Diary of a Lead Teacher: A new school year

Author: Jo Hodge, Lead Teacher

Hello and welcome back to a new school year! Hopefully, we have all survived our first half term?

This year has been exciting so far with the launch of the new Digital Schoolhouse Junior Epsorts competition. Last summer term, our school had the privilege to be included in the pilot where we used the new resources written to deliver the Junior Esports competition programme. We were lucky to have loaned some Nintendo Switches and were given game codes to explore the three games on offer: Mario Kart 8, Crayola Scoot and Race with Ryan.

After much class discussion, we decided to go ahead with Super Mario Kart 8 and can I say the children absolutely loved it! The way we ran it was teams of 4 and they played each of the other teams in the class using a 1 versus 1 game format. All three classes in Year 6 took part. The children thoroughly enjoyed it often staying in at playtime to hone their gaming skills! Each week, the teams would rotate so that they played each other and whilst this was going on, they had specific tasks to complete – a Round Robin style format. The tasks enabled the class to take on some of the esports roles such as Tournament Admin and Shout Caster. It was wonderful to see the class being engaged and excited whilst at the same time enabling all abilities to succeed.

In addition to this, it also linked to other areas of the curriculum such as English and DT. Finally, once we had all played each other, we then held a grand final in our school hall with the game on the big screen which was nail-biting I can tell you! Luckily, my class team won but it was a close contest! All finalists received a certificate and prizes!

In short, I would highly recommend you sign up your school as such a unique and brilliant opportunity for children. There is a cost implication but well worth every penny as you get a full set of resources to enable you to run an Esports competition in your school.

If you do not believe me then read the published research to find out more about the impact of the pilot and to register your school. 

We will be running our tournament in June after SATS so watch this space for more exciting news to come!

Happy half term everyone!

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