NTU brings gaming into the classroom

School pupils will soon be creating their own video games in the classroom, as part of a new project to link gaming to the wider curriculum

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is a key partner in the €3.2 million ‘No One Left Behind’ initiative, co-funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Programme. 

The project will allow children to use a non-leisure gaming ‘toolkit’ to develop digital games on mobile devices – with the aim of enhancing their abilities across all academic subjects, as well as their computational proficiency, creativity and social skills.

Children aged 8-17 will be responsible for programming and designing games linked to subjects such as science, maths, history and English, effectively developing and adapting the learning material themselves. 


The two-and-a-half-year ‘No One Left Behind’ project will involve a consortium of European educationalists, computer scientists, videogame companies and designers. 

It is being driven by the pressure on schools to address the challenge of too many pupils leaving school with no meaningful job skills, and children at risk of exclusion and not reaching their full potential. 

Partners will adapt the mobile programming environment ‘Pocket Code’ – which allows users to create games, animations and interactive music videos directly on their phone or tablet – for academic curricula.

“Imagine students being challenged to design a game which involves gathering evidence and building arguments to fight their own campaign for the abolition of the British slave trade in the late 1770s,” said David Brown, Professor of Interactive Systems for Social Inclusion in NTU’s School of Science and Technology. 

He added: “Or one that involves manipulating shapes using arcade-style games to teach fractions or percentages. Children will author these types of games, taking responsibility for the programming, coding, design and graphics, and everything will be carefully tuned into curriculum delivery. We want all students to realise their full potential by making gaming an integral part of the primary and secondary curriculum.

“The project will take advantage of the potential for digital games to tackle key challenges in the education sector today.” 

It will initially be piloted in five schools – and by 600 pupils across up to 12 subjects – in the UK, Austria and Spain, before being rolled out more widely. 

Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology and School of Education are involved, as well as GameCity, the annual video game festival which is run in partnership with the university.

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