We were very impressed by Megan and Imagination Gaming when we booked them to facilitate sessions at our Summer Camp for children and young people with additional needs. The sessions were very well attended and Megan managed to reach all of those young people who attended and had a very natural way of knowing the best way to do this. Everyone had fun and everyone was included. We most definitely plan to work together again in the future!
Leisure and Recreation Co-ordinator Specialist Inclusion Project
We cannot speak highly enough about Imagination Gaming. Nigel, Nicola and Doc are amazing, very professional, they have an incredible passion for what they do!
Imagination Gaming have helped us to put together a Board Games Lending Collection at our main Central Library and recently they have organised and facilitated a Primary Inter Schools Board Games Tournament for Calderdale Libraries. The Board Games Lending Collection has been a huge success, so much so that we are now rolling out mini collections in our HUB libraries. The games are immensely popular and the collection is an amazing resource for Calderdale Library users and the wider community.
The Board Games Tournament that Imagination Gaming managed and implemented on our behalf was very special. There was a buzz of excitement throughout the day, we are sure the children who attended will remember it for years to come.
Massive thanks Imagination Gaming!
Young Peoples Library Officer - Calderdale Libraries
We were lucky enough to have Nigel come into school for the day to work with 2 of our classes. Both the children and teachers had very positive things to say and had lots of fun. The children were engaged throughout the whole session and worked really well together on the activities. Nigel was so calm and able to take everything in his stride. We are hoping to have Nigel back in the future so more of our children will have the chance to enjoy Imagination Gaming.
Hillside Primary School
Great day delivered by Imagination Gaming. Children were engaged and enjoyed the activities provided. Our parents really enjoyed the after school activities and it gave them the chance to work closely as families to solve and complete maths problems.
Here are a few quotes from children who took part in the day:
”I liked how we got to play different types of games from different countries and the games were exciting to play”
”I enjoyed playing the maths games after school with my mum. It was lots of fun!”
”Playing the games gave us chance to mix which other children we wouldn’t normally play with. I enjoyed it.”
Year 4 children
Maths Lead - Caldicotes Primary Academy
Imagination Gaming has been delivering an annual board games day for all pupils and parents in our school for children with Speech, Language and Communication needs for four years now, and we all look forward to it every year.
Nigel, Chris and Jacqui all show a great passion for board games in education, as well as an understanding of the needs of our S.E.N. pupils. They have a great rapport with the pupils and always keep them engaged and inspired. The games that they leave with us are well chosen and allow us to continue their work throughout the year. Seeing children engage in problem solving, developing social skills, and having fun working and playing together, is invaluable, and we all, staff and parents as well as children, gain a lot from our time with Imagination Gaming.
I would recommend them to any school or organisation working with young people, but they are especially skilled at working with those outside the mainstream.
LSA - Grove House School
It’s been fantastic having Nigel back into school as the children absolutely love his sessions, and were so excited when we told them he was back in today.
The front-of-room sessions were just as engaging, stimulating and rewarding for the children and as everything was delivered through the interactive whiteboard through apple tv, we were confident it was completely Covid-safe.
As always, the range of games and activities allowed different children to succeed and excel in a healthy competitive atmosphere and Nigel knew exactly when to move onto new games to keep everyone engaged and interested. We can’t wait to have him back!
Mr D Thompson
Head Teacher - Shawlands Primary School.
It was a pleasure to see the children so engaged in the games taking place and there seemed a really purposeful and competitive atmosphere every time I came to see them.
They were really enthused and excited when I saw them leaving at the end of the day, which is testament to how much they enjoyed it.
Mr Jordan Gates
Assistant Principal - Kirkbalk High School, Barnsley
The session Chris delivered featured a range of games that were all very engaging and challenged the children’s abilities!
It was very enjoyable for both the staff and children as it required imagination, in addition to the development of many other skills such as communication and team work whilst having lots of fun.
