Many of us probably remember sitting in classrooms, listening to our teachers as we sat quietly and took notes. What if we told you that silent classrooms are a thing of the past? At the heart of the Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) approach, asking lots of questions is the best thing a student could do. 

Globally, IBL is growing in popularity and in fact, it is central to Coding Lab’s teaching methodology – it works even better with the help of technology. Let’s dive into what IBL is, its benefits and how it’s important in enriching our Coding Lab students’ lives!

What exactly is Inquiry-Based Learning?

Inquiry Based Learning
Our inquisitive students love exploring new topics with technology

Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) is an educational strategy where students take a more active approach to their learning through asking questions and finding their own solutions. It’s quite different from what we know – students are now at the centre of teaching and take charge of their own independent learning. Of course, with the right encouragement and guidance, they will be empowered to tackle problems and be motivated to find their own answers.

IBL follows an inquiry cycle. Students will first get acquainted with the topic, then formulate their questions and decide what they want to find out. Through investigating and experimenting, which is key to IBL, they are able to make their inferences and then share their findings with others. Throughout the inquiry process, discussions happen not only at the end, but constantly throughout as reflection and insights from others can help improve the process.

Sounds familiar? Yes, IBL is influenced by The Scientific Method that we were introduced to in our Secondary school’s science lab experiments and research papers in University. Here’s a helpful infographic to navigate your way! 

Inquiry Based Learning IBL Inquiry Cycle Process
Click to enlarge this infographic

Many countries have adopted IBL in their education systems. In Ontario, Canada, and the Dutch school system, IBL is used to teach reading, with impressive results and improvement.

Other benefits include the increase in students’ self-perceived confidence in research skills and effective communication – even six months later. It can also have a significant and positive effect on the building of technological knowledge and the development of problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making abilities.

The best part about the inquiry cycle? The more they know, the more they will get thinking about related topics, and the deeper their hunger for knowledge will be. But they know how to find the answers themselves!

How Inquiry-Based Learning and Technology go hand-in-hand

IBL might sound a little tricky and complex, but with technology, it’s a lot easier to carry out. IBL has shown to be an effective method – so, where does technology come in?

Educator Salena and student in our Young Computer Scientists mBot class
Our curious Young Computer Scientist tinkering with Scratch and mBot

You might have heard of a time where people had to physically go to libraries to search for books and encyclopedias. Today, open access to search engines have condensed everything into a device, such as your phone, laptop or tablet. Students now have the world at their fingertips with a simple search.

But how do we get children to start questioning? At Coding Lab, we pique their curiosity with things that they are interested in, such as with games that they love. We get them to start wondering, “How do these games work? Why does the character jump when you press space?” We make sure that we facilitate the inquiry process – we ask them questions to get them thinking, and they get to ask us too. It helps that they can search up their answers, but we don’t want our students to just copy codes, we emphasise on the understanding of codes.

Incorporating Inquiry-Based Learning: What can we do?

Got questions? Our passionate educators have answers.

Technology doesn’t only help with finding the answers, we can do experiments with it and so much more! We know that learning becomes more fun when games are involved, and students get to experiment and find out the answers by watching their guesses play out. Want to understand math concepts like geometry or physics? Play games, code with Scratch or explore Minecraft’s virtual world, and you can learn and experiment individually or in a team.

Another way that technology helps is when we put our heads together for discussions, which are important and should be ongoing throughout the inquiry process, and everyone gets to chime in. Tools such as Poll Everywhere and Survey Monkey have made it easier for participation (especially the shy ones), and online productivity tools elevate learning to the next level. From real-time collaboration with Google Workspace and Padlet to asking questions anonymously on Mentimeter, you can leave no stone unturned!

Now that you understand how technology and IBL work together, you can see why Coding Lab has chosen to make it central to our curriculum and teaching. Every feature of our classes has been carefully designed to allow our kids to flourish, and it’s why IBL is part of our teaching philosophy. Let’s cultivate curiosity in our children and teach them the ability to hunt their answers down with the power of Inquiry-Based Learning!

(Written by Nicole, Edited by Zulaikha and Cheryl)


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We know that taking care of the little ones while working from home can be reaaaal hectic – we’ve been there too. Hang in there, mums and dads! 💪 We’ve got your back with these quick and fun wellness activities that you can rope your kids in to do together.

