Horsham students play video games to develop skills for future

Launch of Digital Schoolhouse at the Forest School
Launch of Digital Schoolhouse at the Forest School

The Forest School in Horsham has become the latest of many UK schools to introduce a programme that uses video games to teach children transferable skills.

Introduced in the school on September 20, the Digital Schoolhouse programme is powered by Nintendo and UK games industry body Ukie.

The not-for-profit initiative is a nationwide effort to help students develop skills for use in the technology workforce and aspire them to pursue career paths they may not have previously considered.

It uses play-based learning to engage the next generation of pupils and teachers with the computing curriculum.

The Forest School joins others such as Horsham’s Millais School in delivering the free programme.

It comes after recent research shows 88 per cent of organisations face a shortage in digital skills, which could cost Britain over £240billion in lost GDP.

Pete Smith, media teacher at the Forest School, said: “The day was a huge success. We had over 30 local primary school teachers and pupils attend.

“It’s safe to say that everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves but more importantly took away some valuable knowledge and skills that they can implement in their own classrooms.

“We look forward to welcoming them back again soon and offering the training to even more teachers and students over the coming months.”

Horsham district councillor Louise Potter said: “They were very welcoming and have a strong passion for helping the students in new and innovative subjects. It’s an excellent opportunity for students to learn the skills that will be so vital in the future workplace no matter what line of work you are in.”

Shahneila Saeed, director of Digital Schoolhouse and head of education at Ukie, said: “The Forest School has risen to the challenge of delivering the computing curriculum, and it’s that passion, along with the innovation woven throughout companies like Nintendo, that we want to harness to help other schools support their pupils.

“By taking part today, teachers are actively ensuring that their pupils are building the best understanding of computing so that those with a real interest can go on to thrive in the digital sector.”