Year 1 Teacher - Royd Nursery Infant School
We invited Imagination Gaming into our school after a recommendation from another school in Sheffield. We booked 3 days and Chris was very experienced in guiding us in how to get the most from the time. It was a brilliant experience that engaged all year groups and parents too.
Chris was fantastic in meeting the needs of all year groups and the response from our children to the lunchtime club he offered was overwhelming. We have already included and are embedding this in our school either as lunchtime clubs, intervention provisions or whole class sessions.
We will certainly continue to work with Chris and Imagination Gaming. I can highly recommend Imagination Gaming – your school will love it!
Head Teacher - Angram Bank Primary School
Imagination Gaming do truly amazing things.
In one hour, Nigel managed to turn disengaged learners into model students, pushing them out of their comfort zone and stretching them in the most clever way. The games are engaging and challenging while presenting as fun. The dynamic of the group changed in the hour we were with Nigel.
I’d highly recommend Imagination Gaming. An innovative alternative to classroom learning.
Teacher - Barnsley College
The children of Sparken Hill Academy participated in a Games Day following some staff demonstrations given by the Imagination Gaming Team on an INSET.
The children absolutely loved the experience that was provided by the team. Learning through play is a way to capture children without them realising that they are learning. It also develops their interpersonal skills when play alongside/against peers. Imperative in the advancing technological age that we live in today.
Teacher - Sparken Hill Academy
What a wonderful way to engage children with Mathematics!
Children of all abilities have loved every second of working with Imagination Gaming and their broad spectrum of games. Lots of laughter and fun while the children work together to apply maths in contexts that are so varied that they don’t even realise they are learning.
Lots of parents brought their children to the after school club too and I am very pleased to say that there was no ‘hard sell’, just lots more fun while the children shared their learning with their families. Highly recommend Imagination Gaming and would encourage schools to definitely give games days a go.
A big thank you to Nigel, who made the days go without a hitch. We will all enjoy playing the games, which we got to keep as part of the package. Fantastic!!!
Deputy Head - Bookwell Primary
The imagination gaming sessions have engaged all of the children in Year 2. They have enabled children to use knowledge and skills in maths in different contexts as well as enhancing their social skills.
The children have thoroughly enjoyed the imagination gaming sessions. As a member of staff I feel they have not only had fun learning without realising, they have learnt how to play together and in teams.
The children love working with Nigel. From our point of view he can always think on his feet to provide activities that fit with our maths and literacy objectives.
Since imagination gaming started our (most) children have been showing a more mature approach to each other when working in small groups. We find our more excitable children seem more focused when playing the games.
I have seen a remarkable change in our young children’s ability to take turns, share fairly and work as a team. It has really tested their resilience and has challenged them to communicate in different ways. Nigel has been excellent at managing any conflicts and has built an amazing relationship with the class. The children LOVE imagination gaming.
Headteacher - The Mill Academy
We are a specialist school provision for children aged 8 to 19 who have special educational needs relating to speech, language and communication. We have been involved with Imagination Gaming since we opened nearly three years ago. Nigel came to us in July 2016 and Chris in July 2017, to deliver a whole day of board games, and we are looking forward to welcoming Nigel back again this year.
The board games days have been a great success. Nigel and Chris liaised with us in advance to make sure that they had a good understanding of the needs of our students, and because of this were very well prepared and brought a great package of games for our school.
They worked tirelessly throughout the day, including attending our lunch time board games club, and working with parents after school to allow them to experience the benefits of playing game with their children. They are very enthusiastic, engaging and sensitive with our students, who are very varied in age and ability, and our staff very much appreciated their suggestions for other ways that we can use games with our students.
They also left us with a package of board games to keep at school, which has been an invaluable resource. Board games are a fun way of reinforcing academic learning, and also learning and practising communication and social skills, which is such an important part of what we do in our school.
We are very much looking forward to this year’s board games day, and thanks again for all your help so far.
Learning Support Assistant Key Stage 2 - Grove House SEN School, Essex
What a treat we had this week. A whole day of fun, challenging games for our Key stage 2 children. Imagination Gaming are the perfect way to get children engaged in word games, maths puzzles, shape awareness, working as part of team and laughing along the way.
