Get started with teaching game design in the classroom

Teaching game design in class is a great way to help students to learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. CLC’s Rowan Roberts has put together  a handy Get Started guide, packed full of resources including step by step one-hour workshops, tutorials, coding cards and ideas.

It was all put into practice towards the end of last year during the final, celebratory day of the Connected Learning Centre’s Game Changer Challenge. This multi-school programming project invited pupils from across our community to put their programming skills to the test, working in teams to create games in Scratch, as well as videos to promote them. The games were scored by a team of judges on their story, visual design and programming, but it wasn’t until the final event that an overall winner was determined by the pupils themselves, who play, tested and scored them.

 

How we used technology in the project/event

  • We hosted the event through Zoom, with the teacher of each class joining from their laptop. This meant that each class could see the others projected onto the board in their classroom. At certain points pupils asked or answered questions, which they did by stepping forward individually so that they could be heard properly.

 

  • On the morning of the event, pupils competed in an exciting Kahoot quiz that tested their knowledge of videogames as well as their Scratch skills and understanding. Kahoot is a great tool for delivering remote activities as it provides regular feedback on how each team or pupil is getting on. We’d recommend increasing the number of seconds pupils have to answer the questions if they are competing alongside their whole class, as they may need some extra discussion time.

 

 

We created and shared Padlet boards to allow testing and scoring. Each class received their own board, which contained links to a selection of games and videos created by other children. We used the star rating function in Padlet as a quick way for children to enter their scores. This was helpful because it automatically generates an average score, so it doesn’t matter whether the pupils are sharing devices or working individually, we would still see an overall score for each game, from each class. These were then aggregated in order to establish the winners. (You can find out more about Padlet and how to use it in our latest webinar)

Sharing feedback, choosing winners

While the classes were scoring the games we also asked each of them to decide on a question they would like to ask to the creators of one of the games they played. This was a lovely opportunity for children to share feedback and explain their creative processes. A few children also used this time to ask the host, CLC’s Rowan Roberts, some questions about her own experiences creating games in Scratch and learning about computing.

 

When the winners of each category were finally declared, Rowan also announced the games and videos that came in second and third place. This created an additional opportunity to provide feedback about what made these submissions so successful, and also meant that teams that tried hard but didn’t necessarily win a prize were still praised and acknowledged for their efforts. Overall the classes showed a lot of kindness and empathy for each other through their comments and questions, which meant that despite the competitive nature of the event it still felt supportive for all participants.

 

Find out the winners below, with the feedback they received:

 

Quiz: Hitherfield’s Kingfisher class correctly identified how to programme a square, what selection is in programming, and how a partially eaten pizza inspired the shape of Pacman, coming out on top in the quiz with a remarkable score of 10/12. (6J from St Andrew’s came second and Hitherfield’s Otter’s were third)

 

Category 3rd 2nd 1st
Best Visual Design Flappy Fish Combined imported images, digital drawings and Scratch backgrounds to great effect... and everyone loves a blob fish! Jumpy Square Simple but effective design... a tricky but strangely addictive game! Go Konpeki Possibly the only game that included hand drawn artwork as well as digital drawings. It took us a while to get the hang of it but it was a really imaginative and interesting game, and a worthy winner!
Best Story Jumpy Square The use of multiple levels really created the sense that the little jumpy square was on a journey! Go Konpeki Another multi level platform game. Great use of the classic boss fight trope, and very satisfying to get to the win screen at the end. Magic Keys This game used an amazing variety of backgrounds and characters, and the addition of instructions in the speech bubbles helped to set the scene and create a real sense of personality.
Best Programming balloon party fun (pop) While there were many teams who used variables to great effect I think this was the only game that actually used one variable to change another variable! Go Konpeki The judges were really impressed with this game which proved to be a great all rounder, scoring well on design, story and programming. It was clever to combine the platform format with the ability to fire missiles, and involved some ambitious programming. Jumpy Square This game also combined a platform style with a boss fight level. The judges were impressed with the number of levels involved and with how tricky it was to get to the end... it was just difficult enough to need to make several attempts, which gave it great replayability value.
Best Presentation video Goalz Mania/Pong Both made great use of music and in game footage SOS Save the eggs Great acting Balloon party fun Lovely use of music and editing
Best Game Goals Mania a two player game, allowed you to share the fun Flappy Fish Simple yet effective - a creative take on a classic. Go Konpeki A game that combined so many different ideas, controls, characters and ways of programming. An impressive achievement, and great fun to play!
  • Interested in teaching game design with your pupils? Check out Rowan’s handy Get Started guide.

Book now

Computing and Online safety conference for primary schools

01/02/22,
09:15
- 15:30

Diving deep into all things computing, this conference will consist of two sessions. Participants can choose to join us for the full day, or book for just the morning or afternoon separately.

Online Safety & Data Security (am)
This session is for computing subject leaders, senior leaders, safeguarding leads and other relevant school staff. Falling in the lead up to Safer Internet Day 2022 (Tuesday 8 February), the morning of the conference will have a particular focus on online safety, bringing together a variety of external resources with expertise from within the CLC team to help schools get to grips with the complexities of online safety and data security.

Leading Computing in the Classroom (pm)
This portion of the day is for computing subject leaders and teachers interested in the use of technologies across the curriculum. It will include policy and curriculum updates as well as practical workshops and opportunities to hear from colleagues in other schools.

Does your school need a sustained programme in the use of digital technology to underpin your whole school aims and plans?

Our support package covers the following:

Professional learning

Teacher professional development which puts digital at the heart of teaching and learning

Pupil workshops

Engaging, practical workshops for your class, in your school, at our Clapham centre online

Creative technology projects

Engaging, immersive educational experiences with corporate and cultural partners

Consultancy & advice

Get tailored support from our expert team of teachers and technologists

Technology loans

Kit for every classroom

Book a call
with James

Upcoming CPD

Computing and Online safety conference for primary schools
Computing and Online safety conference for primary schools

Diving deep into all things computing, this conference will consist of two sessions. Participants can choose to join us for the full day, or book for just the morning or afternoon separately.

Online Safety & Data Security (am)
This session is for computing subject leaders, senior leaders, safeguarding leads and other relevant school staff. Falling in the lead up to Safer Internet Day 2022 (Tuesday 8 February), the morning of the conference will have a particular focus on online safety, bringing together a variety of external resources with expertise from within the CLC team to help schools get to grips with the complexities of online safety and data security.

Leading Computing in the Classroom (pm)
This portion of the day is for computing subject leaders and teachers interested in the use of technologies across the curriculum. It will include policy and curriculum updates as well as practical workshops and opportunities to hear from colleagues in other schools.

01/02/22,
09:15
- 15:30
EYFS, KS1, KS2
Business leaders, Computing subject leaders...
English and digital technology forum for primary schools
English and digital technology forum for primary schools

Learn how technology can help children develop their ideas, express themselves, share a love of literature and review and reflect on their work using a range of digital tools. This forum, for English subject leaders and teachers interested in using technology to enhance their pupils’ learning, will combine practical activities, group discussion and expert input from CLC practitioners. We will share findings from some of our research projects and explore the resources developed by partner organisations. Topics covered within this session will also address the challenges and solutions for schools within the context of blended learning.

01/03/22,
09:30
- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
25/11/21,
09:30
- 14:25
KS2

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum
21/02/22,
-
KS1

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By visiting theclc.co.uk, you accept our use of cookies.