Argyll and Bute schools top of the class with technology skills

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Published Date: 

30 Jun 2015 - 10:38

Argyll and Bute’s primary schools are gaining a reputation for being top of the class when it comes to technology based learning - winning Microsoft’s ‘Scottish Kodu’ computer programming competition for the second year running.

The area saw three primary schools represented in the final six, and bringing home first and third prize.

Dunoon Primary School’s Pro-Gamers team fought off challenges from schools across Scotland to win the Scottish Microsoft ‘Kodu Kup’ at West College Scotland on 17 June.  The team created an exciting game named Rural Racers and put together a business case and marketing plan.

The win comes hot on the heels of last year’s Scottish primary winners Cardross Primary, who were placed third this time. Rosneath Primary’s team Diamond Dogs were also finalists.

Dunoon Primary’s Pro-Gamers team – P6 pupils Olivia Robertson and Lewis MacKay and P7 pupil Aidan Purdie – will now take on primary and secondary schools from all of the UK at the final to be held at Microsoft’s UK headquarters in Reading, on 13 July.

At the same event last year Cardross Primary lifted the Judges’ Special Award. This year, P7s Lachlan McKinnon, Daniel Glen and Miles Williams took third place in the Scottish final.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Rory Colville, said, “This project is important to the economy of Argyll and Bute as the council wishes to offer our young people as much choice as possible in where they live and work. We are very aware that almost every field of employment now relies on technology.

“Young people in our schools have excellent ICT skills and make very good use of technology. Building on that, this project provides pupils at primary level with skills and knowledge to improve their understanding of computer programming and how technologies work. This will help them into employment in the field of technology which provides remote working and company start up opportunities.”

David Renton, Curriculum and Quality Leader for Computing at West College Scotland in Paisley, who organised the event on behalf of Microsoft, said “Argyll and Bute have done really well again in the competition this year. The KoduKup is all about encouraging children of all ages to get involved in programming and inspires creative computing skills. Kodu is a 3D world creation and programming environment which children as young as seven can use.”

Dunoon Primary School head teacer Sylvia Clark said, “We are delighted about the success of our Pro-Gamers team, and going on to represent Scotland at the UK final is a fantastic achievement.

“Using Kodu in our school has increased programming skills for our pupils, as well as providing the children with a greatly enriched learning experience.  We see Kodu as a vital part of the firm foundation of IT skills required for life, learning and work.”

The Kodu Kup is a national game creation competition organised by the Microsoft Educator Network, and is aimed at all children in the UK aged between seven and 14. Students plan and create their games and are encouraged to assess and give one another feedback.

Argyll and Bute Council’s learning technologies team have been providing additional exciting, computer science related learning opportunities for young people at primary level.

The long-term goal of this project is to capture the imagination of young people, to showcase what can be created and inspire through technology.