lost friends being reunited! Some students are more silent during online classes, but become really active and participative in physical mediums. It’s like seeing two sides to the same student!

Apart from being a Coding Lab Educator, how do you enjoy your free time?

I create art – drawing sketches, and doing arts & crafts. I’m currently in the process of completing a pixel canvas piece. I also like to collect K-pop albums – especially those by Red Velvet and NCT. As for gaming, I’ve assembled a custom-built desktop PC from selected parts.

I love to spend time doting on my pets, too – I used to have hamsters when I was young, and I’m thinking of adopting another. I also go crazy for Corgis and cute characters!

Lastly, do you have any advice for your fellow educators?

Keep Calm and Teach. The best learning and teaching is when you’re having fun with your students! Don’t be deterred if you don’t have much coding experience; you will be able to learn programming in your own time. Even if you are new to a certain curriculum, the Coding Lab team will always be there to support you – so, don’t be afraid to seek help if you have any questions.

Thank you so much for sharing your Coding Lab experience with us, Rachel! Your passion and dedication for education is an inspiration to us all. We look forward to hearing from the many more children you’ll continue to guide along the path towards coding literacy!

(Written by Cheryl Tang and Lixin Foo)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Have you ever wondered what goes on in our Advanced Computer Scientists (ACS) classes? Every lesson is an exciting adventure with our passionate educators that will take our students to the next level of programming – all while having fun exploring – and experiencing a wide range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related topics!

“My son comes home with a new skill everyday and tries it out on his favourite game. Fun way of learning!”

– Parent of Yuze, 11, Pei Chun Public School

What is the Advanced Computer Scientists programme about?

Image of boy playing with microbit (A Peek into ACS)
Our Advanced Computer Scientist tinkering and experimenting with his Micro:bit.

Coding Lab’s ACS programme (for ages 10 to 12) offers 13 exciting research areas specially curated by our curriculum team.

Our students will cover a good mix of classes that we have categorised into 3 main groups: Hardware-Based Learning, Syntax-Based Learning and Complex App Development (Android and iOS). It doesn’t matter whether your child is in the Infocomm club, they will get the full hands-on experience of exploring and honing the breadth of their coding abilities.

This exposes them to a diverse range of coding applications and possibilities of the trending technology topics of today. Best of all, our curriculum combines PSLE Mathematics – for maximum educational fun – as they watch the magic of Math and Coding come alive.

“The class was fun and enjoyable. I really loved learning in the class as the teachers were kind and helpful. They taught me many things I did not know and I am happy that I got my certificate.

I am grateful to my teachers for providing and guiding me through this fun and nourishing experience. Coding Lab is a fun place to go and I would recommend it to my friends. Thank you fellow friends and teachers for helping me through coding. 😁”

– Cheng Hao, 10

Tutor Edmund and his students excitedly posing with their Minecraft props in the debut of the P21S-MiCr ACS Advanced Computer Scientists Minecraft: Code Your World course
Our Tutor and Advanced Computer Scientists all geared up to take their coding to the next level in our latest Minecraft: Code Your World (P21S-MiCr) course.

Be it having advanced Micro:bit training in our Hardware-Based Learning classes, creating a quiz gameshow in our Syntax-Based Learning classes or perhaps developing an iOS mobile app in our Complex App Development classes, the endless fun will leave students smiling from ear to ear! 

Fun Fact! The latest research area added to our ACS programme is the Minecraft: Code Your World course, which made its debut in June 2022.

What do students learn in class?

Students dive deeper into advanced code as they advance in their knowledge, with hints and loving guidance from our educators. They will build on the knowledge learnt in their earlier P200 classes in drag-and-drop MIT App Inventor and text-based Python Junior – that’s why these are prerequisites for our ACS programme.

In each lesson, our dedicated tutors begin by introducing the topic and giving the lesson’s tasks to students. Students write down their thoughts in the colourful workbooks that accompany their learning, and get hands-on with coding. They will watch the codes come alive on their laptop or phone screens, and even tinker with robotics such as the Micro:bit. Our tutors are there at every step of the way to provide hints, answer questions and guide students to the solutions.

With the small class sizes and fun learning experiences, students are constantly stimulated and engaged. We’ve also aligned our curriculum closely to what students learn in MOE schools. For example, our Python Turtle course introduces shapes and concepts such as Pythogoras’ Theorem.

