BGI runs a range of workshops in the National Videogame Museum but also in schools, libraries and hospitals. Led by our Award winning Learning Officer Leah Dungay, our workshops feature key stage-specific learning material and playful learning journeys for visiting schools that surface the STEAM skills required to develop games. The NVM and its predecessor in Nottingham, the National Videogame Arcade, have hosted hundreds of school visits from schools across the Midlands and the North of England.

We run workshops in person in the galleries – register to book your school for a visit.

We also run them online – play our award-winning NVM at Home programmes here.

Case Study
The Digital STEAM sessions in July 2019 demonstrate our impact:

  • 84 schoolchildren gained new STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art, maths) skills
  • Our partner recorded that all participants demonstrated positive learning engagement
  • 26% of participants would consider further education or a career in videogame development (after only 1 day of workshops)

Working in partnership with Derby QUAD, a charity and cultural hub, we ran a programme of workshops about games development for two Derby schools, Derwent Primary and Da Vinci Academy. These schools are located in the top 4% and 27% most deprived neighborhoods of the country respectively. 84 x year 8 schoolchildren engaged in whole day sessions in the National Videogame Museum on games design, animation, teamwork and sharing creativity with peers. They played games, analysed their designs, then built concepts and games artwork on paper and screen using accessible, free tools before discussing their work with their classmates.

In a survey, participants gave our workshops an average rating of 8.25 out of 10 and told us the programme had the following impacts:

Positive classroom behaviours: 67% felt they had tried new things and 67% worked collaboratively with their classmates in a team.

Enthusiasm and confidence: 62% shared their work and 56% talked about their work

Engagement and concentration: 54% proactively solved problems.

Raised ambition and attainment potential: 62% said they experimented on new equipment and 56% said they had tried new techniques they didn’t know before.

Want to learn more: 56% were keen to take more sessions.

Careers and education: 26% said they would consider a career and/or education in videogame development, which is high for a single day programme.

Sandra Greatorex, Educational Curator at Derby Quad, said: Learners were well engaged. They had made some excellent games in a short amount of delivery hours. They were ALL able to talk about their games, concepts, the software with confidence, and demonstrate how to use it and make changes. They tested each other’s games and gave useful and constructive feedback – the evaluation was well considered and subject specific (this indicated strong levels of understanding). There was a wide range of skills displayed – creative and technical, as well as interpersonal. Considering the short time frame and timetabling structure, the outcomes created are exceptional. This demonstrates great flexibility and well planned/structured sessions to promote the best possible learning opportunities for students on the part of the facilitator.

Additional testimonials for BGI workshops

Family testimonial: The best thing we’ve ever done online! Family on the Kids in Museums award panel that chose the NVM at Home as winner of the award for Best Website activity in the Family Friendly Museums Awards 2020.

Funder testimonial: I worked with BGI on Pixelhead Dash as part of Anim18, the UK wide celebration of all things animation in 2018. Their collaborative approach with us as funders, with the UK-wide animation and gaming network, as well as the young people participating, was a joy. The impact of their work reached far beyond those young collaborators who contributed to the workshops, as it inspired so many others to take a chance on creating as part of Anim18. Sally Griffith, Director of Anim18 festival (which commissioned BGI to create and run games development workshops in which children collaboratively made games artwork in 6 cities in 2018).

Schools partner testimonial: We’re really excited about working with the NVM on enriching the STEAM curriculum across Sheffield. The expert knowledge and excitement of a visit to the NVM, combined with the teaching expertise within our provision, is going to create an inspiring new set of opportunities for young people across the City. Stephen Betts, CEO of Learn Sheffield (which represents 176 schools in the Sheffield City Region)

Teacher testimonial: As a teacher of 11-16-year-olds, I’ve been recommending the NVM to large numbers of my students for the past couple of years because I’m so impressed with the work you’re doing to engage young people in gaming culture as thoughtful participants and creators, as opposed to just passive consumers. It’s brilliant to hear them becoming more discerning and thoughtful in their conversations about games as a result of their visits, so thank you for that! Things that I (and my students) really value about the NVM include the calm, safe, friendly atmosphere, the enthusiastic, welcoming, knowledgeable staff and the growing range of workshops etc targeted at young people who want to learn more about coding and creating games. Tia, Email feedback form to NVM

2018 Parent visitor testimonial: My son would love to spend all day every day here! and the courses are great – he has done quite a few different coding courses and really enjoyed them. Nic, Tripadvisor