Some of our children said “It was the best day ever!” It was also lovely to see parents and grandparents playing games with their children during the after school activity.
Imagination Gaming staff were also very inclusive for children with SEN (special educational needs) and accessible to all. I would definitely recommend Imagination Gaming. We are looking forward to using the games on a regular basis in school
Safeguarding and Pastoral Lead - Emmaus Catholic and Church of England Primary School
The children really respond to Chris’s sessions, it’s one of the highlights of their week. In them, Chris uses games, particularly maths-based games, to promote analytical thought and team-building. The content and class management of his sessions are excellent.
In addition, he also offers smaller group work, and I find this particularly beneficial, because during these sessions I can target the children to work with him, leaving me able to target other children or groups in the class.
Ian Rollitt - Teacher, St. Theresa's
I have used Imagination Gaming many times in the past few years. Both in the role of extended services and within the school framework.
These workshops were aimed at encouraging young people to play together and improve communication through a range of unusual board games that they may not have met before. They focus on the social and educational benefits of playing new and traditional games.
The comments from our young people both as extended activity days during the holidays or as sessions run within term time were excellent and the communication between students and families have improved throughout the days.
During our most recent project, Nigel supported 4 classes over 2 days breaking the days into literacy and numeracy sessions during the morning sessions and focusing on a extending and bringing writing to life during the afternoon. He really has the knack of hooking the child with enthusiasm and bringing it to life to achieve great things!
All our learners especially the lower level cohort excelled within these activity days and Nigel suggested further games to encourage their learning further.
Many schools don’t see the value in games as a learning tool but I suggest they give Imagination Gaming a try as the results are amazing.
The following are a selection of comments from parents at just one of our projects!
“Fantastic morning playing various number games. I have learnt how to make the games fun as well as helping my child with his numeracy at home. Thank you. One of the best lessons I have attended.”
“Thanks for the opportunity to get involved in my child’s school life. Felt worn out by the end, but in a good way!”
“Excellent workshop. Very stimulating, great way of working with numbers and to make you think.”
“Really enjoyed the games, fun & easy to play. Excellent to play with all my family. Will definitely buy the card games for use at home.”
“An excellent morning, full of fun and games, literally. Both myself and my daughter really enjoyed the morning. All of those games were excellent and a fantastic way of making math’s fun. Brilliant morning overall.”
“I didn’t know what to expect when I came and was surprised it was so much fun and it stretched my brain.”
“The games and sessions would help a lot for those that struggle with numbers.”
“I am a parent to 3 children and these activities would be appreciated in the home.”
“I had no idea what the session was about but enjoyed getting creative with the children. It got the children and me thinking outside the box. Great!”
“Really fun even if a bit stressful at first!”
“Yes, this would help with maths, listening and waiting for their turns. Interacting with each other makes learning fun. Very good!”
“I had lots of fun and I found the games more challenging than I expected but really enjoyable.”
“I have learned to think about things before going ahead and that math’s games can be fun.”
“The sessions were great fun and gave me a really valuable chance to interact with my child in her school environment.”
“I thought the session was brilliant. I think all the children really got in to it. I couldn’t believe how eager Lewis was to get his ideas on paper. He is never normally that enthusiastic about writing. He even moaned there wasn’t enough space to write in!!!”
“It was much more interactive and fun than I expected. Already make use of the Story Cubes at home, a great resource for encouraging creativity.”
“Fantastic. Most fun I’ve had in ages. The kids were really involved and so good. Well done.”
“I learned that learning is not just all about being sat at a desk.”
“I felt that it taught the children to engage and listen, also about working together and using tactics. The story writing was good too, using dice helped them to structure the story and helped with ideas for the content.”
“I have found out that if the kids find something really exciting to them, even the children with the least concentration, will focus for something they enjoy.”
