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Digital Schoolhouse wrapped: 2019 highlights

Author: sophia.aker

2019 has been filled with landmark moments for Digital Schoolohuse, and with many firsts! We're thrilled to have welcomed our new cohort of ingenous lead teachers to the programme, reaching 55 Schoolhouses, 32,000 pupils and supporting over 4000 teachers this year alone! We also welcomed Nintendo UK as lead partner, celebrated Ukie's 30 years of play in industry, launched our biggest esports tournament yet, released brand new workshop resources, and not least were awarded the HundrED Digital Wellbeing spotlight

Here's our best bits from 2019, so get comfy and join us in reflecting on what I'm sure you can agree, has been a pivotal year for Digital Schoolhouse and for computing education. 

Special thanks to our sponsors, Lead Teacher community, friends of the programme and everyone else who has made 2019 a fantastic year for DSH.


2019 began with our biggest school recruitment campaign ever! We reached out to schools & colleges across the country to spread word about the programme. We also invited a select few teachers to exclusive studio tours at SEGA Europe and Creative Assembly. We were thrilled to receive brilliant applications from passionate Computing teachers. 


We were excited to welcome Estelle to our growing team, who has become our treasured Curriculum Content Developer. Estelle's pioneering role lies between industry & education, which she has been showcasing in a monthly 'Best of Both Worlds' blog. Reflecting on her experiences, her role is the first of its kind!  


The team travelled the length & breadth of the country during the esports tournament knockouts. Whilst our regional champs were decided, we achieved a victory of our own with our tournament stream featured on Twitch’s homepage! We also welcomed our new esports manager, Mike, to the team who was immersed in the hustle of the tournament from day one!


In the final showdown of the esports tournament, Scorpions were crowned UK Esports Champions 2019. At Gfinity's esports arena in London we welcomed a careers panel of industry pros, a host of the best student shoutcasters & a special key-note from Joel Holmes-Darby of Excel esports. We were also featured on twitch's homepage!


We made the selection after a successful  Schoolhouse recruitment campaign, reaching our target of 55 Schoolhouses as set out earlier in the year. Mike and Sophia also attended a DCMS roundtable at ESL ONE Birmingham with Margot James & some of our lead teachers for an interesting discussion on esports in education. 


We welcomed new and experienced DSH Lead Teachers into our 2019-2020 cohort of Schoolhouses at the DSH Summer Boot-up Camp. Guests included Paul Curzon (CS4FN) and Detective Constable Peter Chaffey (South East Regional Cyber Crime Unit). We also dazzled educators at Wellington College with an exclusive esports pop up at the Festival of Education!


Laura made the team proud by winning Rising Star of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards in their business category. Meanwhile, we were thrilled to finally launch our three part esports video series, 'On The Road to Victory', following the journey of the esports tournament from school heats to the Grand Final! 


Whilst our Schoolhouses were taking a well-deserved break, Laura and Sophia headed to Cologne for GamesCom, to work on the Ukie stand in what was a hectic but fun week. Meanwhile, Digital Schoolhouse had a double spread feature in MCV, and we wrote about the 10 benefits of joining our annual esports tournament! 


This academic year started with a bang: we celebrated Ukie's 30th birthday & members day at the Barbican where we finally announced Nintendo UK as our new headline partner, and Smashbros as the title for our esports tournament. Estelle dropped brand new workshop resources & our teachers came down for the first Ingenuity Day of the academic year! 


DSH was the hot topic this month after featuring in BBC Inside Out on esports in schools. Estelle also held a workshop at the iconic Alexandra Palace on how to teach games dev to secondary schools, and we launched brand new careers resource One Minute Mentor for young people wanting to learn about games related, digital & creative careers!


Our Schoolhouses took part in the first ever Creative Careers Week, hosted at SEGA, Ubisoft & KONAMI. Students learned about careers in the industry & presented their own marketing pitches & ideas. Laura & Estelle attended the HundrED innovation Summit in Helsinki, and we launched esports photo competition, Capture for Careers! 


The end of 2019 finishes on a festive note! This month we are incredibly excited to be recognised for the HundrED Digital Wellbeing Award, along with a roster of global innovations in education. We teased our brand new characters at the Ukie festive drinks party (coming soon!) & Estelle wrote a special 12 days of Computing for Christmas!


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