Banbury students do have a clue about board games

The winning teamThe winning team
The winning team
Two teams from a Banbury school battled it out in the finals of a board game design challenge issued to all of the academy's campuses.

The challenge, known simply as The Game, involved teams of Year 12 students from schools across the Aspirations Academies Trust, including students from Banbury's Wykham Park Academy, working collaboratively to design a board game with the potential to be manufactured and marketed.

The entries were whittled down to six teams, who were invited to the multi-academy trust’s headquarters in London last week for the final and the chance to clinch a national prize.

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Students pitched ideas and worked in teams in a similar fashion to The Apprentice. The fight for the top spot came down to two teams from Wykham Academy who had created the games Where’s Korey? and Grounded

The Grounded teamThe Grounded team
The Grounded team

Both games were inspired by Cluedo with Where’s Korey? centred around a student named Korey who tries to leave school and faces teachers trying to prevent him.

Grounded is aimed at teenagers and parents with questions based on real-life situations.

Judging the entries was Andrew Bryceson, inventor of the multi-million selling board game Articulate! Kelly Smith, senior policy adviser for education at the Royal Society and food entrepreneur Harry Japp, founder of Secret Nicky’s Frozen Custard.

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The judging panel thought the questions in the cards for Grounded had the best commercial potential in terms of making a connection with an audience, however they declared

Where's Korey? beat out all the other teamsWhere's Korey? beat out all the other teams
Where's Korey? beat out all the other teams

Where’s Korey?, designed by students Lewis Walsh, Iga Kazermiak, Emmy Lawrence, Scarlett Reading and Luke Kench, as the overall winner.

Where's Korey? team member Iga, said: ‘’The judges were very good and friendly. The Game has helped us develop strategy and adaptive thinking skills. I also realised how important it is to be open-minded because you don’t know what you can achieve and create – the only person that limits you is yourself.’’

Kelly said: ‘’Where’s Korey? Really stood out for me. I liked how they worked well together as a team and the game was professional and eye-catching.’

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"From my perspective the whole event was brilliant. The Royal Society is interested in how we can encourage a broad education in schools.

"I was interested in the project-based learning of The Game and it’s a great way of linking cross-curricular learning and for students to bring their own interests and strengths to the project.

Andrew added: ‘’The event was fun. I didn’t know what to expect [when I was asked to judge] but there was an awful lot of work and creativity there.’’

The winning team members were each handed a £100 Amazon gift voucher.

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The Game is a No Limits curriculum project, designed to increase the employability skills of students. Designing a board game introduces students to the concepts of analysis, design and


Dr Catherine Pickup, director of project based learning at Futures Institute, guided the Banbury teams, she said: ‘’I’m very proud of them [the Banbury Aspirations teams]. The Game illustrates that you can have strengths and weaknesses but if you’re working towards a common goal you can produce something incredible.’’

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