“The games are a really great way to teach math’s to the children. I am sure it will be very helpful, encouraging quick thinking and logical thinking. Taking this approach to math’s is a great idea.”
“Very thought provoking. Really enjoyed each game. Lots of strategy needed but fun as well.”
“Great fun and totally different from my expectations.”
“Kept my brain thinking throughout the whole session. A full morning!”
“I enjoyed every minute of it and am pleased I took part in it.”
“Yes it’s been great fun and very rewarding seeing the presentations at the end. Would be very good adapted for adult team working days.”
“Excellent math’s morning well led by Nigel. A great idea to involve parents. All children, and parents, were on task throughout the session, 2 ½ hours. The children were very quickly developing strategies to improve on each of the games. They were discussing their learning with each other and adults and many were able to explain the games to others. Super to hear they verbalize their strategies to each other and to see their learning move forward so quickly. Thank you.”
Family Support and Community Development Officer - Aston Family of Schools
As an Assistant Service Manager for Enrichment and Learning my rolee involves managing the Children’s University team in Sheffield and supporting enrichment and youth work projects in the city.
Sheffield Children’s University, part of Sheffield City Council, has worked with Imagination Gaming for several years as one of our accredited Learning Destinations. Nigel and Chris have provided a reliable and high quality service to young people in the city using modern board and card games to both educate and entertain. We have found Imagination Gaming to be inventive and flexible in their approach to supporting young people from a range of different backgrounds and abilities.
Some of the work they have done for Sheffield Children’s University includes:
– The development of an educational games box at 3 key stages, including an explanatory booklet and work towards an extensive inter-school games tournament, which was very well received by our participating primary schools. Games were carefully selected to promote numeracy, literacy and social skills.
– A Games Tournament tailored to the needs of a local special school
– Regular open access games workshops in local libraries and the Winter Gardens for children and families to enjoy together.
– A dedicated gaming day pulling together various different gaming retail outlets from across the city to showcase their specialisms and allow families to try new games out.
Example comments from staff and pupils at schools participating in Games Tournament:
Teacher comment: The benefits were to build the children’s confidence and to be able to work as team working with other children from across Sheffield.
Pupil comment: “Taking part in the Games tournament made me feel part of a team, also it was nice to visit another school and make new friends”
Teacher comment: Now the students have the buzz from the day they are telling other students who then want to join the club. Also school will buy other similar games from Imagination Gaming so the students don’t get bored with the same ones all the time.
Pupil comment: “Taking part in the Games tournament made me feel…more confident in meeting students from other schools, helps me with spelling.
Assistant Service Manager – Enrichment and Learning - Sheffield City Council
Chris is very flexible in the sessions he provides and delivers for our children at KS2 Hendal. He has worked with KS2 children to improve their social and communication skills and develop resilience as well as to encourage positive learning experiences.
Children have had opportunities to take part in group and individual games.
Chris has worked hard to get to know the children and understand their individual needs through discussions with children and staff.
Sessions are structured yet also based around the philosophy of children learning actively.
Children are always asking when Chris is coming and one child commented ‘I am excited – I can’t wait to see what games Chris brings today’.
Staff feel that the sessions are worthwhile and support the children’s emotional well-being and health as well as supporting them to learn how to deal with loss.
Chris is extremely professional, enthusiastic and passionate individual who has a positive impact on the young children he works with.
KS2 Lead, The Priory Centre - Hendal
As soon as children enter our school in nursery or reception, being imaginative is an area that is identified as being an aspect that needs development in the EYFS curriculum. Children have limited opportunities to develop other skills such as turn taking and they are surrounded with technology. Imagination gaming helps to address these aspects. It also provides children with the chance to have fun whilst learning new skills and knowledge.
Here’s a taste of the feedback from some of the staff who took part in the day…
“The children really enjoyed playing the different variety of games that were offered and working well in teams. It was interesting to see the different games for the children to help develop their vocabulary but also to develop their team game skills. It was an enjoyable and fun day.”
Sarah-Jayne Burwell, T.A.
