15th February 2022


After a successful launch last year, we are excited to announce the development of our partnership with Playground Games, the triple-A games developer behind the Forza Horizon series, to run a video game design competition for KS3 students at State Schools across the UK.

During 2021, students aged 11 to 14 from Coventry and Warwickshire delved into the world of video games with the first round of Coding Clubs - aimed at inspiring students and introducing them to different career pathways into STEM.

The competition is now being rolled out across the country; students will work in teams to build three minigames based on different themes, including ‘Hide and Seek’, ‘Choose your own Adventure’, and ‘The Maze’. Over the course of 10 one-hour sessions supported by gaming experts from Playground Games, students will build teamwork and leadership skills, and learn how to concept, pitch, program, design and produce their own games.

Pete Maguire, Head of STEM at Finham Park School, said:
“Playground Games provided a brilliant opportunity for students to talk and interact with a real-life, female game developer, and hear about her experience of getting into engineering and games development at university. This sparked a lot of excitement and interest amongst students, particularly those who had not previously considered the potential career opportunities in STEM.”

This is a great opportunity for students to explore career options in video game development; the winning team will be invited to a virtual celebration broadcast from the awesome Playground Games studio, where they will meet real-life programmers, developers and designers. Students are also eligible to apply for British Science Association Bronze CREST award.

Dr Kevin P. Stenson, Chief Executive Officer at The Smallpeice Trust, said:
“Games development is one of the most fast-paced and diverse areas in the computing industry, as it draws upon a wide set of skills including technology, art and design, business and of course, creativity. Entertainment was vital to keeping so many people occupied during lockdown, and with the UK gaming industry just witnessing its most successful year on record, there’s never been a more exciting time to work in the field.”

The competition helps schools to meet Gatsby Benchmarks 2, 4 and 5 by showing students the career paths available to them, linking learning to real-world situations and introducing students to employers.

If you or your students would benefit from this interactive STEM project, apply now.


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