Primary school students in the UK may soon be swapping their jotters for Joy-Cons as they learn how to put together their own eSports tournament.
UKIE’s Digital Schoolhouse, Nintendo UK and Outright Games have teamed up to provide a new ‘careers experience’ for pupils aged 8 to 11 which teaches them how to organise and run their own event.
The Digital Schoolhouse Junior eSports Tournament 2021-2022 provides teachers with a six-week lesson plan that’s mapped to the UK primary curriculum for Computing, English, Maths, Design & Technology and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education.
The lesson begins with an introduction to the world of eSports, before teaching children all the roles involved and how to set up a tournament.
Activities include organising a fixtures list, setting up hardware, developing marketing materials, shoutcasting and actually playing the game.
The lesson plan includes bespoke resources for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Race With Ryan and Crayola Scoot, but teachers can replace them with any game of their choice (with the appropriate PEGI rating, of course) using a generic lesson pack template.
A pilot version of the scheme took place in 2020, with over 700 pupils across seven schools taking part.
According to questionnaires held after the pilot, 100% of teachers said pupils were either ‘extremely engaged’ (45%) or ‘very engaged’ (55%) with the activities.
55% of teachers also noted that pupils achieved higher results in these activities than they usually did in other lessons.
91% of teachers also said they would be willing to bring their pupils to physical events, such as wider national junior eSports tournaments.
“The children would be thrilled to do this as it would enable them to meet other schools and gamers”, replied one teacher. “It would make them feel like they are real
eSports players – making it a special and unique opportunity for them.”
Schools can take part in the tournament and receive their lesson pack at Digital Schoolhouse’s Eventbrite page.