“I found the visit extremely informative and there was a buzz around the classroom! The children were highly engaged in all of the activities and probably didn’t even realise they were learning so much. It was great to see just how educational games can be and how effectively they can be used within the classroom so seamlessly.
Thankyou for a fantastic visit!”
Sophie James, Y2 Teacher
“I really thought this was brilliant. The children got so much out of this and they were so engaged.”
Diane Heathcote, T.A.
“We had Chris come into both of our y1 classes. The games were great, well demonstrated and explained. The children were really engaged with all of the games. It helped our children to problem solve, work in teams and use their imagination. Fantastic day!”
Katie Shepherd, T.A.
Deputy Headteacher, Royd Nursery Infant School
The children had a great day learning how to play new games with Chris. The sessions were well organised and games well matched to each groups abilities. The children are already excited to teach the other groups how to play the game they focused on in their session.
Class 2 teacher, St Peter's C of E Primary School
Our gaming sessions with Chris were brilliant. He pitched the games at just the right level for the EYFS and even our nursery children were fully engaged.
The quality of the games is superb; the children can set them up and play them independently and they have had so much use already.
EYFS Teacher, ST Peter's CofE School
Once again the ‘simple’ provision of a few board games has provided a full day’s activity for all participants.
I work with a group of potentially very difficult young people who find it very hard to engage in many activities. However when Chris or Nigel arrive with their own brand of enthusiasm and skills we see full participation and not just for short periods.
It is a real pleasure to see the Xbox generation interact with each other in such a sustained, positive manner over a good old fashioned learning environment.
Thank you again for your ongoing provision.
(My role is to provide a link between the care staff and the education team who organises and arranges all extracurricular activities for the residents to take part in. The environment the young people reside is to provide a safe, caring yet controlled environment in which young people are enabled to address personal difficulties and so move on to make positive contributions to their family and communities. The core objective is to enable and encourage emotional, behavioural and attitudinal change. We aim to achieve this by working closely with carers and professionals in providing a range of individual educational and life experiences that equip the young person to fulfil their own potential, their community’s moral aspirations and society’s legal expectations. The promotion of positive relationships is at the heart of what we do and everyone is given an equal opportunity to express their views, opinions and emotions through open and respectful communication.)
Learning Coordinator, Aldine House Secure Children's Centre
Foundation Learning students enjoyed a fun session led by Nigel from Imagination Gaming playing board games aimed at developing communication, literacy and numeracy skills.
It was great to see staff and students talking, laughing, concentrating and embracing their competitive side with no electronic devices in sight.
Maybe we should all take something positive from this and play a board game at home tonight!
Head of Access to Learning, Barnsley College
We had a brilliant session run by Chris from Imagination gaming. The games were challenging, engaging and fun for all abilities to work together. It was brilliant to see children building their memory retention, communication skills and team work!
Year 1 Teacher, Royd Nursery Infant School
Two great holiday sessions run at our club. Enjoyed by staff and children, great variety of games.
We are looking forward to you coming back!
Jill – There was a really good friendly atmosphere tonight. I think Imagination Gaming is just the right start for our new year as well.
Lindsay – Great evening, wish I had got round to trying some more of the games.
Gill – Thank you Imagination Gaming. It was a really fun evening with lots of different games that you don’t normally see. Lots of educational ones too.
Di – What a wonderful night! I am going to recommend other groups I belong to, to book Imagination Gaming.
Brenda – Really enjoyable evening with testing, interesting games.
Carole – The gaming evening was very interesting and educational. I would recommend it to other groups or schools.
Sue (Secretary) – Imagination Gaming is on our programme every year – what a wonderful way to celebrate our birthday with Games and Cake. Thanks to Nigel who makes the evening worthwhile. I’m building up a nice collection of games!
Women's Institute - Various
Secretary and members, Ravenfield WI
We all had lots of fun during the summer holidays when Jacqueline Williams came to Happy Days Childcare in Suffolk to introduce us to some of the great games on offer from Imagination Gaming.
