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We are the West Wakefield Schools' APP Challenge Champions - Follow this link to find out more!
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A team of digital whizz-kids from Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School have been chosen by industry experts today to develop the next big health app.
Youngsters from six of the District’s primary schools were taking part in the finals of Schools App Challenge; an annual competition to create new health apps ‘designed by kids, for kids.’ Now in it’s third year with plans to go national later this year, Schools App Challenge is a digital skills, health and wellbeing competition to inspire young minds and improve health outcomes for 7-11 year olds.
Ben, Nicole, Lara, Hayley, James and Jake, all year six pupils from Sandal Castle, couldn’t believe their luck when a panel of judges from Microsoft, the NHS and Public Health selected their mental health idea, aptly named ‘Peaceful Paradise,’ to go forth and be developed this summer.
Over 1,000 year six children, their friend and families here in Wakefield have been part of the competition hosted by local GP federation, West Wakefield Health and Wellbeing. Since it began, two health apps co-designed by local youngsters have been launched and available for download on iOS, android and Windows. Sandal Castle’s concept will become part of the already popular ‘Healthy Island’ app, co-designed and launched by last year’s winners, Horbury Bridge Academy.
If developing and seeing their own ideas come to life wasn’t enough, runners up from Ossett South Parade, together with the winners from Sandal Castle, can also look forward to a behind-the-scenes exclusive day at Microsoft’s Rare Studios learning how the games of tomorrow are made.
Reflecting on what was a hugely difficult judging process, Dr Chris Jones, Programme Director at West Wakefield, and one of the judges, said: “Once again, we’ve been blown away by the standard of entries from such incredibly talented youngsters. Every single team had meticulously considered not just how to convey important key health messages but how they could get these across in a fun way, that only kids know how.”
West Wakefield Project Lead, Emma Savage said: “The App Challenge doesn’t just stop on the screen or in the school playground. It’s about how we encourage our youngsters to keep active, stay healthy and continue these behaviours at home and into later life. We are hugely excited about this competition going nationwide from next school year so it can benefit thousands more families across the country.”
Stay tuned for further post-event reaction from the winners, judges and schools that took part in today’s finals at Unity Works, Wakefield in our official video – coming soon!
Wakefield Schools APP Challenge - West Wakefield Health and Well-being 2016
Healthy Island APP
A competition across Wakefield schools, to create a new health ‘app’ which is designed by children, for children. Our children had an open brief and had to work together as a team to decide how best to design and deliver their ideas, which demonstrated how best to reinforce clear health messages around getting and staying healthy and maintaining good oral health. Their presented their ideas to a panel of experts including health experts, peers and teachers. The chosen group then presented their concept, in greater depth to a panel complete with experts. Our children were chosen as joint winners, due to their excellent design and gaming concepts.
The impact on our children was significant. They were fully engaged, enthused and determined throughout the entire process; wanting to succeed. They developed their understanding of e-safety, coding and gaming skills as well as demonstrating their amazing creativity! All children demonstrated their strong and effective communication and team work skills. A huge increase in their understanding of health and its importance were seen, as children completed a lot of research and found out current significant facts. Children’s confidence grew dramatically as the project developed and were eager to develop and use their app to improve their own health and well-being.