GAMES at Lexby school

Lexby School is one of eleven municipal elementary schools in the municipality of Partille, outside Gothenburg, for students from grade 6 through 9. Approximately 55 people work at the school. (website)

In addition to teaching staff, the following support staff are available for the students: leisure instructor, student coach, IT helpdesk, school nurse, school psychologist, curator and study and career counselor. There is also an active environmental council and a student council, and the school is working on sustainable development and has the “Green Flag” certification.

Mentor and mentor group

Each student at Lexby School has a mentor who is one of the student’s teachers. The student meets her mentor and mentor group twice a week. On the first occasion, they plan the school week together. On the second occasion, the mentor follows the way the week has been for the student. The mentor follows the student’s knowledge development and social situation. The mentor is also the teacher who has contact with the parents or guardian.

Core values

The school’s value base rests on the responsibility, security and well-being. “Responsibility” emphasizes the importance of being jointly responsible for ensuring that everyone is well and taking responsibility for their learning. “Security” implies that everyone should feel safe and welcome at school and to accept each other’s differences. “Well-being” refers to the positive atmosphere in school and partly because it will be more fun to learn.

Learning environment

Students’ learning is in focus and focuses on basic knowledge and on deepening it to enable all students to develop at their own pace. The school works to provide all students with a modern learning environment both in terms of work and IT, which means that every student has access to a computer.

Plan of teaching with games: Mentoring use of Scratch

The team involves Erik, who is a mathematics and PE teacher and has good ICT skills. He often uses technology to enhance learning of students particularly in maths and is keen to support others too: Linda is a Swedish language teacher, Sara teaches Swedish and ICT and Paola teaches spanish. All 3 agree to be mentored by Erik in using Scratch to design games with learning outcomes linked to their subjects. In terms of ICT skills Paola and Linda are the least confident and Sara has used ICT but not scratch before. So they are all new to the task.

Erik meets them in group and introduces the basics of the digital tool. The teachers start to reflect on what subjects and lessons that might be good for using Scratch.

Linda saw that it might work with using Scratch in Swedish lessons. In Swedish lesson in 6th grade, the students wrote fairy tales with topics of their own choosing. The students could use Scratch visualize parts of their fairy tales and make a game out of it.

Other subjects than Swedish where involved in the making of this games. In Arts class the students drew background pictures for the game and also the characters in the game or other elements that might be a part of the game.

Erik supported the teachers in the beginning of the work with turning fairy tales into games, but was not involved in the rest of the lessons.

In the first lesson the students get the chance to test Scratch and they watch an instructional video on how to use Scratch. To get started they also create their own accounts and was told to try it out a bit just to get to know the digital tool a bit. In the first lesson the students together with the teacher comes up with different ideas for games, for example a simple maze game or a racing game.

Very soon the students are self-learners with this set up, and they started to work independently with big parts of the game. The students also learned from each other and were also allowed to trial and error. The responsible teacher is always present and Erik is a resource throughout the process.

The teachers have noticed that the students have been more motivated, have been doing work at home without it being a home work and that they work with more joy during the lessons. The teachers noticed that especially one SEN student were more motivated and grew as the process went on.

The games were uploaded to the school portal, were also the instructional movie a few links to further information about Scratch is available: