Development Guidelines

Pages, Sequences and Topics

The overall design philosophy of the site is that it should be as accessible as possible for young children.

Pages should be designed to present well-defined, bite-sized content on a single screen. Additional controls for developers are kept at the bottom of the page, accessible by scrolling down. Children using the site should not need to scroll.

It is envisioned that single pages will not be sufficient to present most subjects, unless the subject is very specific and constrained. Subjects should be organised as sequences, designed to be stepped through in a specific order.

The highest level of organisation is the topic, which puts sequences and pages together to create a hierarchical, structured system of pages for the child to explore.

For a high-level topic, (one that uses multiple sequences), planning it in a 'top-down' fashion is the approach to take. For example, the 'Life' topic was conceived initially at it's highest level.


There is a single introductory page at the top level, then the subject is broken down into a sequence at the next level. This already produces a simple topic. The sequence of pages can be accessed and read without going into further detail, but new sequences can now be added, going into aspects of the topic in more detail. For example, a new sequence on classifying living things can be added.



The following text is provided by the template, 'Navigation', which can be used whenever starting a new page. Just follow the instructions.

To provide navigation to and from your page, copy the JavaScript below to the 'Embed Media' dialog box.
Do this by highlighting all eight lines of the script and then going to 'Edit', 'Copy'.
Place the cursor at the beginning of the page then click on Embed Media embed.gif in the edit toolbar.
Paste the copied JavaScript into the embed media dialog box.
Edit the "Back", "More" and "Next" entries with the appropriate page names.
Make sure all the quotation marks and commas are left in place.
If there is no page to link to, leave the entry empty with double quotes like this ""
You can enter the names of new, not-yet-created pages if you intend to create them.
Save the page and test out the navigation controls.
You can then edit out these notes and the JavaScript, leaving only the [[media type="custom" key="xxxx"]] navigation control marup.
If there is a problem, erase the navigation control markup and repeat these instructions.

<script language="JavaScript" type="text/JavaScript">

File Naming Conventions

The above method of navigation is not entirely satisfactory, because it manipulates the browser's history of visited pages and can lose track when things like teh discussion pages are accessed. In order to allow scope for changing the navigation method, it is necessary to follow this naming convention, which is good organisational practice in any case.

All files which form a topic sequence must be named using dotted notation which consists of a common stem followed by a unique pagename (unique to the sequence).

Examples of common stems:-
  • Life
  • Life. Change. Variation
  • Mathematics. Geometry
  • Mathematics. Geometry. The circle

Note the convention of starting all dot-separated identifiers with a space followed by an initial capital letter. Exceptons should be made for proper nouns, e. g.

Mathematics. Mathematicians. Blaise Pascal

Unique pagenames should follow the common stem, and should contain the same number of identifiers, e. g.
  • Life. Change. Variation. Cells
  • Life. Change. Variation. The cell
  • Life. Change. Variation. Proteins

External links

Use open in new window. See open (window)
Embeddable markup and instructions will be provided.