I’m sure as parents we know that taking breaks has many benefits. That’s why our classes have always had breaks (and will continue to have them), whether they are physical or online classes. We want our students to rest their eyes and get that extra brain boost to be the best coder that they can be!

So, we thought we would share with you the wellness activities that the Coding Lab Team encourages our students to do during breaks. We have even included the recommended age groups so that you can choose the right one. Our suggestion? Perhaps one video a day with your children (and family) so that they can remember it in the long run!

1. Eye Workouts

We only have one pair of eyes to see the world around us. Pamper it with a little massage or simply relax it gently with these videos that we have compiled for you. Maintain optimal eye health with these easy eye exercises!

Bond with your tiny tots when you perform this simple eye massage to a catchy song together. Massage the face to relieve tension quickly and easily. 

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 6 (Accompanied by parents)

Squeeze your eyes tight and then open wide! This soothes your eyes and facial muscles while you inhale and exhale deeply. It’s easy, effective and energising.

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 9

Need a quick screen break? Soothe your optic nerves and relax your eyes in less than 2 minutes. All you need are your palms, then you are good to go!

Recommended for: Ages 7 and above

Want more ideas on other eye exercises that you can do? Check out this 2-minute video that introduces 8 simple eye exercises you can do anywhere.

Recommended for: Ages 10 and above

These exercises aim to soothe your optic nerves and relax your eyes. This way, you can strengthen your eye muscles, increase your focus, ease eye movements, and stimulate your brain’s vision centre. Feeling creative? You can even design an eye workout with your favourite eye exercises.

2. Deskercise

Did you know that ‘deskercise’ (desk exercise) is a thing? All you need is a desk and chair for these moves. This is useful even if you are in the office or classroom – just do not start busting these moves while you are eating at the dining table! If you are feeling stiff, these two-minute workouts feature exercises that can all be done without leaving your chair.

Grab a chair and get moving with arm rolls and leg in-and-outs!

Ready for more deskercise? We have twists and knee lifts!

That very chair you are sitting on has some versatile functions. Try some ‘deskercise’ as the catchy music and bright colours encourage you to move along! There’s nothing like some quick yet effective movements to get active and loosen those tense muscles after sitting for a while.

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 9

Want something to add to your daily routine? Check out this 3-minute stretching plan that you can easily fit into your day!

Stretch your lower body with this 2-minute desk stretch, so you can feel your best. 

Try out some 3-minute chair yoga stretches to relax your muscles and mind.

Feeling an ache in your neck and shoulders? Here are 3 quick stretches you can do to target those tight spots!

Stretch your neck, back and arm muscles without leaving your desk! These quick and easy tutorials of chair yoga stretches (yes, it’s an upgrade from the primary school version) relieve stiff, tight shoulders and neck at your desk. Instil good digital habits and get active during your short breaks!

Recommended for: Ages 10 and above

3. Look out of the window

It is no secret that our Parkway Parade campus boasts a great view of East Coast Park and the sea. It is where our students are naturally drawn to during their breaks, which works wonders for calming and relaxing their eyes. What are the sights and sounds around your home?

Play “I spy with my little eye” with this catchy song and challenge your child to spot things around them according to the alphabets.

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 7

Go through these simple exercises, naming the things that you see around you or outside of the window. It is a great way to spend your eye break!

Recommended for: Ages 8 and above

Look out of your window together to rest your eyes and absorb the lush greenery! Appreciate the nature around you and look far away, such as spotting planes and looking at different cloud shapes. This is great for the eyes, and it is also a therapeutic experience.

4. Take deep breaths

Breathe in… and breathe out. We have all heard these words. But how often do we practice them? Release the tension in those muscles with some deep breathing exercises!

Teach your little ones square breathing with some underwater friends. They will learn the handy technique and can visualise it when they need to relax.

Recommended for: Ages 4 to 9

Take a deep breath with one of the top mindfulness apps, Calm. They have a relaxing, 1-minute video as you go down the river. Got 3 minutes to spare instead?

Recommended for: Ages 10 and above

These videos impart deep breathing to help you relax and stay calm during times of stress, or even when feeling a little stiff. Oxygen helps to promote blood flow, flushing out the lactic acid that causes muscle soreness. You can also view this playlist of helpful short videos with picturesque views and guided breathing and meditation. Feel as good as new with some breathing exercises!