Including concepts that are learnt in school is key in ensuring that our students get excited about learning. It also provides them with new perspectives about what they learn in school – some of them even get a headstart when they are first introduced to concepts in their coding classes!

A Peek Into P21S ACS Advanced Computer Scientists
We’ve got gorgeous and colourful book covers to complement our students’ learning journey!

Did you know?
Research areas proceed based on a pre-selected schedule carefully curated by Coding Lab tutors, which exposes your child to all 3 main groups.

Gotta catch ’em all! Each research area has a corresponding badge that students can collect and advance their coding skills.

Read: Did you know? Fun Facts about our Advanced Computer Scientists

“ACS allows me to dive deeper into my interest in coding. They have a wide range of topics for me to explore. I learnt how to code on various types of programs like when we used Python Turtle for Game Development or when we created apps with Thunkable, where I learnt functions to command the program and do a list of commands.

My tutors let us explore and try to program it it on our own first. If I have difficulties, my tutors are always there to help me. They explain why the program functions as it should in detail and they go through the codes step-by-step in class. I enjoy the ACS lessons very much!”

– Jo Xi, 12, Northland Primary School

Here’s the lowdown on our Advanced Computer Scientists programme:

P21S ACS Advanced Microbit Kit
An overview of our carefully curated Advanced Micro:bit Kit for the best hands-on learning experience.

  • There are 3 main groups of classes: Hardware-Based Learning, Syntax-Based Learning and Complex App Development (Android and iOS) – you can find the full list of 13 research areas here.
  • One ACS research area typically takes 10 hours to complete for 5 classes.
  • In order to progress to the next level, students are required to complete all research areas.

As the name of our programme goes, we hope that our students become Advanced Computer Scientists as they embark on this journey and get broad-based exposure to the various STEM topics – and even if they decide to pursue something else other than computer science – we know that the ACS learning experience is one that they will remember for life!

Python Health Game by Leonard Yong, 12 years old, in P21S-PyH3 Advanced Computer Scientists Health Advisor
See the real-world applicability of Python with this Health Game coded by our student!

Healthy 365 Junior with BMI Calculator by Thabitha, 12 years old, in P21S-AiH3 Advanced Computer Scientists Healthy 365 Junior
Level up and code even more functions into your app!

Pichu Defense, in Advanced Computer Scientists P21S PyGD
Explore game development with Python and find out the endless possibilities of coding!

11-year-old Ankit shares his Take A Break app that he coded with Python, which utilises Math, loops and more that he learnt in ACS.

Keian, 11 years old, presents his ACS Python Turtle project about drawing fun shapes and patterns with various pen sizes and colours.

10-year-old Jacob shows his innovative use of Python to create a Periodic Table Explorer, which uses various Quiz elements taught in ACS.

Here’s how you can become an Advanced Computer Scientist (ages 10 to 12)!

Read next: A Peek Into our Young Computer Scientists Course – Lifelong Learning and Applying It

(Written by Cheryl Tang and Zulaikha)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Meet Ryan, our upbeat and passionate educator, who brings a wealth of experience to his classes from his time teaching overseas to his impressive work at the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and Ministry of Defence (MINDEF). With a knack for breaking down complex coding concepts, he aspires to inculcate an exploratory and forward-thinking attitude in our students so that each child will be prepared for the digital world ahead!

Team Photo - Ryan, Educator
Ryan was a Senior Engineer at DSTA for 5 years and was also involved with system used by leading data scientists for MINDEF.

Hi Ryan, can you share with us how you first got interested in coding?

I have always believed that technology will be key for the future economy and decided to take a plunge into it when I first applied to Nanyang Technological University to do Computer Science. I had many chances to be exposed to different types of programming languages, so I learnt that there were many different applications of coding.

Now that I’m teaching coding, it requires me to keep learning to keep up with the changes in technology. I love the way technology is able to make life easier and more seamless!

How did you discover your passion for teaching?

When I volunteered at church as a Sunday School teacher for Primary 1 to Primary 6 students, I received a lot of great feedback. I generally enjoy communicating with people and teaching, so I decided to serve the kids overseas as well and gradually started to consider teaching.

