We are Game Developers Unit 5.1

Parkstone Primary has been using Switched on Computing to deliver the new programme of study. Below is a blog post from Paul Wright about how they ran the Year 5 unit 5.1, We are Game Developers!

Preparing for the unit
I chose to use J2Code as the schools already subscribes to the J2E Primary Toolkit and it offered me a more manageable way of keeping tabs of pupil’s work than Scratch does (each pupil has their own login).

I set a category on my blog which I use as:


  • Lesson Objective reminders

  • Links to resources

  • Links to shared files

  • Key points of the lesson


Link to my blog here: http://parkstone.j2bloggy.com/pwright_computing/category/we-are-game-developers/

Running the unit
We ran the unit over a period of 5-6 weeks, spending between 45 and 55 minutes. However, this proved too short a timescale. There wasn’t enough time to really get involved and follow anything through. Very stop/start with logging on/off - we lost too much time. This half term we have switched to a fortnightly rotation and the feedback from the pupils is that they much prefer a longer session every 2 weeks that the shorter ones… as do I.

Software used
We used J2Code and Scratch. We used Scratch partly because of web access and partly to see if they could apply what they’d learned in one piece of software was transferrable to another.

The pupils were working in pairs and at the end of the project they shared the file with their partner so that:

a) they had their own copy in their file area

b) they were able to make individual alterations/enhancements towards the end of the project

Linking to other areas of the curriculum
The link was to their topic on space, so we designed a space themed game.

Adapting the unit
I decided not to use session 2, the design your background and/or character because I felt there wasn’t enough time and also J2Code doesn’t have this facility at the moment.

Extending the project
Not formally, but some pupils did access the software at home. We also blogged the finished games and the pupils played and reviewed the work of others.

Children’s response
Very well. They liked the idea of creating something someone else could play.Everyone made something playable. The less able made a sprite move round the screen and the more able created self-moving obstacles to avoid. Some more able pupils attempted to add scores and lives in, but were probably over ambitious and rather than add one and get it working, added scores, lives and bonuses, but failing to make any of them work. Great ideas, but…..

Assessing work
The school is still deciding on its approach to assessing computing, but it’s looking like we will avoid the dreaded tick list of skills and use a more rounded approach. E.g The aim was to create a game for others to play and we’ll judge the success by the outcome. However, we did refer to the skills outlined in the ‘All children… ‘ bit.

Below are some examples of the pupil’s work!

Parkstone Primary example fo work 1 Parkstone Primary example fo work 2 Parkstone Primary example fo work 3









Switched On Computing

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