5. Replenish your energy with drinks and snacks

A boy sitting on a bean bag snacking
Our students snacking at our Parkway Parade campus.
Note: Masks were only removed when eating, and social distancing measures were in place.

We could all use a little perk-me-up at any time of the day. This is why we provide snacks to our students during breaks and encourage them to drink more water. Our Python Perfect students sometimes even bring their own tidbits to nibble on as they get in the zone and code on. 

As the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” Choose the healthier options, such as the list of brain food we have compiled here. It is also as important that you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. As an added benefit, getting to your snacks and drinks can also help you to rack up more steps. Research has found that this can even improve your creativity!


We hope that you had fun doing these activities together with your family, taking productive and fun wellness breaks, and making great memories working from home and together with your family!

Read: Getting Through MOE HBL

At Coding Lab, we do our best to instil these habits, which we hope will go a long way. If you see your children doing some exercises during their coding classes, don’t be shy and join in the fun. Let’s all work together to achieve better physical and mental wellbeing!

Read Next: More Tips to Better Eye Health

GIF of our Young Computer Scientists doing some deskercise - with grandpa joining in the fun!
Our Young Computer Scientists doing some deskercise – with grandpa joining in the fun!


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

Awards (600 x 129)

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 4-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6528 2282
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

The task of understanding and memorising important facts and information for exams can be daunting at times. Every mark counts and you definitely want to answer all the questions and get the highest score you can get! 💯

Before beginning to memorise, you should always understand the content first – then memorise. When we teach our students to code, we ensure that they understand the codes and can apply them regardless of the situation, instead of simply memorising and following. Memorising is the key that will help you to do your questions quickly and to lock in your marks, and we find that it works best for facts and formulae.

The Coding Lab team is here to lend a helping hand for you to strengthen your memory and ace your exams with flying colours. Check out the tips that we’ve specially curated below! 

Resized Memory Tips - Test Yourself

1. Test yourself! 

When you learn and memorise something new, it is important to test yourself. By doing so, you are asking yourself questions about the material. As a result of that, you have to recall the content that you have memorised to the best of your ability. 

This particular method works because recalling the material makes the memories stronger and easier to retrieve for later [1]. By consolidating and reinforcing your knowledge, you will have a better grasp of how much and how accurate your memory work is. 

You can test yourself by using paper and pen to write out the formulae, voice record yourself reciting the content, or even collaborate with your friends with free online tools like Quizlet. It is a free tool that allows you to create digital flashcards and quizzes to test yourself and share questions with others. This way, you can see how much you’ve remembered and what else you have to work on remembering better!

2. Use mnemonics

A mnemonic is a tool that helps us retain information by translating it into a form that is simpler or easier to remember [2]. They can come in the form of a song, rhyme, acronym, image, phrase, or sentence [3]. The use of mnemonics can help you remember material swiftly and are particularly useful when the order of things are important. 

An example of an easy mnemonic is for compass directions – North, East, South, West. You can use the following expression Naughty Elephants Spray Water to recall the different directions. 

In fact, mnemonic codes are widely used in computer programming and communications system operations so as to enable its user to recall specific instructions effortlessly [4]! How cool is that? 

Memory Tip 5 - Use mnemonics image

Here is an example of a mnemonic in Math – the BODMAS:

Source: Skills You Need

Resized Memory Tips - Sleep

3. Sleep well

Did you know that not sleeping or getting enough sleep could lower your learning abilities by as much as 40%? Getting too much sleep on the other hand could also affect memory and other cognitive processes [6]! 

Sleep helps to consolidate the information that you have learned into memories that are stored in the brain. With the right number of hours of sleep, the brain has sufficient time to create new pathways for the information learnt. Hence, being sleep deprived could make it more difficult for you to remember things and even impact your focus, reduce decision-making skills. You may also have poor emotional and behavioural control. 

We all know that an average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep, but what about children and teenagers? Take a look at the list below to find out how many hours of sleep you or your child needs! 

4. Use chunking

Chunking is the process of taking individual pieces of information and grouping them into larger and more meaningful units [5]. Grouping single elements into larger blocks can improve your working memory immensely as information becomes easier to retain and recall.

A simple example of how you can use chunking would be when you remember phone numbers. A phone number sequence of 6-5-2-8-2-2-8-2 would be chunked into 6528 2282. 