Together with my degree in computer science, it was a good job fit when I came across Coding Lab. I love the subjects that I teach and now that I’m given the platform to share about them, it’s only natural for me to do so passionately!

“It gives me great joy to make things simple and easy to understand, so I have lots of analogies, examples and illustrations that interest and help students to grasp the coding concepts.”

Photo of Educator Ryan at our Parkway Parade campus with two students in a Scratch class
Educator Ryan is enthusiastic in educating his students!

Why do you think that learning to code from young is important?

Learning to code gives the child space to explore many different aspects of technology, such as creating simple games, solving puzzles, to coding more advanced programs. Most importantly for all programmers, it’s fun and doesn’t feel like work!

Can you share about your previous experiences at DSTA and MINDEF?

Oh, it’s highly classified information at my previous full-time jobs! I can share that I was involved in doing documentation and training staff to pick up skills for the job, so the familiarity of it all helps now that I’m teaching children to code.

What do you do apart from being a Coding Lab Educator?

On Saturdays (and some school holidays), you can find me teaching at Coding Lab. On weekdays, I’m a student (of the Bible)! Other than that, I have a love for the art of making coffee and pizza. From intricate coffee tools to having my stone oven shipped over from Italy during the pandemic, I would say I’m pretty serious about it.

Photo of Educator Ryan and his 3 students at Parkway Parade campus, with the male student playing the violin and two female twin siblings watching him
A glimpse of Educator Ryan’s most memorable class.

What is the most memorable class or student you’ve had?

There was this particular Young Computer Scientists class that had a pair of twins and this other kid (whose names I shall not disclose). The twins requested him to bring his violin to class and they started a mini-concert playing and singing along to their favourite song “Faded” by Alan Walker. What a start to the coding class!

Even during the Heightened Alert when classes were fully online again, they continued to virtually jam together with their violin, piano and singing over Zoom! And when it was time to code, they were serious and focused. It was truly unforgettable to see them enjoying their coding classes, getting together to have fun and learn at the same time.

If I stepped into one of your classes, what would I experience?

It gives me great joy to make things simple and easy to understand, so I have lots of analogies, examples and illustrations that interest and help students to grasp the coding concepts. I also love to interact and encourage students to speak up, especially the teens, so you can expect a lot of that – especially from me!

Do you have any final words of advice?

To all the students who are thinking of coding or currently coding, I would say to “Do it now!” To teachers, always think of ways to get your students interested and enjoy your time spent with them!

Thank you, Ryan, for taking the time to have this conversation with us! We hope that you will continue to inspire and nurture many more students with us on Saturdays and in all your other endeavours.

Read Next: Meet Hovan, our passionate and personable educator

(Written by Cheryl Tang and Amanda Soh)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Email us at [email protected]
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Hovan is one of our passionate and personable educators. A graduate from the NUS Computer Engineering course, he finds great purpose and satisfaction in nurturing the talents of youths. At home, he is also the oldest of 4, with three young brothers ages 14, 16 and 23.

In this interview, we learn more about the remarkable coding journey of the former Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student who did the International Baccalaureate programme (one of the most prestigious courses in Singapore)!

Hi Hovan, could you share with us how you first started coding?

Team Photo - Hovan, Educator
Hovan has been teaching and guiding our students at Coding Lab since 2019.

I started coding very late. I only began at the start of my undergraduate journey when I majored in Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore. I still remember the struggle I had to go through in the early days, where I had to compete with new students like myself and veterans of the trade. However, programming soon became a passion for me, and from the struggle came one of the greatest senses of achievement I’ve ever felt after completing a project.

Cool! Since you had no prior experience in coding, what drew you to major in Computer Engineering in the first place?

Computer Engineering was actually my second choice. My first choice was Electrical Engineering as I loved to tinker with hardware and electrical components. In hindsight, I’m glad that I got to do Computer Engineering, which is a hybrid between Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. This allowed me to enjoy the best of both worlds of programming and hardware.

The most important lesson I learnt from my time in university is that software alone is not enough. Coupled with hardware, a lot more can be done. The same goes for my teaching – it’s not one-dimensional; I approach each student differently.

“Coding can be colourful, unrestrictive, and imaginative. It allowed not just my students, but also me, to express our creativity and build something special.”