We had a mix of ages from babies up to ten years attending on the day and she had games for all age groups. She introduced the games in an engaging, fun way. After explaining the rules she ran through the games with the children and the adults supporting them so they could carry on themselves.
When they finished with one game she quickly introduced them to something new – quickly aware of what they found fun and what wasn’t holding their attention. Every age group was kept engaged for the whole session.
The games were of good quality. There were lovely chunky pieces for smaller children to handle and each game could be made simpler for younger children and built up as the children grow meaning that these are great games both for fun and to help develop skills in the EYFS.
We would definitely recommend Imagination Gaming to other nurseries and also to schools and holiday clubs and look forward to having future visits.
Deputy Manager, Happy Days Childcare
Imagination Gaming have been providing sessions at the SEND school I work at for some time now, they provide a wide range of games (of which I have never seen before and some have since even purchased myself) to suit all ages, abilities and emotional ranges.
Not only do the pupils thoroughly enjoy them but the staff do also. It gives our pupils a much needed chance to have fun and relax while not only having an educational experience but also learning important social skills like turn taking, patience, active listening and realising that it’s not always about winning, it is definitely the taking part that counts!
Nigel, who is our games guru, is extremely calm around the students, which in turn helps them to be calm when some are quite anxious at first to try new things. He is fantastic at explaining the games while we play and understands the needs of our students very well.
I have in the past and will continue to recommend Imagination Gaming to any provision or school.
HLTA, High Well School
My Y4 pupils had an absolute blast learning how to play a wide range of educational games as well as few that were strategic and skill based. They than moved on to teaching their peers. The games we acquired are now used on a regular basis as a games after school club.
One of the best days they had had in school was a comment from one pupil! 100% recommend!
Y4 teacher, Langold Dyscarr Community School
My class have taken to gaming incredibly well. They always ask me if it is their turn to play games this week.
The games have taught children to take turns and accept when things don’t go their way. Chris is fantastic and has bags of enthusiasm which the children buy into.
Thank you for sharing your games with us.
Teacher, Stocksbridge Nursery Infant School
The children thoroughly enjoyed their imagination gaming session!
They were taught to play an array of fabulous games that would be sure to increase a range of mathematical skills. The children showed great resilience and were able to follow clear instructions given to them by the tutor.
A great session.
Miss E Watson
Teacher, Bookwell Primary School
Chris has a great range of games that all the children thoroughly enjoy playing.
The children are learning so many fundamental skills – turn taking, building relationships with their peers and mathematical skills.
The children are becoming more resilient.
Y2 Teacher, Stocksbridge Nursery Infant School
Chris is so motivating each time he comes into school.
Pupils love his enthusiasm, encouraging a positive mindset to help their self esteem and confidence grow. He is diverse and creative with his own way of showing pupils different tactics and strategies to help with their social and interactive skills.
He has now built up a strong bond with some of our parents in our after school workshop.
Learning Mentor, Primary School
Chris and his wonderful breadth of games continue to engage and inspire ALL of our children to take turns whilst learning many mathematical skills. They are so ‘in the zone’ that they don’t realise how much they are actually learning.
We love Chris’ flexible approach and have used many games in many different ways. Whole class games, small group and paired work have had such a positive impact on our children.
Thank you Chris!
Assistant Headteacher, Stocksbridge Nursery Infant School
We have worked with Chris for over a year now and it is definitely having a positive impact on our pupils.
Having looked at some of the issues we were facing with challenging behaviours from some of our pupils we decided that a new approach was needed. We needed to give our children experiences outside of technology that enabled them to play games with others, learn to take turns, learn patience, resilience and how to be gracious in defeat!
They absolutely love the gaming sessions, developing logical skills alongside all the social skills that go with sharing games with others. Chris also runs a lunchtime club and an after-school club where parents are encouraged to join in. These sessions are very popular and great for our families.
