Games go on the curriculum
Scottish schoolchildren are to be taught how to design and develop their own electronic games as part of the Scottish Government's new approach to learning, Curriculum for Excellence.
Pupils will use software to create their games in a move which it is hoped will create dynamic young programmers of the future who will ensure the continued success of Scotland's games industry, which employs more than 500 and generates £20million annually.
Pupils will also be taught how to use computer software to create animations and feature films.
Some children across Scotland are already experiencing computer design and animation in class but this is the first time guidelines on what skills children should be equipped with have been presented.
Maureen Watt, Minister for Schools and Skills, said:
"A key aim of Curriculum for Excellence is to produce informed, skilled, adaptable and enterprising citizens of the future. Technologies have become part of every day modern life, whether in computer programming, engineering or craft and design - and we need to encourage children to be confident and competent when using them.
"The pace of change in the world means that we should be equipping young people with the skills to embrace and use all the tools of modern life.
"There is huge confidence that Scotland will continue to play an important part in the future of video games and interactive entertainment and we are focusing on establishing firm foundations for lifelong learning and, for some, specialised study and careers."
Learning technologies offers young people opportunities to develop their skills for life and skills for work within a creative and work related context, allowing them to see the links between the classroom and the world of work.
Guidance on teaching technologies forms part of the 'draft outcomes' which are published today as part of the Government's plans to introduce a more holistic approach to education for children aged three to 18.
Ms Watt said:
"The draft outcomes for our new curriculum are intended to help teachers make teaching more relevant, exciting and engaging. Technologies are important areas of the whole learning process and we are keen to receive feedback on the outcomes from professionals who will be working towards this transformation across Scottish education.
"It is vitally important that teachers read and react to these outcomes and think about how they can use this guidance to make their teaching as good as it can be."
Curriculum for Excellence aims to provide seamless education from age three to 18 and is taking a fresh look at what is taught in schools and how.
It aims to ensure that all young people can be successful learners, effective contributors, confident individuals and responsible citizens.
School pupils are already seeing changes in their classrooms through the groundwork that has been ongoing since 2004. The draft outcomes provide further tools for teachers. The plans are being firmed up in this school year and in 2009-2010 all schools across Scotland will be working on delivery.
Curriculum for Excellence will shift the balance between a teaching process that is heavily dependent on content to one that values new approaches that improve pupils' understanding of what is being taught. This is not a one-off change but the start of a continuous process of review to ensure that the curriculum remains up to date.