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Spy Games’ schools mission

Date Posted: 24/02/2012

Buckinghamshire-based espionage activities specialist, Spy Games, has found that its existing Spy Camp holiday events for children are proving so successful, that the concept is now being rolled out to schools.

Spy Games for Schools is an educational programme that gives pupils the opportunity to learn key skills by working their way through a series of spy-themed tasks and challenges, including code-breaking, laser combat, and surveillance.

Secret agents will learn how to operate hidden cameras, bugging devices and radio equipment; take part in a shoot-out using state-of-the-art laser tag guns; dodge laser beams to crack open the safe against the clock; learn how to quick-draw a pistol from a holster; and finally crack codes to de-activate the bomb as the clock ticks away in true James Bond style.

The company is able to bring the experience into schools and can stage the sessions either indoors in a classroom or hall, or outside on sports fields, depending on facilities, weather conditions, and numbers.

In Surveillance, students will be getting a real hands-on experience - looking at hidden cameras, how they operate, how to conceal them, and how they work. The class will be shown bugging devices and recorders used to covertly monitor the target, and they’ll be taught techniques by specialists who have carried out real surveillance operations all over the world.

During Laser Combat, pupils will use a hi-tech system for a shoot-out to practice accuracy at dealing with enemy agents. This system uses a harmless laser beam so there is no projectile. The weapon has machine gun fire, a grenade launcher, and will explain how many lives are left.

As part of Code Breaking, children will attempt to de-activate the bomb as the clock ticks away. You’ll then move on to Pistol Training, where skills will be tested with a quick-draw competition to see who has the fastest gun. There is no firing during this period, as the training is designed for speed and technique.

Finally the class will move on to the Laser Challenge, where the agility of individuals will be tested to get past the laser beams and crack open the safe without triggering the alarms. Stealth will be required to move through the laser beam maze.

Spy Games founder and managing director, Dave Thomas, said: “We’ve been running Spy Camp events for kids for many years now, and the overwhelming conclusion is that not only do children really enjoy our activities, there’s a significant learning opportunity there too.

“The activities we’ve created address key skills including co-operation, leadership, planning, communication, problem-solving, concentration, and memory. Every participant needs to contribute in order to achieve success.”

The Spy Games for Schools programme is designed to meet some of the key requirements of the National Curriculum, which highlights the need for rich and varied contexts for pupils to acquire, develop, and apply a broad range of knowledge, understanding and skills. It should give students the opportunity to become creative, innovative, enterprising, and capable of leadership to equip them for the future. It also develops physical skills, and stresses the importance of pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

Early feedback from schools has been extremely positive. Amanda Baker, enrichment manager for Challoner’s School, commented: "We’re always looking for new ways to broaden the learning experiences of our students here at Challoner’s, and our day out at Spy Games proved very rewarding for both the children and the teachers.

“The fact that school groups could actively absorb these lessons and ideas away from the classroom, in an environment that appealed to their imagination and sense of adventure, proved to be very powerful. This was a refreshing learning opportunity that allowed the children to be creative, innovative, and enterprising – all qualities that we strongly encourage at Challoner’s. We will hopefully return with a larger group next year!"

Useful contact:

Spy Games:
0845-1303 007
www.spy-games.com

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