Games Day Programme

4 years delivering weekly SEN provision

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 a 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.

Name: 

Richard Smith

Position: 

Assistant Service Manager – High Needs Provision

Organisation: 

Sheffield City Council

A extremely fun way to engage children in learning.

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.

Name: 

Neil Harris

Position: 

Headteacher

Organisation: 

St. Mary's Catholic Primary School

Disengaged Learners Become Model Students

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.

Name: 

Amber

Position: 

Teacher

Organisation: 

Barnsley College

Engaging Potentially Very Difficult Young People

My role is to provide a link between the care staff and the education team who organizes 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.

Our core objective is to enable and encourage emotional, behavioral 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.

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.

Name: 

Ian Fowler

Position: 

Learning Co-ordinater

Organisation: 

Aldine House Secure Children's Centre

Games Day Programme in Y4

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.

 

Name: 

Jen Fallon

Position: 

Teacher

Organisation: 

St. Theresa's

Games Day Programme in Y5

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.

Highly recommended.

Ian Rollitt, Y5 Teacher.

Name: 

Ian Rollitt

Position: 

Teacher

Organisation: 

St. Theresa's

Games Day Programme in Year 1

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.

Name: 

Maria Lidgett

Position: 

Teacher

Organisation: 

St. Theresa's Catholic Primary School, Sheffield

I was immediately 'sold' then and remain so now

Andrew Ralph, Headteacher, Greenfield Primary. 20/01/2016

I first met Nigel after he blagged his way past the office staff 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.

 

Name: 

Andrew Ralph

Position: 

Headteacher

Organisation: 

Greenfield Primary

Imagination Gaming

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 in to.

Thank you for sharing your games with us.

Name: 

Robert Barker

Position: 

Teacher

Organisation: 

Stocksbridge Nursery Infant School

Imagination Gaming

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.

Name: 

Jeanne Windle

Position: 

Learning Mentor

Organisation: 

Primary School

Imagination Gaming

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 lunch time club and an after school club where parents are encouraged to join in. These sessions are very popular and great for our families.

Name: 

Alison Woodhead

Position: 

Headteacher

Organisation: 

St Theresa's Catholic Primary School

Maths/Friendships

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.

Name: 

Jodie Palmer

Position: 

Y2 Teacher

Organisation: 

Stocksbridge Nursery Infant School

Maths/PSHE

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!

Name: 

Ruth Heavens

Position: 

Assistant Headteacher

Organisation: 

Stocksbridge Nursery Infant School

SEND Days

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 throughly enjoy them but the staff do also. It gives our pupils a much needed chance to have fun and relax while not only having a educational experience but also learning important social skills like turn taking, patience, active listening and realizing 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 recommended Imagination Gaming to any provision or school.

Name: 

Victoria Whitaker

Position: 

HLTA

Organisation: 

High Well School

Staff feedback from regular games day programme

Staff Feedback from The Mill

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.

 

Name: 

Tamara Gulliver

Position: 

Headteacher

Organisation: 

The Mill Academy

Working with older FE and SEN students

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! 

Name: 

Nicola Thompson-Dewey

Position: 

Head of Access to Learning

Organisation: 

Barnsley College