Are you and your students involved in Esports? Teacher Claire Gryspeerdt started running Esports events in her school in Northamptonshire this term and has seen it boost friendships, increase interest in STEM subjects and computer science, plus it’s been the perfect after school club to run during the coronavirus pandemic.
Claire was inspired to get involved in Esports after our CAS Showcase event earlier this year and her students at Wrenn School in Wellingborough took to the challenge enthusiastically.
Claire, a CAS Master Teacher and Leader of CAS East Northamptonshire Secondary Community, told us more about how she got her school involved in Esports, and how it’s benefiting her students.
Can you tell us a bit about your school’s involvement in British E-Sports?
As a school we are involved with the Digital School House scheme and they run an Esports tournament, this was attended very well over 100 students coming to one after school club, so we needed to have year groups on separate days.
Then during the CAS 2020 Virtual Showcase event, I attended a talk with the British Esports association and was really inspired to find out more about the qualification which we hope to bring in next year as well as the after school club with the range of games. We now have two teams initially for the Winter Series, but more will come in the spring series across KS3 and KS5
(Pictured - Claire's Sixth Form Rocket team, Malding)
What successes have you achieved?
We're delighted that our team has got through to the regional qualifiers for the Midlands in our first year.
We've also competed in the nationwide and worldwide First Tech Challenge for 14-18 year olds. In the first year we came first in the Design Award for the Robot design and then the second year we won the regional championships at Duxford Aerodrome but because of COVID could not compete any further. Esports is bringing like minded people back into the classroom, forging new friendships and conversation that is beyond the screen.
How have you managed to be so successful?
Practice, strategy, a team coming together and collaborating with other year groups to gather a team together with different strengths, watching others play and gaining tips and tricks
What are the next steps for your school and students?
Keep competing, more advertising with KS3, Esports is the perfect afterschool club in these pandemic times, where they can still work as a team, but in the separate homes. We are competing again and over 70 students have signed up to Digital School house and in the Winter British Esports, I have four more teams who would like to sign up in KS3.
What benefits has it brought to your students and computer science more broadly?
We’ve seen it boost friendships across year groups, students who are Pupil Premium or SEN have signed up more to these clubs, more than any other I have hosted. More students opt for Computer Science GCSE due to the STEM clubs that are on offer and available.
(Pictured; Claire's team Wrenn Scorpions, and sponsor Fleet Solutions South Ltd, pictured when they won the regional award, pre-coronavirus)
Any tips for other schools/teachers who would like to get involved?
It takes a bit of admin to sort out, but if you follow the Digital School house initiative where you put in a captain and put the role on them to organise the team, they get leadership, communication skills upgrade as the competition progresses.