In a welcome diversion from our normal Tuesday afternoon GCSE Computing lessons, on 28th March – I took my Year 10 GCSE Computing class on a visit to Uclan to help judge some project presentations by 3rd Year students on the BA (Hons) Games Design degree course.
Although the games design course, might not be viewed as being directly relevant to the more technically focussed GCSE Computing course, my Year 10 students had previously voiced an interest in games design – not just games creation and programming, so this presented itself as an ideal opportunity to indulge their interests.
We were the guests of Bev Bush the course leader and her wonderful 3rd year students. There was a novel shift of roles during the visit, as this time my Year 10 pupils became the judges, rather than having their work judged, as they are more accustomed to. They told me after the visit that they particularly enjoyed the extra level of responsibility that this experience offered them.
As the games design students each took it in turns to pitch their games and app designs, my Year 10 students were asked to award marks based on specific criteria, for example, marketability. They were required to record their marks on judging sheets.
What was very clear was that the Year 10 GCSE Computing students were inspired by the imaginative and creative concepts that were being presented to them and approached the judging with a strong sense of maturity.
Now – next week for homework, I need to ask my GCSE Computing pupils to create the code to enable the games design students concepts to become a reality. 🙂
Those of you who have experience of organising school trips will agree that they can be fraught with bureaucracy, from organising transport, producing risk assessments, writing letters for permission and obtaining medical forms. However, all of these are only burdensome when the trip offers little value to the students.
From the responses and feedback I received from my GCSE pupils – I am now convinced that the trip was definitely a valuable and worthwhile experience. I would recommend that teachers consider organising trips to their local universities and colleges to enable their pupils to experience future learning pathways that they may wish to consider, even if only to reach the conclusion “No, that’s not for me”
This is the second time recently that Bev Bush and her students have supported our activities to widen children’s understanding in the field of computing and interactive entertainment. Bev comes across as being incredibly passionate about what she does and it is clear that her enthusiasm has also infected her games design students, some of whom have had their designs recognised with awards and competition success.