After a study showed 90% of students enjoy learning by using games as the access point, a local school was quick to offer this opportunity to their students.

Alderton Junior School threw open their doors to welcome Ecoflix’s British biologist Ian Redmond OBE and Checkpoint’s founder and editor-in-chief Tamer Asfahani, to a lesson in conservation through the lens of Planet Zoo. Although the game focuses on players creating their own zoos from scratch, the lesson created by Checkpoint, focused on conservation efforts and the incredible knowledge base within the game’s Zoopedia.

Delivering to key stage 2 science outcomes within the curriculum, the lesson was a huge hit, with teachers and students alike enjoying the fusion of learning through video games, making it more relevant and engaging than normal lessons. By using Planet Zoo, the lesson helped children identify different endangered species in the UK and learn how best to support them and protect them.

Check out some of the footage from Alderton Junior School (Essex), below.

Checkpoint Learning Conservation Lesson.jpg

“The moment you talk to children about video games you’re giving them the agency for open discussion,” said Tamer. “From the moment we asked them whether they play video games?’ Everybody had something to say.”

“It’s about them focusing that,” adds Tamer, “and making sure what they learn from video games can be applied to wider learning.”

Bridie Wilkins, a Year 4 teacher from Alderton Junior School, believes that using video games as a way to engage with children has really helped them to get involved with the lesson. She said, “They seemed really excited about the prospect of Planet Zoo. A lot of them really like VR and we could work on that.”

After using Checkpoint’s lesson, Miss Wilkins added, “I think they’re using conservation more confidently. I think it [Planet Zoo] will help them, definitely for next term, and they’ll be able to express themselves.”

Ian Redmond said that the children’s knowledge from Planet Zoo was truly visible in the classroom. “It is delightful to see how much kids know and how much they care and that’s what you have to build on. If they don’t care, nothing’s going to happen.”

Checkpoint will continue to make lesson plans inspired by video games for young children completely for free on their website, here.

If you would be interested in hearing more about Checkpoint’s mission or speaking to Mr Redmond or a member of staff from Alderton Junior School involved with the lesson, please contact: [email protected]

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