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Spy Quest – Extra Curricular After School Clubs

Many schools utilise Spy Quest to provide the basis for extra curricular after school clubs. Polybius Games supply games with original storylines but also encourage schools to create their own games. It is a blank canvas and the hook to introduce bespoke lesson plans to disengaged, disadvantaged and pupils with additional support needs.

Creating your own game encompasses many different attributes as there has to be researchers, script writers, programmers, designers, artists, testers, actors, project managers etc. It is therefor no surprise to see the wide range of subject areas (below) currently being offered by our schools in their after school clubs.

ICT 

  • Ability to use the Spy Quest app and it’s integrated augmented reality software.
  • Utilising iPads to promote Safe Surfing skills in ICT.
  • Familiarisation courses for younger children who do not have access to mobile technology at home.
  • Develop ICT skills on a wide range of topics including online safety.

Literarcy

  • Research, develop and write game storylines which can be utilised within the school and / or shared via Glow with other schools
  • Pupils can access information on relics from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.
  • Book club – read and provide feedback on Spy Quest manuscripts prior to them being published.
  • Schools can arrange visits to the school from authors Andy Briggs (Tarzan) and David Goutcher (creator of Spy Quest).
  • Short story competitions for P4-P7 pupils (500 words).
  • Offer more literacy and numeracy support for parents and better resources for speakers of English asa second language.

Drama

  • Creation of a drama group to deliver a year long package of Spy Quest events which can be tailored for family fun days, summer Fayre’s, local fete’s and fundraisers.
  • Drama pupils to liaise with the Literarcy club to create their own characters within the storylines. Drama pupils to develop the character beyond the story and role play with their peers to develop their acting ability.
  • Previous characters include Mad Scientist, Fortune Teller, Businessman, French Agent, Elvis, Builder, Architect, Biker, FBI Agent, Nurse, Doctor, Cowgirl and Princess. This can be developed in conjunction with STEM subjects such as WW1 soldiers/ agents or historical celebrities such Mary Queen of Scots, Marie Antoinette etc.

Game Design

  • Computer game design is becoming an increasingly more popular subject choice for aspiring programmers, graphic designers and gamers. Technology is evolving quicker than educational institutions can adapt courses to suit the needs of the industry. Mobile app design (not just game design) is at the forefront of this revolution and the technology that is being created looks likely to shape the future of how we live our lives like never before.
  • Pupils will be able to create their own games which will then be uploaded to the Spy Quest servers and available for others to play.

Homework Club 

  • Spy Quest provides a blank canvas for teachers to utilise in any way they see fit. It is especially useful for disengaged and disadvantaged pupils who require extra curricular homework. Games can be created to supplement the learning material being taught in the classroom.
  • Evaluations have shown this to be effective as children do not realise that they are learning.
  • We will provide a range of extracurricular learning experiences for children with additional support needs.

Diversity – Languages 

  • Spy quest offers a multitude of additional language support and pupils can easily move from one language to another.
  • Scottish Primary schools will soon be required to teach two languages to pupils. It is envisaged that there will be an increase in requests from pupils (and parents) who will require additional extra curricular help with learning the languages.
  • Scotland is a multicultural society and we will organise a series of games designed to celebrate the different cultures within our society.

Art – Graphics

  • Spy Quest relies on the creation of posters and leaflets to supplement the in-game storylines. Children will be able to create their own posters and art work for use in the games that they design.
  • Pupils will also be able to enter their work in competitions for their work to be converted into augmented reality software which can be used in the Spy Quest app.

Heath and Wellbeing

  • Physical exercise is built into the very fabric of the game. Pupils are constantly on the move and have to walk from location to location in and around the school to solve puzzles, collect clues or crack codes which form parts of the individual missions.
  • The flexibility of the game allows for the locations of the clues to be moved at short notice. This enables the school to offer outdoor learning when the weather is appropriate.
  • The game is suitable for everyone regardless of their agility and can be played at their individual pace.
  • Storylines can be created to promote healthy living and anti-bullying.

Transition

Spy Quest incorporates unique software that enables us to host a large amount of people all taking part in a game at the same time and in the same place. Pupils are placed in teams with children that they will be in class with at the start of term and a buddy is assigned to help guide them around the school. The system evenly distributes teams so that they start on different missions but they will eventually complete all missions in the game.

