On the afternoon of Tuesday 18th June a tweet grabbed our attention here at ACCESS: VFX. It was a tweet from Spark Penketh Makerspace, retweeted by Spark Penketh’s Director and Warrington school teacher Caroline Keep. Caroline, on behalf of the school was reaching out to the visual effects and games industry asking for judges to support Penketh South Primary School with their Game Jam Day.
ACCESS: VFX quickly put the word out and Marcia Deakin, Games Partnership Director at NextGen Skills Academy and member of ACCESS: VFX gave up here afternoon and headed to Warrington on Friday 5th July, to judge the results of the Game Jam and gave valuable insights into careers in visual effects, animation and games.
The Game Jam Day held at the end of the school term at Penketh South Primary School, with support from Spark Penketh tasked 30 young aspirational VFX designers in year 6, aged 10 and 11 to design their own games.
Caroline Keep of Spark Penketh said:
"ACCESS: VFX with NextGen Skills Academy were so forthcoming to support our primary outreach at Penketh South Primary and gave us such wonderful support on the Game Jam Day for our youngest members of the community in Warrington. With the creative industry now worth more than £100bn per year and with the World Economic Forum highlighting 65% of primary school children will have careers that don't exist currently which our education system will fail to prepare them for, the time to highlight industry 4.0 skills and creative careers early on in young people's lives is critical. All education systems must be given the opportunity to offer the board range of experiences to allow our young people to develop interests and skills for this diverse and changeable future. ACCESS: VFX and the work at NextGen Skills Academy are doing just this it's amazing to see and the young Year 5 students thrilled to be able to engage with visual effects and game design "
Sofi aged 10 after designing her adventure game said:
“I loved the chance to design my own games and having Marcia there was really cool. I’ve never met a real game designer before it’s made up my mind that it’s something I want to do in the future”
John aged 10 said: “It was tense having my RPG game judged as I want to be an animator in the future but Marcia was brilliant”
Mrs Mitchinson, Year 5’s classroom teacher said she was “thrilled to have real experience to bring to her students, it made the day more real to our young people and I was impressed with the level of imagination and skill Year 5 displayed. Thank you so much for coming”