Look! It's us, believe it or not, playing games with a whole class. Apart from our selected safe schools in lockdown, it's been a while. Okay, you can't see them, but they are there... somewhere!
Throughout lockdown we have played with lots of different ideas to interact with and deliver activities to our schools and families. Via our website with a collection of links to games and resources from our wonderful network of games companies around the world, involving over 50 families in our awards by sending games to review by post, and 2020's "CU Zoom" family games workshops, we've been nothing if not creative!
However the continued need for home-learning and socially distant activities has driven the need for us to make sure we can continue to support schools with the Imagination Gaming boost they still demand, especially after so much time without!
So.... we are now available online!
Of course that means things are different, but as we not only play games with groups around a tables in school, we also do plenty of front of class activities that we can replicate through remote learning channels.
This week we have been "in" Shawlands School in Barnsley, and what better way to explain what we did and its effects than ask the Headteacher, who sat in some of the sessions and even joined in himself! Here is what he had to say...
We have taken part in some online 'virtual' Imagination Gaming sessions with our Y5 and 6 children who are working from home this morning. Using a webcam set up, Nigel led the children through around half a dozen different logic, maths and word-based puzzles which the children found very engaging and challenging. Some of the most engaged children were those who have found the more traditional online lessons didn't suit them and the sessions gave them a chance to excel and build their self-esteem.
The sessions also allowed the children to interact and socialise in ways a traditional online lesson wouldn't have. We'll be booking Nigel in for another session for the Y3s and 4s as soon as possible.
"Imagination Gaming, whether in school or done remotely, helps Shawlands deliver on the 6 Rs we aim to instil in our children...
RESILIENCE: None of the puzzles and games rely on luck, and they always challenge children of all abilities. Often the children who excel in academic subjects find the activities difficult which develops in them a resilience they can sometimes lack. Often equally children who do not excel in academic subjects find themselves succeeding and enjoying the thrill of success among their peers.
RESOURCEFULNESS: All the activities require the children to be resourceful, thinking in different ways when the obvious solutions don't work. Many of the physical activities require them to consider different ways to view and use the resources available.
REASONING: All the activities require reasoning at a deep level; when the first method doesn't work they are forced to consider why not, and to find solutions to the problems faced. When they find a solution, the thrill on their faces is very real.
REFLECTIVE: Like with reasoning, they have to reflect on what went well and why, and more importantly what didn't work so well and why, so that future efforts can be more effective
RESPONSIBILITY: In paired and group work, the children have to take responsibility for their part in any successes and failures. With many of the physical games an emphasis is placed on being responsible for the care and proper packing away of the pieces.
RESPECTFULNESS: The sessions help develop in children a mature and respectful attitude to both success and failure, and an ethos of being first not being the most important thing, where the more children succeed the better."
Mr. D. Thompson, Shawlands Primary School, Barnsley
We have already booked in more activities via Teams and Zoom for after half-term, and if you would like to take part and begin to access more of the types of activities children have been sorely missing to help support their education and well-being, don't hesitate to contact us now! We hope to See You Zoom!