Six Prep School pupils have been designing their own video games as part of an after-school workshop to teach children how to code.
The 12-week workshop, which is run by Clifton College parent and coding instructor Nica Faustino, enables pupils to use their creativity to generate 3D game worlds with characters, storytelling, and game play.
The visual programming tool they use is Microsoft Kodu which was created by Microsoft developers for children worldwide to develop their logical thinking, sequencing and to have fun while creating exciting, intelligent 3D games.
At the beginning of each workshop, the pupils play a game created by the mysterious Game Creators (Nica’s two boys, Taiki and Mitsuki) and then are taught individual techniques to replicate that game. Every child builds their own version of the original game and adds their own twists to the game world, playability and logic.
Pupil Emma Guerman said: “I find coding very interesting and I think it is useful to know, especially if you want to become an animator. The workshops are really fun; my favourite part was designing the game world.”
Instructor Nica Faustino said: “Coding is closely associated with problem solving, sequencing and creative thinking. These skills can be used in all angles of life, not only in relation to the STEM curriculum but also in adulthood when trying to break down a complex problem into smaller solvable components.”
Founder of Code It, a programming company for children, Nica also ran a 12-week BBC micro:bit workshop at Year 6 level. BBC micro:bit is an initiative where the BBC handed out more than 1,000,000 BBC micro:bit (minicomputers) to Year 7 children across the UK.
“I hope the children taking part in the workshops will continue to create new and more complex games moving forward. One of the pupils told me she wanted to become a game designer. I personally hope that these workshops help to inspire the pupils to have a creative and fun future in game development but, equally importantly, help them realise that they can turn their ideas into reality through coding,” said Nica.