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UK Pilot: Adventures in Space!

We have been working alongside pupils at Sneinton St Stephens Primary school which is one of the 4 NOLB partner schools in the UK.

Adventure game template: Science topic – Space themed

This is a year 5 (9-10 year old) class working on the half term topic: Space, focussing on science yet linking with several other areas of the curriculum. The pupils have had a previous half term’s introduction to Create@School, navigating the app, building their coding ability, and developing skills improving their confidence in independent learning.2

Working alongside the class teacher; Mr Gill, we identified objectives in the medium term plan that could be developed and enhanced through the use of Create@School in this topic:

literacy: using their composition skills developed through the term, pupils have created a written story, they adapted this into a series of sections within a storyboard to link with the separate ‘Levels’ within the adventure game template.

Computing: The ‘storyboarding’ of their written work helped complete a computing objective of creating an interactive story board.

History: the template’s layout is similar to a quiz, so questions reinforcing their knowledge of details about the space race and space ‘firsts’ can be added to the text to be answered correctly to reach the next part of the adventure.

Science: The adventure template has a space theme preprogramed within it and lends itself to this topic which describes the size, order and distances of the planets from the sun, the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth, movement of the earth and other planets relative to the sun in the solar system.

This being the pupils own work, we did not give them a series of objectives to meet, and allowed them to create their own stories – taking charge of their own learning.

Creating the game

3Through a constructivist approach, pupils actively tested their ideas within the template, developing both their programming and problem-solving skills. Collaborating with their peers to test ideas they questioned their ideas and strategies.

We found that as the lessons moved on, pupils felt more comfortable trying things out without asking for help, and the teaching staff took the role of encouraging role for the pupils to inquire and solve problems themselves.

 

What we achieved

By the end of the series of lessons all pupils had created a space adventure based on their literacy work. Some had uploaded their games to the PocketCode website, whilst others had shared their devices to the rest of the class.4 5

The topic has a gallery of their ICT projects with the space adventure viewed as a celebration of their achievements.

The pupils have all gained confidence in problem-solving, independent learning and programming skills and has enhanced their understanding of the topic itself and improved engagement with pupils who had struggled previously.

When they knew we were leaving, there was an audible moan. Though this raised to a cheer as we proclaimed ‘we’ll be back’!

 

 

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The Planet!2:  https://share.catrob.at/pocketcode/program/27547