As for remembering items from a list – for example, a shopping list – you can break them down into smaller groups and categorise them based on whether they are dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, or more. 

Memory Tip 4 - Use Chunking image

“Chunking is the ability of the brain to learn from the data you take in, without having to go back and access or think about all that data every time … it makes our brains more efficient. The more you can chunk something, the faster and easier you can process it.” 

Kevin Maney, best-selling author of The Two-Second Advantage

Resized Memory Tips - Eat Healthily

Check out Food For Thought: Best brain food for programmers for more food tips to get that brainpower to code!

5. Have a healthy diet 

As the saying goes: “You are what you eat.” In order to achieve good memory, it is important to watch what you consume. 

Your overall diet has a significant impact on your brain health. Inflammatory diet patterns that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats and processed foods could bring negative effects like impaired learning and an increased risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s [7].

In fact, research has shown that this way of eating does not only affect our body, but also parts of our brain responsible for memory – mainly the hippocampus. A study conducted by the University of Cambridge discovered that obese people were 15-20% worse at a memory test than participants who were of a healthy weight [8]. 

It is never too late to change your diet – adopt a diet rich in brain-healthy foods like fish, fruits and vegetables to ensure your brain sustains its optimal functioning.

We hope these five tips will help you in strengthening your brain memory 🧠💪 and do share this article with your friends and family so they can benefit too! 

Wondering about how you can score in your specialised computing examinations? We’ve also curated 3 Tips to Take On Your O Level Computing Examinations just for you!

(Additional writing by Lakshmi and Nicole)


Best-in-class Curriculum for Coding

Awards (600 x 129)

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 4-6 | Ages 7-9 | Ages 10-12 | Ages 13-18

Call us at +65 6528 2282
Email us at learntocode@codinglab.com.sg
Chat with us via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

The pandemic has remade the way our children learn – with regular home-based learning classes which result in increased screen time and heavier usage of electronic gadgets, it’s crucial that we take the necessary precautions to take care of their (and all you hard working mums and dads) eye health!

Coding Lab has gathered 5 tips (specially curated for you and your families 👀) to help keep our eyes safe and healthy in this period of time. Check them out below!

Our student using our monitors, which emit low blue light

1. Reduce blue light at night

Prolonged exposure to blue light emitted from digital devices has been found to damage retinal cells and disrupt the body’s natural sleep cycle, thus triggering eye fatigue and affecting sleep quality [1]. 

Did you know that Coding Lab has a specially-equipped classroom in Parkway Parade filled with monitors that emit low blue light energy? You can also do your part at home by keeping those devices away to reduce your blue light intake and getting sufficient rest in the evening!

2. Eat healthy foods

You are what you eat, and a healthy diet contributes to healthy vision. Choose foods that are rich in antioxidants such as your greens which act as a natural sunscreen for your eyes [2]! Fatty fish is also high in omega-3 fatty acids and will strengthen the part of the eye that is responsible for central vision [3]. 

For more healthy foods for your kids, we’ve got the best list right here – don’t worry, they’re foods that your kids will definitely not be able to resist!

Read: Food For Thought – Brain Food for Programmers

Image of Brain Food: Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is abundant in omega-3

Staying hydrated is the way to go!

3. Stay hydrated

Dry eyes are one of the most common types of eye problems [4]. When you lack adequate moisture, your eyes become dry and uncomfortable. Always stay hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of water daily for optimal eye health – before you know it, you’ll be running in full steam ahead! 

4. Maintain a good posture 

At Coding Lab, our adjustable chairs allow our students to sit upright and avoid slouching while looking at the screen. When using the computer, sit at least 50cm away from the screen, with shoulders relaxed and eyes looking straight ahead towards the screen. Rest your back against the chair and ensure that your feet are resting flat against the floor. Make sure to follow all the rules in the infographic right here – you wouldn’t want back pain or finger strain in your old age! 

Graphic of "Proper sitting and typing posture"

Image of 20-20-20 Rule

5. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

It’s important to take a 20-second eye break every 20 minutes – by focusing on an object 20 feet away (approximately 6m). This rule provided by optometrists easily reminds us to relax our eyes for short intervals throughout the day [5].

At Coding Lab, we make sure that our students get regular eye breaks during class time because we know just how important eye rest is for our students!

