School

A new game to support writing...

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!

Name: 

Donna Evans

Position: 

Teacher

Organisation: 

Greenfield Primary

Fun, challenging games for our Key stage 2 children

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

Name: 

Clare Fairclough

Position: 

Safeguarding and Pastoral Lead

Organisation: 

Emmaus Catholic and Church of England Primary School

Games Club Day

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.

Name: 

Helen Brentnall

Position: 

Teacher

Organisation: 

Sparken Hill Academy

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

Imagination Gaming in extended services and within the school framework

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.

 

Parent’s Thoughts:

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.”

 

Name: 

Lisa Rawlin

Position: 

Family Support & Community Development Officer

Organisation: 

Aston Family of Schools

KS1 Games Day

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.

Name: 

Helen Stokes

Position: 

Headteacher

Organisation: 

Waterhorpe Nursery & Infants, Sheffield

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

Specialist school provision for children aged 8 to 19

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.

 

Name: 

Sian Lang

Position: 

Learning Support Assistant Key Stage 2

Organisation: 

Grove House SEN School, Essex

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

Supporting Enrichment and Youth Work Projects in the City

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.

Name: 

Helen Nichols

Position: 

Assistant Service Manager – Enrichment and Learning

Organisation: 

Sheffield City Council

Whole School Gaming Days

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!!!

Name: 

Shona Wolfenden

Position: 

Deputy Head

Organisation: 

Bookwell Primary

Year 4 Maths

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.

Name: 

Miss E Watson

Position: 

Teacher

Organisation: 

Bookwell Primary School