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After a successful pilot in 2019, Game of Actual life is Premier Education’s newest offering for schools, launching at the start of 2020 and our new additional Online Game of Actual Life launched in January 2021. To learn more about the programme and what it can do for your school, we talked to one of our franchisees, Chris Pipe. Chris has been part of Premier Education since 2008 and works with 190 primary schools, making him a long-standing part of the Premier Education family.
What is Game of Actual Life?
Game of Actual Life is a Life Skills programme for primary school children. It helps pupils understand some of the trickier aspects of maths all through real life situations. The course helps demystify bank accounts, mortgages and pensions through hands-on games and challenges.
How is it delivered?
We start the lesson with a magic trick – we click our fingers and the children turn into 22 year olds. It’s as if they’ve finished school, been through uni and now they’re building their future. Then we’ve got loads of different games and interactive challenges to help them learn about all aspects of adult life. They get to make their own decisions and choices, choosing their car, phone and house, all based on their bank account.
What’s unique about Game of Actual Life?
The programme covers so much more than financial education, it also looks at key life skills. It’s a chance for them to learn about the world in a way they don’t usually have access to.
The important thing is that we treat them like adults; we give them responsibilities, listen to what they say and teach mutual respect – it all really enhances their social skills.
We focus a lot on group work and encourage them to explain their thought processes behind their choices, which better prepares them for face-to-face communication in the workplace and beyond. It also just makes the whole session so much more fun for the pupils, there’s never a dull moment.
Why would you recommend this programme to a school?
It’s a great way to provide quality Personal Development for children. Ofsted’s new framework values the school’s contribution to boosting children’s wellbeing. Game of Actual Life fits perfectly into the new Ofsted guidelines and offers comprehensive, measurable Personal Development provision.
What do Pupils Think of Game of Actual Life?
They love it – the children are engaged in every single lesson. Even in cases where teachers have warned us about disengagement. Because it’s about real life and they’re being treated like equals and adults. They start to make choices based on the bigger picture.
It also really helps children see how much they can achieve, way beyond school grades. It can be particularly rewarding in less affluent areas. For some children it’s a perspective they’ve not seen before.
Game of Actual Life shows pupils that their passion and talents are all equally valuable. There’s a theme through it all that every personality has its strengths, I think it’s really empowering for the children.
What advantage does this programme have for you as a franchisee?
The programme allows us to bring a whole service to a school. We’re already providing sports, drama, arts, dance and wellbeing. Now we can offer this cross-curriculum programme which covers PSHE and ties in elements from English, Maths and Science. We can now offer schools a much broader range of services than we’ve ever been able to before. It means we can build great, solid relationships with the staff and the pupils.
What do you personally enjoy about Game of Actual Life?
I love the level of response. It’s so different to everything else we offer. The children ask so many questions which makes each session different. Often, they can be questions you’ve never been asked before which keeps you on your toes and some of the thoughts they come out with are great. Plus, it’s so rewarding to guide them towards more sensible choices for their future.