That’s great to hear. Have you always aspired to teach coding?

As a mischievous and playful kid, I had always been the bane of my teachers’ existence. It was only when I had matured and became wiser with age that I understood the passion that drove my teachers to come to class every day – the love, sweat, and tears as they saw us both fail and succeed. Then came along two small boys, my youngest brothers, who are ages 14, 16 and 23 today. I took on the responsibility as an elder brother and guided them through their early years of life. As time went on, I realised that I wanted to care for and guide children professionally as a teacher.

Tutor Hovan with students
Hovan doesn’t only inspire his younger brothers, but his students too!

At first, I only wanted to teach – it didn’t have to be coding. However, while studying Computer Engineering, I wondered if I could take what I have learnt about coding and educate others on it. That’s when I joined Coding Lab, and I truly enjoyed teaching children to code.

When I first started, I viewed it as methodical and rigid, but after interacting with students of different backgrounds, I realised that coding can be colourful, unrestrictive, and imaginative. It allowed not just my students, but also me, to express our creativity and build something special. Seeing my students finish their personal projects after finally understanding their code, and the happiness, relief and accomplishment they feel when they test their programs and have it finally work after debugging never gets old and continues to drive me to teach coding. 

Aside from teaching, I also contribute to the curriculum and had the chance to guide our students for the MIT App Inventor Summit 2019 (where they won numerous awards in the USA). Having the ability to exercise my imaginative mind inspired me to keep teaching and working on further projects. I’m excited to meet both new and returning students, hoping to not only teach them, but also to become good friends with them along the way!

“Be humble. Never stop learning. And your programs are never ‘finished’; it’s always a work in progress.”

We’re glad that you’ve found your love for teaching coding here! Why do you think that learning to code is important?

Learning to code is essential in this day and age of technology. Therefore, starting young and getting a feel for programming serves as a crucial skill that can be used for the future. Beyond that, it trains children to think logically and be independent in finding solutions to problems, not only in school, but also in life.

Hovan and Student Sean S200 (900x600px)
Educator Hovan is always enthusiastic and excited to teach students of all ages!

What’s your teaching style?

When teaching concepts, I ensure that I have everyone’s attention and am loud enough for everyone to hear. During practical parts of the lesson, it’s the students’ turn to up the volume and voice out their questions, errors and more.

Overall, I’m serious during classes, where I expect discipline and commitment. But during breaks, before and after class, I am goofy, just like every other kid and like to chat and laugh with my students.

Could you share about a class or student that had made a deep impression on you?

It’s hard to pick favourites or even long-lasting impressions because I’ve had so many classes and students that I had a great time teaching. But if I were to pick one, I would share about my student who was so advanced that he even helped teach and lead the class together with me. I saw a leader and a future coach in that student, and as a teacher, I welcome that.

Gif of Hovan affirming his student's project
Our supportive educator is as invested in his Young Computer Scientist student’s project as his student is.

If a student came up to you and asked for any piece of advice, what would you tell them?

Be humble. Never stop learning. And your programs are never ‘finished’; it’s always a work in progress.

Finally, what do you like to do outside the classroom?

I’m a gamer. I also play the piano a bit, work out, and I enjoy spending time with my family and loved ones.

Thank you, Hovan, for taking the time to share your journey from coder to educator with us. We’re so thrilled to have you with us as an educator. We hope that you’ll continue to warm the hearts of your students, guide them and ignite their passion for coding with your zeal and dedication to your calling!

Read Next: Get to know Thinzar, our educator with a big heart

(Written by Amanda Soh and Edited by Cheryl Tang)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Today, we meet Evan, one of our educators at Coding Lab! Since he was in secondary school, Evan has honed his expertise in coding. He is patient, focused and loving, constantly encouraging his students and shining a spotlight on them. Like all our educators, he finds purpose and passion in teaching coding to children.

Hi Evan, could you share a bit about yourself and how you embarked on your coding journey?

Team Photo - Evan, Educator
Meet Evan, our passionate educator, who has been with us since November 2018

In secondary school, I had to select an elective, and that was when I found out that I could take up Computing as a GCE O-Level subject. I gave it a shot, and that was when I discovered that it was so interesting to learn about technology and the different things that I could create.