Headteacher, St Theresa's Catholic Primary School
Chris and ‘Imagination Gaming’ have had a positive impact on the learning, behaviour and co-operation of children throughout the school. My own Y1 class now have a deeper sense of teamwork and a growing concept of how, together, problems can be overcome and goals achieved.
Chris has got to know the children and has built up a positive, professional relationship with both them and the adults in school.
I cannot recommend ‘Imagination Gaming’ enough and urge any school, or organisation that have not yet experienced this, sign up – you will not be disappointed!
Teacher, Stocksbridge NI, Sheffield
Kirklees Libraries have worked with Chris and Imagination Gaming on regularly over many years now and we always really look forward to these events. He always delivers an incredibly fun, top-notch event which everyone really enjoys.
Recently we’ve hosted some inter-school tournaments with up to 8 schools playing games together. It was so lovely to see children from different schools mixing together, laughing and playing.
We have also run family workshops at various libraries throughout the region over the years, and Chris has the knack to find exactly the right games to suit every age and ability. We always receive fantastic, positive feedback from the children, parents and teachers… I don’t think there has been anyone who hasn’t enjoyed the sessions.
It is a lovely, fun way of getting people together, doing something a bit different and exciting for a couple of hours.
Thank to to Chris for coming along to our Family Fun Day which we held to celebrate 10 years of our charity. It was great to have Imagination Gaming there and to offer the chance for visitors to play games as part of the day. The weather wasn’t too kind to us so having plenty of entertainment inside was much needed! Visitors of all ages were engaged with a variety of games and it did get quite competitive!! A lot of fun was had by all!
Charity Manager, Emily Harris Foundation
Initially I think that many people were a little apprehensive in order to include Year 1 in the maths games. However I thought it would be good for them. It reinforces all the skills which were taught in the EYFS about turn taking, working together and problem solving.
My current Year ones are generally quite excitable with some very strong personalities who do clash. The children though are given a very clear, no nonsense run down of the rules each time and know if they didn’t follow them they would not be able to take part. The more games they learnt the more focused and the smaller the groups became. I think my year 1 children work better in a smaller group of 4, as that is how most the tables are now set up now. I chose the groups in mixed ability and this worked well.
I did learn more things about the children, especially how good some of their memories were and those that shone when faced with a competition. Emphasis put on working together, looking after the games and not just winning was excellent.
Overall an excellent experience which the children enjoyed and looked forward to every week.
Teacher, St. Theresa's Catholic Primary School, Sheffield
Chris has been working in my class with small groups since September. The individuals within the group have a range of extremely challenging behaviour issues. Chris has built up an excellent rapport with these children. They look forward to his sessions and are enthusiastic upon their return. He has developed their ability to take turns, accept that they are not always going to win and to follow rules within the game. For these children these skills are quite a challenge!
I have witnessed the improvement in these children since having whole class gaming sessions with my Chris in my class. This original small group feel empowered since they can explain rules of the games to others. They can give tips concerning useful strategies to be successful in a game. They ensure that everyone has a turn and have ways to decide who goes first. In short they are role models and proud of their new skills.
Chris begins the session by stating his expectations in terms of noise levels and participation in the games. He uses his knowledge of the children to slightly adjust groupings in order to ensure gaming sessions are enjoyable for all. He carefully selects the games they start within in order to match the nature of the group. The games are varied promoting both language and maths skills. He allows the children to change the game when the group are ready to.
Initially I thought they would be changing all of the time however this is not the case as they are keen to play all of the games and ensure they complete a game once or twice before selecting again. Chris often suggests games to groups to target a particular skill – for example the fairy story family times table game. He recommends adaptions to games to suit the level of the group playing. The children respect the games and ensure all pieces are put away without any prompting.
The class love playing the games and can now run the sessions themselves with minimal adult intervention. It is useful for me to play alongside them or watch their game in order to recognise their strategies, application of skills and reasoning abilities. Their teamwork skills along with their language and mathematical understanding are definitely being developed under the watchful eye of Chris.
Teacher, St. Theresa's
I’ve known Chris for about 8 years from when I was Deputy at a school where Chris came in to do curriculum days and after-schools with each of the classes. It was the first time that I had seen anything like this provided for schools.
