70% of primary school pupils are more interested in computing after participating in the Digital Schoolhouse initiative

A survey into the effectiveness of the Digital Schoolhouse initiative – a programme that “uses play-based learning to engage the next generation of pupils and teachers with the Computing curriculum” – has revealed that 96 per cent of lead teachers “highly value the programme” and 98 per cent of children left workshops feeling more confident in computing.

The not-for-profit Digital Schoolhouse programme is delivered by Ukie, partnered with Nintendo UK, and supported by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). So far, Digital Schoolhouse has reached 59,000 young people and supported more than 7,500 teachers across the country since it was founded in 2014. 55 schoolhouses have been set up in partnership with schools, colleges, and universities across the country.

74 per cent of teachers polled felt that DSH helped to raise the profile of their school within the local community and also helped to build links with feeder schools, as well as helping them better understand Key Stage 2 curriculum (for three to six year olds) and develop their Key Stage 3 (seven to 11 year olds) content.

Consequently, the report says the initiative “has had a major impact on the style of teaching” with 70 per cent of lead teachers believing DSH “has enabled them to be more creative when teaching computing”. 98 per cent of pupils surveyed reported “feeling more confident in IT after having been involved in a workshop, and an impressive 70 per cent said they were more interested in computing following participation in the scheme.

“We’re really proud of these findings, which show the outstanding benefit and impact that Digital Schoolhouse has on pupils, teachers and schools across the UK,” said Shahneila Saeed, programme director of Digital Schoolhouse. “By further developing the programme and nurturing our ongoing connections with the video games industry, we can continue to unlock the creative potential of every child – providing them with the skills they need to thrive through ingenious Computing.”

For the full report, head to the website.

Nintendo UK teamed up with not-for-profit organisation Digital Schoolhouse (DSH) last year to help deliver “play-based learning and industry best practice” to school and college learners over the next academic year, with Konami, Sega, and Ubisoft joining the initiative last year to provide a “special series of events aimed to inspire young people to pursue a career within video games and other creative industries”.

Becoming the programme’s new lead partner, Nintendo UK hopes to support an estimated 32,000 learners across a network for 55 schools and colleges “to bridge the gap between industry and education, combining fun, innovation and creativity with learning” and enable learners to learn anytime, anywhere with Nintendo’s mobile console system, Nintendo Switch. The programme – which is delivered by UK trade industry body Ukie – works in the grassroots of computing and is also working with Nintendo UK to deliver the next DSH national schools esports tournament.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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