Kodu Kup: Team UK


About Kodu Kup UK

Computing is now a statutory curriculum requirement for all state schools in England. In response to the UK Government’s change in the ICT Curriculum for schools, Microsoft looked at how it could help the 80% of teachers that felt they were not adequately trained to meet such a change. One of those strategies was the Kodu Kup: a competition designed to promote and share how teachers can develop coding, and more importantly, computational thinking with their students. The UK designed and launched Kodu Kup, which has now spread to Europe and South America. ‘Cup with a K’ is a way to distinguish this competition as one that is more cross-curricular and rather than just a ‘coding’ event. The 2nd UK Kodu Kup brought together 12 teams, representing 10 schools from around the UK, to compete for the coveted title of ‘Kodu Kup Champions’. The competition proved again that the ‘Computing’ Curriculum is not just about coding, but develops,creativity, challenge and collaboration. The quality of the games produced, the attention to detail of all the teams was incredible, these young people are a credit to themselves and their schools.

Microsoft UK is now working with the Department for Education and Computing at School to create a training programme to cover 50,000 teachers in the primary and secondary phases, learning from Kodu Kup, to support them in delivering the computing curriculum. Children as young as 5 will be taught about computing in the UK.

Get to know the team!


Team: Madd Hatt Games

Alfie Finch-Critchley (aged 14), Jonathan Haley (aged 12), Joseph Banerjee (aged 12)

Project: ‘Confined’

‘In the not too distant future, subjects are taken by the government to atesting facility. Here they undertake numerous tests and the governmentgathers results. When subject 21 wakes up in his cell he can’t rememberanything and works his way through the tests to find out where he camefrom, who he is and how to get out…‘

A futuristic game in the style of Portal, in which the player has to complete various tests to progress through the game to defeat an evil robot at the end.’ The team even composed a song to present their great game!

The boys had a general interest in coding and decided to enter the competition. Their ICT teacher, Ray Chambers, had been teaching them Kodu and he challenged them to test their knowledge! The three boys would like to get involved in computer programming when they are older and it seemed like Kodu Kup was the perfect opportunity. The team enjoyed the UK finals and they particularly appreciated another team who were really pushing for more girls to get into the games industry.

What did you think about being part of Kodu Kup UK 2014?

It’s helped me become more determined to build more games. We’ve even started re-developing our game in touch develop.”

“It was great to be an ambassador for the school and the rest of the UK.”

“Mr. Chambers said he was impressed with our game, but we never thought we would be the national champions!”

Read the team’s blog post: ‘Our Day at Microsoft’

Follow the team on twitter: @MADDHATTGAMES



Stuart Ball manages the UK Microsoft Educator Programme and responsible for the Kodu Kup and Teacher Professional Development. He is a former Primary School Deputy Headteacher and ICT Adviser. He has written a number of books for teachers and currently authors the Microsoft UK Teachers blog. In 2005 he won a Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award and attended the first ever Innovative Education Forum in Seattle. He has developed an expertise in the use of technology to support learning, and challenges how we think about everyday devices, software and apps. He is responsible for Kodu winning a BETT award in 2014, He is a wanna be developer, and is passionate about teaching and learning and of course , all things welsh.“It’s not just about coding in schools, it’s bigger that, it’s about computational thinking. We need to get kids interested developing for computers. We need to think about what they, start where they are and where they want to be. We have a responsibility as educators to ensure that any child has the opportunity to be creative and is able to explore their ideas in this field, Kodu Kup allows them to do that.”

Read more about their experience on Stuart’s Blog


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