Primary pupils embark on esport programme

Angus primary schools are taking part in a new innovative project teaching young people about esports and its industry to fuel children's imagination and help them explore the possibilities within this STEM industry.
Isla Primary School pupils Lottie Rooke and Maise Cameron have been enjoying the curriculum.Isla Primary School pupils Lottie Rooke and Maise Cameron have been enjoying the curriculum.
Isla Primary School pupils Lottie Rooke and Maise Cameron have been enjoying the curriculum.

Funded by Round 4 of the Education Scotland STEM CLPL Grants and Angus Council, and working in partnership with Esports Scotland, Dundee and Angus College and SSER, teachers have been engaging in professional learning regarding what esports is and its place in the Scottish curriculum.

Armed with this knowledge, teachers are using Xbox Series S consoles provided with funding by Microsoft and Angus Council, alongside Dundee-based The Gaming Van, in lessons to educate pupils.

This ground-breaking new curriculum provides a comprehensive introduction to the world of esports while educating young children about the fundamentals of gaming, teamwork, and sportsmanship. It also covers the history and evolution of esports, the different types of games and genres, and the role they can play in different aspects of the industry.

The young people will get the chance to develop their gaming skills and understand the importance of strategic thinking, problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skills in esports.

The curriculum also includes fun-filled activities and interactive exercises to keep children engaged and motivated throughout the programme.

It culminates in competitions, workshops and opportunities to meet students who are studying further education courses in esports at the Dundee and Angus College.

Councillor Lynne Devine, Angus Council’s children and learning convener, said: “It’s fantastic to see our young people get the chance to take part in this ground-breaking opportunity to develop their gaming skills and knowledge.

"Esports is a great way to inspire students to pursue STEM careers, whether sparking an interest in computer science, engineering or other STEM fields.

"Like traditional sports, esports requires players to work as a team and communicate effectively to succeed, all skills that are in demand by employers and something that is essential to teach our young people as they move into the world of work.”

James Hood, CEO of Esports Scotland said: “Esports Scotland are committed to growing and supporting the esports industry in Scotland. We have a large focus on education, and we are delighted to be able to support this initiative and support bring esports to schools across the Angus area.”

Laura Louch, Sector Development Leader for Creative, Cultural, and Digital at Dundee and Angus College added: “We are delighted that schools in the area are embracing esports as it is one of the biggest growing industries. At Dundee and Angus College over the last few years, we have been growing our esports offering, which has resulted in us becoming the first place in Scotland to offer a degree-level course in esports.”

“Esports is so much more than just playing video games, there are many different career pathways and it involves many transferable and creative skills. We also hope this will encourage schools and pupils to take part in our school’s esports tournament later in the year which will give them a great insight into a live esports event, and maybe in a few years’ time some will be studying esports at Dundee and Angus College.”

Final partner Jamie Menzies, Young STEM Leader Programme Manager from SSERC said: “It is exciting to see such engaging and innovative learning programmes being designed around the topic of eSports. SSERC are delighted to be able to align the aims and outcomes of the Young STEM Leader Programme – an initiative for young people to design and lead STEM activities – to this programme of learning, meaning that young people will be able to achieve Young STEM Leader awards at Curriculum for Excellence Second Level upon completion of the eSports activities.”

Esports has taken the world by storm, rapidly establishing itself as a mainstream entertainment industry that offers endless opportunities to players, fans and enthusiasts worldwide. From competitive gaming tournaments to online streaming platforms, the industry is growing at a remarkable rate and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With the Northern Lights Arena Europe (NLAE) being built in Dundee and the sport being included in the Commonwealth and Olympic games, it has never been a better time for local schools to get on board with esports.