Chris relates so well to children of all ages and has a real knack of teaching games quickly so that they are not spending time listening to lots of rules but getting on and playing lots of games.
In the curriculum days, all the games are well chosen and thought about to develop whatever the school is aiming to improve at that time, whether it be traditional subjects such as maths, english or science, or more rounded skills such as speaking and listening or teamwork. They have games for everything. The children have so much fun and don’t even realise how much learning that they are doing.
In my first Headship, we also took advantage of the wonderful tournament days which brought together children from a variety of schools together to play games, have fun and then have a well-organised and smoothly run tournament in the afternoon. Children loved the competitive factor and receiving the trophies and certificates.
I can’t recommend Chris (and the other members of the Imagination Gaming team who I have since got to know well) enough for their enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to work with children of all ages and abilities to learn through fun.
Headteacher, St. Mary's Catholic Primary School
For the past 4 years IG have worked with Sheffield City Council’s Sheaf Training provision to deliver provision to learners with Education Health and Care Plans and who require support for a wide range of Special Education Needs and learning difficulties.
Initially commissioned work was targeted toward young adults who struggled with anxiety diagnoses and social skills, however we have recognised the benefits of IG sessions for others with developmental delays and challenging behaviours.
IG has been able to engage young people in recognising transferable skills, particularly regarding team work, which have improved self confidence to make steps towards work placements.
Flexible, conscientious and consistent, IG offer an innovative approach for students to access embedded literacy, numeracy, social and communication skills. Their sessions are very well attended, and highly regarded within the organisation, as well as by the students themselves.
Assistant Service Manager – High Needs Provision, Sheffield City Council
Thank you Chris for a great day on Friday. I got lots of positive feedback about the games.
Several members of staff have started using some of the games with intervention groups and our after-school games club started this week with an enthusiastic group of Y1 and Y2 children. Looking forward to the family of School days in June.
Headteacher, Waterhorpe Nursery & Infants, Sheffield
Nigel (Imagination Gaming) came into our year 5 class this morning with a new game to support writing, something that we find a real challenge! WOW!!!! We spent the entire morning writing.
After initially using the prompt cards to support the creation of images to help our writing, we were all eager to share how we could develop these to write amazing stories.
Every child was able to join in at their own level.
The focus, attitude and improvements they made were superb to see. They were all so proud of what they had achieved and were all eager to share their independent work. Presentation, the ideas used as well as pushing themselves to use highly detailed descriptions were outstanding. This is definitely something I would use again.
Thank you again for this morning, it was an amazing session. They came back in from dinner still talking about their work!
Teacher, Greenfield Primary
I first met Nigel to have a chat about using games as a vehicle to improve thinking skills, self esteem, engagement and attainment. I expected the usual flannel and then the price tag. However, I was very surprised when he produced several of the games and explained them and within a couple of minutes we were playing one. I was immediately ‘sold’ then and remain so now.
Imagination Gaming has worked with the school for the last several years providing gaming events at the school for classes, groups, after school parents events…even inter-school tournaments! He is able to craft the sessions to suit a variety of school needs, for example a maths or English focus, but also does events based around problem solving in different contexts such as a science theme.
The sessions are always very well received by the children and teachers because the games are quick and easy to engage with, yet present endless challenge and opportunities to explore deep thinking, strategy and tactics in a wide range of areas. There are gains to be had for all children regardless of ability- this is not just one for G+T kids. The concentration, attitudes, social learning and collaborative skills are developed not to forget the positive effect on self esteem and learning to win and lose with good grace.
Nigel’s expertise is clearly demonstrated in the way he adapts the games and makes ongoing adjustments and suggestions to the children while they play. They learn well and think hard…all with smiles and 100% engagement! Recommended without reservation.
Headteacher, Greenfield Primary
Chris is very helpful and passionate. The children really enjoyed working with him!
Teacher, St Peters C of E Primary School