Digital Schoolhouse teams up with Nintendo UK to bring games tournaments back to UK schools

Author: Louisa Keight

The programme sees secondary and primary schools take part in an immersive careers experience to learn about the range of jobs available in video games industry.

Digital Schoolhouse (DSH) have once again partnered with Nintendo UK to launch the DSH Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Team Battle and Junior Tournament for 2023.

The two contests bring video games careers to life, teaching students valuable transferrable skills by allowing them to set up and manage their own video games tournament teams and activities.

The DSH Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Team Battle is open to students aged 12-18. Now in its sixth iteration, previous years have reached up to 10,000 pupils and 1000 teams in schools and colleges across the UK. Pupils take on real-life games industry roles to whittle down hopeful players in their school to a team of three, who will then do battle with other schools in the regional and national qualifiers ahead of the Grand Final.

SIGN UP for the Digital Schoolhouse Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2023 here

The Junior Tournament, the counterpart for ages 8-11, was launched in 2021 following a successful pilot. Pupils will compete with popular, age-appropriate video games on Nintendo Switch such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Race with Ryan, Crayola Scoot. This year Ubisoft's Just Dance 2022 will be added for the first time to the exciting line-up of games that pupils can choose from to compete in the tournament.

SIGN UP for the Junior Tournament here

This experience is designed to bring computing education to life by demonstrating real-world applications of computer science, as well as highlight the full range of career paths available to young people in games and esports.

And research by Digital Schoolhouse shows that the programme works. In the 2021 Junior Esports Pilot Evaluation Report, 100% of teachers reported that pupils were more motivated to learn computing because of the pilot. 55% of teachers said that pupils achieved higher results in this work compared to their usual activities and no teachers said that the students performed worse than usual, showing no drawbacks to implementing the programme.

Meanwhile in 2018, the Esports: Engaging Education report into the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Team Battle tournament found that almost all participating students reported an increased interest in computing, with the number of students more interested in studying computing rising by 40%. Additionally, 75% of students involved said they felt their communication skills improved and 79% said their team building skills improved. Some teachers also reported that cohorts of pupils that were usually uninterested in extra-curricular activities were engaged and encouraged by the programme.

Shahneila Saeed, Director at Digital Schoolhouse and Head of Education at Ukie said: “Children and young people can’t aspire to jobs they don’t know about. Our tournaments are immersive careers education experiences with a twist that year on year have demonstrable impact on individual students lives. We’re thrilled to be launching the DSH Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Team Battle again and expanding the Junior Tournament, with the support of our partners we hope this year we will reach more schools and pupils than ever before.”

Kalpesh Tailor, Head of Communications at Nintendo UK said: “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Ukie’s Digital Schoolhouse as lead partner for the fourth year running. Both programmes uniquely combine fun, creativity and innovation, all of which are at the heart of Nintendo’s values. This academic year we hope to see many more smiles from each of the students taking part.”

Sign up for the Digital Schoolhouse Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2023 here

Sign up for the Junior Tournament here