Congratulations to Dunoon Primary School for winning the Kodu Kup, Microsoft UK’s computer programming competition– taking the prize to Scotland for the first time.
Dunoon Primary School’s Pro-Gamers team of three eleven- and twelve-year-olds – Olivia Robertson, Lewis MacKay and Aidan Purdie – fought off challenges from schools across Scotland to win the Scottish Microsoft ‘Kodu Kup’. They then packed their bags to take on the national finalists at a hotly contested match hosted by Microsoft at their UK headquarters in Reading on in July.
The team wowed the judges with their exciting game Rural Racers, created from scratch, and impressed them with a business case, marketing plan and promotional goods.
The team were accompanied by classroom assistant Mary Peek, who guided the team during their project. Mary established a successful after-school computing club which has fired the imagination of pupils and contributed to the ongoing success of learning technologies within Dunoon Primary School.
The Kodu Kup is a national game creation competition organised by the Microsoft Educator Network, and is aimed at all children in the UK aged between seven and 14. Students plan and create their games and are encouraged to assess and give one another feedback. 480,000 students throughout the UK have been using Kodu Kup.
This is what the young winners had to say about their award:
Lewis MacKay (P6) said,
“I have always been interested in computer games even from a very early age. I love playing them and understanding how they all work. Through Kodu I have learned a whole lot more about programming and everything that goes into a game. I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole process, from teaming up with Aidan and Olivia at the Kodu after school club then starting off with a simple game, using our imaginations and building it up by adding levels, music and seeing the final product in action. The business plans and producing merchandise was very interesting and enjoyable too. And of course the taking part in the Kodu Kup and winning has been the most amazing experience.”
Aidan Purdie (P7) said,
“I feel that working on this project has really helped me develop lots of life skills as well as computer work. It has given me a real interest in learning software programming, so much so that I introduced myself to local software entrepreneur Sam Coley of Samteq, in Dunoon, who has also encouraged and helped me with my coding skills. I feel Kodu has given me a great head start as perhaps I wouldn’t have started so early in programming had it not been for Kodu and Microsoft. The competition has also taught me the importance of marketing and business skills within the gaming world. I intend to continue developing my coding skills in my further education and perhaps may even have a career in game programming.”
Olivia Robertson (P6) had this to say:
“I think the easiest part of this was that we worked together as a team and were able to share our ideas and work together to make a fantastic game. We have all learned more life skills through this experience – confidence, problem solving, people skills, design coding and many more. We all brought different skills to the team and were able to develop new ones.
“I think the most difficult thing was the coding and design; in the coding we added more of the little things that made our game stand out – like the 1st and 3rd person view, the AI racers, the radio and lots more. This was tricky but worth it. The designing part was difficult as we wanted to get the balance right – not too much, not too little, we didn’t want to overdo it and make it too complicated. I think we managed to get the balance right and the effort paid off.”