This led me to choose a related course in polytechnic, which then led to my posting at the Ministry of Home Affairs for my National Service. I was tasked with creating different technological solutions for people in different Home Team departments, and I was fascinated at how technology could benefit people in so many various ways. Hence, I decided to major in Business Information Systems in university to learn even more about technology – and it is ever-changing, so I am still always learning!

What inspired you to teach coding?

While I was doing my internship in my polytechnic days and serving my National Service, I realised that a lot of people were still handling typical work tasks manually in very traditional methods when automation could easily be performed to make it more efficient. Many people still do not know about it and think of coding as something that is very complicated, something that can only be done by programmers. This inspired me to share my knowledge with others to help them understand that coding isn’t something that is complicated, and that anyone can learn to code.

I then chanced upon an opportunity to teach at Coding Lab in November 2018, and I thought, why not? Seeing my students come in with no knowledge of coding in their first lesson and watching them grow as they start to passionately show me what they have coded at home brought me immense joy.

Photo of Evan and his students holding up the new Augmented Reality textbooks for P11S-AR
Evan with his pumped Young Computer Scientist students

From there, I discovered my own passion for teaching. I decided to continue my journey with Coding Lab as an Adjunct Educator throughout my education and upon graduation, where I can continue doing what I love.

“It’s great seeing them grow from making minor errors in codes to creating big projects on their own without much help!”

Why is it important that children learn how to code?

In today’s digital age, technology is an integral part of most of our lives. Coding allows us to train our computational thinking skills, applying it to areas like math, improving logical thinking and problem-solving for creative solutions. Even if students do not become programmers in the future, it would still be beneficial to learn to code. These computational thinking skills can be applied in school and in their daily lives as well. Today, it’s great that more parents and students are witnessing the digital transformation in our world and are valuing the importance of learning to code too.

Zoom photo of Evan and his P201 App Inventor students
Evan teaching online and connecting with his students

What motivates you to keep teaching?

One of my favourite moments that keep me going would be seeing my students grasp the concepts taught in class and they are then able to apply them on their own. There is no one answer when it comes to coding and it’s always interesting to see how they independently code with their new knowledge. Some of them can get really creative and have unique ideas of their own!

What is your most memorable class experience thus far?

My most memorable class experience would be seeing some of my Python 1 students advancing on to Python 2 and 3, and eventually to our Advanced Application and Electives programme. It’s great seeing them grow from making minor errors in codes to creating big projects on their own without much help!

Photo of Evan guiding his students through their code
Passionately guiding his students through their codes

In particular, I used to teach a few students in my Python Perfect classes who were initially not that strong in their Python coding. Through their lessons, they slowly made improvements, and gradually grew their interest in coding. Some have progressed to the more advanced courses, and even taking the initiative to create their own personal projects at home!

What advice would you give other teachers on how to manage a class?

Keep calm and cope with the situation! Often different situations could arise in classes, so it’s important to observe the students and adapt accordingly.

Thank you, Evan, for taking the time to share your experiences with us. We know you will continue to care for and inspire our future leaders in technology, both as their teacher and role model!

(Written by Amanda Soh)

Read Next: Coding Lab Educator Feature with Edmund Teow


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Let’s get to know our wonderful educator, Salena Arsad! Having had experience teaching core subjects with the Ministry of Education, she decided to broaden her horizons and challenged herself to learn and teach programming at Coding Lab. Her bright and cheerful disposition is sure to encourage her students to learn as best as they can! 

Hi Salena, tell us more about yourself!

Team Photo - Salena, Educator
Salena, always cheery and caring, has been enriching children’s lives since 2017

Hello, I’m Salena and I graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a Master of Education specialising in Developmental Psychology!

It’s amazing that you graduated with a Master of Education! How did your passion for education ignite?

I would say that my passion for teaching appeared gradually. Just before I got my undergraduate degree, there was this period of uncertainty whereby one would decide which career path to follow. My family and friends suggested that I should try teaching because of my character and personality. I was sceptical but took a leap of faith and it kind of snowballed from there. Now, I’ve set my mind that teaching is my path.

What made you take the leap from teaching core subjects in primary schools to teaching programming at Coding Lab?

I guess a bout of bravery to dive into something entirely new. I just felt that it was time for me to challenge myself and see whether I would be able to open up and pick up a whole new world of knowledge. It’s never too late to learn a new skill!