  • Pre-school/ Nursery to P1 transition event
  • P7 to S1 transition event

Days Out – Museum, Parks and School Trips

  • The Spy Quest app allows pupils to utilise the game anywhere and can be used for trips to Museums, Parks and School trips.
  • Polybius Games have a licensing contract with the Smithsonian Institute in America. The Smithsonian is the largest collection of museums in the world and have an additional 140 associated museums worldwide. We are currently looking to expand our relationship to Scottish Museums and offer pre-designed informative games about the artefacts contained within the museum.
  • Schools can create their own games around artefacts that can be found in their local museum and then play their game at the museum by using mobile tablets for access to the Spy Quest system.

Lesson plans and storylines made by the pupils/ teachers will soon be available on Glow. Schools ar encouraged to share their work for the benefit of everyone. Simply use the hashtag SpyQuest.

Struthers Primary School – Utilising Spy Quest for our SHANNARI Project

In March 2013 after attending a Spy Quest course I returned to my school extremely motivated and inspired. I viewed it as an ideal way to engage children in their learning with unlimited educational opportunities. The programme has the potential to cover every experience and outcome set out in the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence framework in an exciting and interesting fashion.  

In August 2013, our aim was to start the academic year with a whole school project where the focus was linked to the Health and Wellbeing outcomes set out in the Curriculum for Excellence, known as SHANARRI (safety, health, active, nurtured, achieving, respect, responsibility and inclusion).   The Spy Quest programme was an ideal way to kick off this project in order to inspire and engage the children in their learning right from the start of the year.  When it came to introducing Spy Quest to the children at my school I wanted to ensure it was as exciting as possible. So we had a whole school assembly where we set up a scenario involving a mysterious briefcase being stealthily dropped in the hall. Contained within this briefcase, was a list of secret missions for the children to complete and a specific SHANARRI area for their class to focus on. 

The first task for the children to complete was to play a Spy Quest game based on a stolen cursed diamond. This helped the children to understand the feeling of being a spy. But more importantly, from an educational point of view, this helped the children to realise the importance of reading instructions carefully and fully understanding precisely what it is you are being asked to do.  Skills of perseverance and teamwork were other aspects that were developed through this task. 

Once the first task was completed the children began work on their own mission linked to the SHANARRI outcome allocated to their class. Each class created their missions and these were all combined to create one Spy Quest game for all the children to play. The theme of the game was linked to the Commonwealth Games with the baton being stolen. The children’s challenge was to complete each mission in order to retrieve the baton.  

Whilst creating their game the children were able to learn more about the Common Wealth Games and developed a wide range of other skills. These included improving comprehension skills, understanding ciphers and cracking codes. The children were highly motivated to write missions for an audience, providing them with a real purpose for writing. 

After creating the Spy Quest game, the children carried out a digital literacy project based on their SHANARRI area; developing their skills in literacy and ICT. The children were able to transfer the skills they had learned through the Spy Quest games to this new project. The level of enthusiasm and motivation, which started with the Spy Quest games, was continued and further developed throughout this digital literacy project.   

By participating in this project every single child in our school was fully involved in a whole school project. Children who previously been considered ‘reluctant writers’ were completely engaged in this task and understood the purpose of writing. Disengaged learners were focused and actually creating their own lesson ideas. Children with behavioural difficulties were excited and asking for extra work to complete. Children who were considered to be of average ability were suddenly eager to succeed resulting in them excelling in lessons. The more able children were being challenged and actively seeking ways to extend themselves further. This programme really did tick all the boxes!

Since playing the Spy Quest Game the children regularly request that it is included as an activity in any new topics that they cover. In one class, after studying Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the children created another Spy Quest Game which they then charged people to play at the Christmas Fayre. They then used the proceeds to help pay for a class trip to visit a chocolate factory. For an end of year Christmas activity the children played a game where they had to complete missions to rescue Santa’s stolen reindeer and in the New Year we are hoping to carry out another whole school project based on different periods in history where the children will use Spy Quest as a stimulus to get them excited and enthusiastic about their topics.

I cannot recommend Spy Quest highly enough. The possibilities are endless and with all the new technological advancements and I am really excited to see where we can take it next. Spy Quest really is a sure fired wired motivate any learner.Image

Spy Quest Logo

Spy Quest Logo

Which colour do you prefer ?

Spy Quest

Well done to the 160 S1 pupils took part in a live Spy Quest game on Friday. The girls again showed how good they are in the secret world of espionage. 

Spy Quest

Spy Quest is a family game, ran in certain hotels around the world!