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New Junior Esports Competition Teaches Primary Curriculum

Esports is an increasingly popular aspiration and pastime for children of all ages. It's a great way to engage in a child's gaming (and a great way to engage your child in competitive play). Until now there haven't been many aspects of esports aimed at younger children. Today, Digital Schoolhouse, Nintendo UK and Outright Games have announced the first-ever national junior esports tournament.

8-11-year-olds set to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Race with Ryan and Crayola Scoot as part of first-ever national junior school esports tournament.

The DSH Junior Esports Tournament is an immersive careers experience for pupils aged 8 to 11 years that brings industry careers to life in the classroom with the help of competitive games on Nintendo Switch.

Along with the competitive aspects, it enables aspiring learners to take part in real job roles within the video games industry through a range of lessons and activities mapped to subjects on the curriculum such as Computing, English, Maths, Design and Technology (DT) and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE).

A number of the resources are based on a range of popular, age-appropriate video games on Nintendo Switch such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Race with Ryan and Crayola Scoot. There are also additional generic “plug in” resources that allow teachers to use different games to engage their students.

The launch of the tournament follows a successful pilot scheme in 2020 which demonstrated numerous practical benefits for the children who participated. 

The Junior Esports Evaluation Report showed that pupils who participated in the esports tournament were more engaged with activities in school. 84% of pupils wanted more lessons in school similar to the esports tournament. 55% of teachers reported that their pupils’ level of attainment was higher than usual.

It also saw increased interest in industry-relevant skills and careers. 55% of teachers reported children were significantly more motivated to study computing upon completion of the pilot.  65% of pupils associating the tournament with fostering skills such as teamwork. And 91% of teachers reported that pupils were either very or extremely interested in careers in games.

The senior esports tournament will also resume shortly with the DSH Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Team Battle, set to recommence for ages 12-18 years across the UK in its fifth iteration.

If you want to get your school to register:

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Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.