Why do you think it is important to teach coding to our kids?

Salena looking at her student playing his app happily
With a Master of Education, Salena inspires kids to learn through fun

Over the years, there’s been this continuous shift towards a more technologically inclined society. From the initiation of coding classes as a Primary 6 post-PSLE programme to the recent Home-Based Learning during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can see why we need to be tech-savvy in order to survive in the coming years. 

That’s why I think that it is important to teach coding to kids as it will give them a head start to live in this type of society. Of course, in coding, there are other aspects such as analytical skills and problem-solving skills, and all these are relevant in everyday life too.

What encourages you to keep teaching?

What keeps me going is the determination to learn as much as I can (in coding, teaching, and even from my students!), my intrinsic motivation to nurture the future generation and the sense of satisfaction I get when I see positive end results. Plus, where else would you get a group of children who would look at you starry-eyed and wowing as they realise that they are learning interesting materials? But classes are not always fun and games! There are some instances of seriousness, and there will also be excitement and laughter. 

“Where else would you get a group of children who would look at you starry-eyed and wowing as they realise that they are learning interesting materials?”

What is your most memorable teaching experience thus far?

Salena teaching two excited students something on the laptop
Educator Salena excites her students in their learning journey

One of my most memorable teaching experiences was during a Young Computer Scientists class. Our project that day was one that would draw circles in different sizes and colours. When I showed my students the demo project and pressed random keys to create a random artwork, they were immediately mesmerised and couldn’t wait to programme it. 

As they coded, there were countless “Wow”s and “Wah”s from so many students. One particular student was so intrigued and touched that he got to learn something so cool that he started thanking me for teaching him this fantastic project. I was so amused at his reaction that I remember it to this day. 

Finally, what do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

I’m an avid reader so I enjoy reading a variety of materials such as fiction books, manhwa (South Korean comics), and manga. Random fun fact: I finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 8 hours straight back when I was in Primary 5. I was such a bookworm even as a kid. Besides reading, I also enjoy exploring new places like cafes and limited-time attractions. It’s so fun to wander around new locations and get lost along the way. What an adventure!

Thank you, Salena, for sharing your exciting journey with us! We know that you’ll continue to inspire and impart worthwhile coding knowledge to our young and budding coders.

(Written by Zulaikha)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

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Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Our Young Computer Scientists (YCS) students are always up for an adventure when they step into class. Every lesson is a chance to learn and discover something new and there’s certainly never a dull moment with our dedicated teachers! 

Coding Lab’s YCS course (for ages 7 to 9) offers 12 unique research areas curated by our curriculum team. It exposes our students to the diverse fields of application for coding and broadens their understanding and the power of computational thinking. This ultimately serves as a platform for students to put on their thinking hats and be nurtured into lifelong learners.

You might be thinking: What exactly is Lifelong Learning? 

Photo of Evan and his students holding up the new Augmented Reality textbooks for P11S-AR
Evan with his pumped Young Computer Scientist students

Lifelong learning is integrating living and learning for people of all ages – from cradle to grave. This is done through learning opportunities to continuously improve the knowledge and skills needed for personal fulfilment and future employment. It is a key perspective not only for youths, but for everyone.

The six pillars on lifelong learning include technologies for learning and learning to learn. In recent years, and as most of us use technology to bridge gaps in the past year, we increasingly use the internet for information, communication and participation in learning activities. This goes hand-in-hand with independent, self-directed learning – all important elements that encourage the pursuit of 21st-century learning.

Today’s world is fast-changing and there is a growing need to be able to forecast futures and adapt. What does this mean for our little ones? It’s important for them to be confident in their tech skills so that positive attitudes and values about lifelong learning will be inculcated at a young age. This would shape them into empowered individuals who can seize opportunities and support independent efforts in a lifelong journey of learning and taking on the world.

How do our young ones benefit from Lifelong Learning? 

Our Young Computer Scientists hone their knowledge and thinking skills through 12 research areas, which comprises 3 groups of classes: Hardware-Based Learning, Applied Learning, and Subject-Based Learning.