Read: 3 Ways to be Your Child’s Cheerleader During Their Exams!

We hope that these five simple tips will help in bettering your eye health! Especially in these turbulent times, we hope you never lose sight of what truly matters – taking care of yourself!

(Edited by Zulaikha)


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

School examinations – an inevitable part of students’ lives. As yearly occurrences, these events see our kids and teens burying their heads in books and looking forward to their year-end activities.

We know that examinations play a major role in at least more than a decade of our students’ lives, and the Coding Lab Team stands with you in walking this journey hand in hand with them. We’ve collated some quick tips on how you can support your child’s physical and mental health to help them achieve their best. 🙂

1. Time Management Skills

Our mighty students showing their strength!
Our mighty students showing their strength!

As the examinations draw closer, it is tempting for many students to pull all-nighters in order to get in that extra bit of info. However at this stage, it is more important than ever for children to prioritise their sleep. We all know that it is recommended for them to get around 8 hours of sleep every night to make sure that they have enough energy for the next day [1]. But how do we go about it?

First Step: Teaching them how to organise their tasks with to-do lists and schedules. In picking up this very useful lifelong skill, they are gaining invaluable knowledge on time allocation and divide-and-conquer strategies, resulting in being more productive on a daily basis while still having leftover time to relax.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

– Maimonides

A glimpse of our printable weekly planner

Get started by downloading our Coding Lab A4 printable weekly planners (Yes, it’s FREE!) or click here for some beautiful templates we found online.

2. Watch Quick Bites Online

Image of Python Perfect class
A hybrid class in action (Online and Physical) – with students revising their work

Our students do need their rest, but we know that they’d like to squeeze in as much knowledge as they can each day. The solution – fitting in alternative forms of revision during breaks, especially in the midst of long hours of test papers and assessment books.

With the help of technology, learning and revision have never been easier! There are plenty of YouTube channels and websites that provide bite-sized tips online, regardless of the examinations you are studying for. Informative and colourful graphics allow students to recall concepts better as well. Fit one (or two!) videos in with your eyes closed, or during afternoon tea – some of our students’ favourites (hear it from the best) include Kurzgesagt and Khan Academy!

For the younger ones aged 4 to 12, Read: Top 10 shows/cartoons to teach children about STEM

Read: Tech Podcasts & TED Talks to get you psyched about tech

3. Trying a New Workout Together!

The benefits of exercise are diverse – from feeling more energetic to being productive at school or work [2]. Exercise helps release endorphins, chemicals in the brain that help alleviate stress accumulated throughout the day. Despite the COVID-19 situation, there are new home-based workouts available for the family by Get Active TV.

These workouts not only serve as a useful break away from the books but also help you bond with your child (or teen) throughout the session! (Bonus tip: You can even fit point 2 into this!)

4. Don’t Forget the Essential Eye Breaks

Our Young Computer Scientists taking an eye break on the bean bags
Our Young Computer Scientists taking an eye break on the bean bags at our Parkway Parade Campus

In the midst of all that studying, it is important for our children to remember to relax their eyes and hydrate regularly. This applies to you too! Here are some quick tips to help them, even when you’re away at work [3]:

  • Set reminders or alarms to take a break from near-work activities every 30-40 minutes and look at the trees outside for 5 minutes
  • An alternative eye break is to simply close your eyes to rest for a while
  • Sunlight has been shown to prevent or delay myopia, so spend at least 2 hours a day outdoors

We all play an important role in teaching our children to take better care of themselves throughout the year. Sometimes, even the smallest ways that we show our care towards them can mean a lot to them. Given the current pandemic, it is even more important to ensure that your children are well-prepared mentally and physically with the exams [4] around the corner!

The Coding Lab team would like to wish everyone taking their exams all the best! You’ve got this 🙂


Has your child started on their coding journey yet? How’s it coming along so far? In this #CodingLabParenting series, our tutors gather their top tips for you on how you can guide your child towards better learning!

We want to partner with you to ensure that your child’s learning experiences are the best they can be – especially if it’s coding.

From tips for meaningful learning to motivating, progression of knowledge and skills, and more… our students ultimately stay calm, code on and most importantly, have fun on their coding journey!

Get updates and more posts like these when you follow our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Click on any image below to enlarge it.