Education news

CCEA launches Minecraft competition for primary schools

CCEA's Julianna Neeson, Julie Gray and Melanie Mulligan

CHILDREN are being encouraged to take part in games-based learning to improve their knowledge of `stem' subjects.

A new Minecraft competition asks primary schools to recreate an authentic Viking settlement.

The challenge has been set by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in collaboration with Microsoft Education.

The free competition aims to encourage pupils to apply their curriculum knowledge, understanding and skills in a digital gaming environment.

CCEA Chief Executive, Justin Edwards said a `Stem in Minecraft' suite of resources was freely available to all primary schools in Northern Ireland.

"The resources encourage an innovative approach to games-based learning in the classroom," he said.

"Young people will be able to take their classroom learning and infuse it with their own understanding, knowledge and experience of the outside world. It brings with it a whole variety of benefits and skills development."

Dr Kevin Marshall, Head of Education at Microsoft Ireland, said more than 110 million people play Minecraft each month.

"Given the numbers of young people that are already immersed in gaming, in particular Minecraft,?CCEA saw the opportunity to harness games-based learning and bring it to schools in a structured way that supports the stem agenda and provides support to teachers connecting learning across all areas of the curriculum," he said.

Michael O'Kane, Principal of St Peter's and St Paul's PS in Foreglen, said the CCEA Viking resource was an instrumental part of the world around us strand of the curriculum.

"It gives the children the opportunity to be creative, develop key critical thinking skills and compare their own lives with the lives of Viking children from hundreds of years ago," he said.

"The buzz in our classroom was immeasurable as the children worked together on the excellent tasks within the Minecraft world."

:: For further information, visit www.ccea.org.uk/stemworks/vikings. Deadline for entries is Friday February 14, 2020.

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