Through the course, students have fun and see the real-world applicability of coding, such as how they can instruct the mBots to move or light up in our Hardware-Based Learning classes. They get to further solidify what they learnt in school when they see it come to life with codes, such as applying the concept of physics and gravity (just like this platformer game!) in our Subject-Based Learning classes. They can also dive deeper into relevant and interesting concepts, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning in our Applied Learning classes.

The YCS course covers a good mix to give our students a holistic and hands-on experience. Our students get to explore various topics and learn coding through fun, which hones their curiosity. Inspired and intrigued by what they’ve learnt in class, many of our students take a step further and even improve their coding abilities on their own.

As they independently deepen their knowledge in computational thinking and solve more problems, they level up and gain confidence, improving their ability to tackle all sorts of tasks in the future, and increasing their overall success in lifelong learning.

Geo Plat by Wang Zi Heng in P11S YCS Young Computer Scientists

Did you know?
Research areas proceed based on a pre-selected schedule carefully curated by Coding Lab tutors, which exposes your child to all 3 groups by the time they complete at least a minimum of 6 research areas.

Gotta catch ’em all! Each research area has a corresponding badge that students can collect and advance their coding skills.

Read: Did You Know? Fun Facts about our Young Computer Scientists

“I feel happy learning how to code and I really like that I can learn a variety of topics in YCS. My favourite modules are the Mathematics (Measurement) and Physics – I love working with Mathematical formulas and was able to learn how to convert them from paper to operators on Scratch!”

– Issey, 9, Tao Nan Primary School

Covering 1 YCS research area typically takes 10 hours. In order to progress to the next level, students are required to complete at least 6 (minimum) to 8 (recommended) research areas, but some of our students love what they explore in the course so much that they sign up for more!

“YCS has made me more interested in coding. I have learnt how to figure out what is wrong with my code and to always persevere when debugging them. My favourite thing in YCS is coding the mBot to make it move, dance and follow the infinity line. My tutor always challenged me to add more blocks to my code if I managed to complete my assignment earlier.”

– Aaden Yeo, 8, St Stephen’s School

As students explore new themes, they are introduced to new principles each class, then tasked with the challenge of coding the solutions to it. Our dedicated and experienced tutors are there to nudge students in the right direction, encouraging them to find their own solutions through step-by-step processes. This ensures that they fully understand and can apply the concepts that they’ve learnt, gaining self-confidence and independence along the way – ultimately paving the way for a future of lifelong learning.

Rachel and two students tinkering with Makey Makey
Educator Rachel and her students tinkering with Makey Makey in Young Computer Scientists

“In YCS, I ensure that my students enjoy their learning and encourage them to explore independently. This challenges their critical thinking and develops creativity. There’s never a dull moment, especially when they get their codes to work. The best part is that coding doesn’t only happen in class – my students often embark on their own projects at home – which they then proudly show me!”

– Rachel Chong, Educator

Coding Lab believes in teaching coding in a fun and engaging manner that nurtures curiosity and exploration at a young age – a key motivator in cultivating lifelong learning. Our YCS classes impart fundamentals and the know-how tech skills for students to embark on independent, self-directed learning in the journey towards lifelong learning.

It’s like the Chinese proverb, “活到老, 学到老”, which means “live until you’re old, learn until you’re old”. When students own their learning, it sticks with them!

Become a Young Computer Scientist (ages 7-9) by clicking here!

Read Next: A Peek into our S100P Course – Individualised Learning and how it benefits our teens

(Written by Zulaikha)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

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Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

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Email us at [email protected]
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Thinzar is one of our beloved adjunct educators with a big heart. In this interview, we get to hear more about her non-conventional journey into the tech education industry.

Hi Thinzar, could you share a bit about yourself and how you embarked on this coding journey?

Team Photo - Thinzar, Educator
Thinzar has been an educator with Coding Lab since 2019

I am currently a Year 3 Sociology student at the National University of Singapore (NUS). I have always had an interest in the education sector and wanted to work with children, so Coding Lab was perfect for me!

Personally, I never had experience with coding before coming to Coding Lab so I had to pick it up along the way. During the interview, I was told about the training given to adjunct educators like myself. The moment I stepped in on my first day and realised how comprehensive the training given was (from personal tutorials by the founder, Yong Ning, to role-playing), my fears evaporated and I gained great confidence in teaching coding!

Coding is really fun to learn! But also, it is an important skill that trains important abilities like critical thinking and problem-solving.

