Cardiff Met Students Help Improve Pupils’ Digital Competency in South Wales

​17/02/2017

In a collaborative project between Cardiff School of Art and Design, Cardiff School of Education, Cardiff School of Management, Caerphilly and Newport Council and a primary school in the Ebbw Vale area, first year Cardiff Met students have assisted pupils with a design challenge set by the Circuit of Wales, a motor racing circuit and technology park development project in Blaenau Gwent.

Primary Studies students have been hosting a series of digitally focused lessons at a local primary school to help pupils design a computer game as part of a challenge set by Circuit of Wales to help promote their business.

This design challenge is part of the project, 'Raising Aspirations', which seeks to help improve primary pupils' digital competency, provide students with first-hand teaching experience in a primary school and to help raise school children's aspirations to attend university one day.

The project is inspired by a new Digital Competency Framework for schools that was introduced by the Welsh Government as part of a national curriculum review last year. 

Nick Young, lecturer on the new Primary Studies course at Cardiff Met and a former primary school teacher, leads the project and has brought with him his teaching expertise, along with his background in robotics gained from a project he previously ran with primary schools in South Wales. He is supported on the project by Owen Stickler, a lecturer in Animation; and Paul Angel, a lecturer in Computer Games & Design who provide their technical animation and gaming knowledge.

The teams within the school have recently pitched their design ideas in a dragon's den style environment where each group presented their game's plot, visuals, characters and design to a panel. The winning idea will be made into a 30 second game, which will be coded in March by the students. The final works and winning game will be showcased at an event at Cardiff School of Management in June.

Project leader and Primary Studies lecturer at Cardiff Met, Nick Young said: "This exciting project is mutually beneficial for both our university students and the local pupils. It has been extremely successful in allowing students to gain hands-on teaching experience, while the pupils have gained valuable skills that will help them excel in their education and in a digitally advancing world."