4.0 SchoolBuilder

This interactive learning game can be used at the end of each phase, if you choose to use a number of activities from each one. Alternatively, the game can be delivered as a stand-alone activity. Students will get the most from the game if they complete all phases.

The game places students in the role of project managers at the Wates Group. Students can play individually, or in small groups of 2 – 4. The game is more suitable for Level 2 students.

Students must guide a construction project through to completion. Their project is to design and build a new school under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. BSF is the government’s headline investment programme to rebuild or renew nearly every secondary school in England.

Find out more about BSF at www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/resourcesfinanceandbuilding/BSF/

The game takes place over four phases. Each phase presents students with a different task and demands a different set of skills:

Phase Task Skills
1 Consultation Students must assess a range of community responses to a design consultation and select those that they will incorporate. They must balance these against the specification for the new school. Reading for information;

Speaking and listening;

2 Design Students must create an outline design for their school to meet the specifications and gain planning approval. They must remember to include the ideas from Phase 1. Following instructions;

Using software
3 Build Students must sequence tasks into a Gantt chart and respond to unexpected events. Organising information;

Using software;

4 Operation Students lead a tour to open their school. They must answer questions about their design and how they approached previous tasks. Recalling information

As in a real project, students must obtain certification to proceed to the next phase – including approval through the DQI process.

The game responds to students’ decisions by carrying some of these forward to the next phase. This allows groups to experience the game in different ways, depending on their decisions.

You will need to create free student accounts to use the game. This allows students to complete the game in more than one session. Create student accounts.

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Delivering a game

  • Put aside a session (you may find a double session helpful here).
  • Create student accounts, and one for yourself.
  • Try the game out to see where your individual students may need support.

In your session:

  • Split students into small groups of not more than four.
  • Make sure they have pens and paper for notes.
  • Introduce the scenario.
  • Get students to log in and begin the game.
  • Emphasise that taking part is helping students to explore the process of construction, and to see how decisions at one stage affect the build and the building itself.
  • Try to limit your support as appropriate – a good way is to mix groups so that stronger students can support their weaker peers.
  • Congratulate students when they complete a phase of the game.
  • Don’t treat the game as a race – it’s not – but as an opportunity to learn.
  • At the end, include time for a plenary session to discuss what students have learned about the process of creating a new built environment.




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Build a brand new school in the SchoolBuilder interactive challenge! Game