That’s quite interesting that you have no coding background! Could you tell us more about how you came to teach coding, specifically?

Well, I was not particularly looking out for coding-related opportunities. I knew I was interested in teaching, so I researched and came across Coding Lab. I did not have experience in coding back then, but I have always liked math and solving problems (yes, even though I am currently studying social science)! Since coding is related to that, I thought I would enjoy learning and in turn, teaching what I have learnt.

Cool! So, what’s your teaching style like?

For me, I’ll first like to spark interest in my students. I ask them what kinds of cartoons, games or characters they like, then suggest some ideas that suit these interests. Often, I’ll get them to create projects that are similar to their favourite games or shows so that this will motivate them. However, I ensure that it’s not just copying what has been done. Instead, I encourage them to try out more things on their own beyond what is being taught. For instance, I challenge them to try adding features like making their Scratch sprites change colour even if we have not covered that in class. This way, it feels more like their achievement and it shows that they understand rather than just following what I do.

What’s even better is when my students ask whether I can be their teacher again for the next course that they plan to attend. That’s when I know that I have been an effective teacher to them!

What advice would you give to children who want to learn coding?

Thinzar in Junior Coders Programme
Thinzar enriches the lives of coders – even Junior Coders!

Coding is really fun to learn! But also, it is an important skill that trains important abilities like critical thinking and problem-solving. For example, you will have to think about what you want your program to do, then think about what to code to achieve that goal, and in what order they should code.

This kind of logical thinking is important, even outside of the class and even if you do not pursue computing in the future. You will always have something to take away, including skills that can be applied in other areas such as Mathematics and in your daily life too.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just try out new things because that’s how you (and I) learn!

Do you intend to continue teaching coding in the future?

I love teaching coding and interacting with my students! I believe in giving them a voice and our small class sizes allow that. Each student will have his/her own way to solve the problem, and I encourage them to show and tell their ideas to the class so they can learn from each other. Sometimes, they even come up with ideas that I didn’t think of! I look forward to my continued journey in understanding the younger generation and pushing them to explore, expend their curiosity and gain the confidence to speak up and share it with others.

What do you like to do outside the classroom?

Image of team with President Halimah Yacob
President Halimah Yacob with (from left) Ms Low Tze Hui, Manager, Infocomm Media Development Authority and her son, Thinzar, President of Tiny Thinkers, Candice, Co-Founder of Coding Lab at the at the National Library Board’s kidsREAD 15th anniversary carnival

I really enjoy putting my skills to impact others, whether its youth or kids. I was really grateful for the opportunity to be appointed the President of Tiny Thinkers under Coding Lab. The exposure was invaluable; I had the chance to work closely with the founders themselves (who were my mentors) and the tutors to curate a curriculum at low cost to impact preschoolers, to guiding a team of volunteer teachers in introducing preschoolers to coding fundamentals, to conducting briefings to a 100-strong audience at the National Library of Singapore. The skills I learnt while being in charge of Tiny Thinkers’ core team were invaluable as I used them in organising a virtual career fair under my university CCA.

Furthermore, Tiny Thinkers let me step out of my comfort zone as I had to interact with parents! This increased my self-confidence that allowed me to pursue organising large-scale events that included overseas participants. I am indeed thankful for the opportunities, mentorship and training I received at Coding Lab which helped shaped my mindset and allowed me to grow and gain lifelong skills along the way.

Finally, any words of wisdom for your students?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just try out new things because that’s how you (and I) learn!

And for your fellow educators?

I would say to be adaptable because while we are trained to teach a syllabus, we will have to modify it on the spot if the students cannot understand your initial way of teaching.

Thank you, Thinzar, for sharing with us about your coding education journey! We’re glad to have you with us on Saturday afternoons as you fruitfully translate your passion and talent for coding into the bright young minds of children ages 4 to 18.

Interested to join the Coding Lab team? Click here to find out more!

Read next: 3 Things I Learnt as an Educator at Coding Lab

(Written by Nicole Loo)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

We are honoured to be the winner of multiple awards.
Thank You for your support.

Hop on board the Coding Lab train! Click here to get our monthly newsletters straight to your inbox.

Ages 5-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6977 9641
Email us at [email protected]
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger