Gainsborough pupils enter world of digital development with app design

Andrew Wood, of Kal Group, helps Queen Elizabeth's students with their app design
Andrew Wood, of Kal Group, helps Queen Elizabeth's students with their app design

Students at a Gainsborough school are becoming digital developers as they design a unique app to support the new intake of students from primary school.

Year Seven pupils at Queen Elizabeth’s High School are working with digital marketing experts Kal Group to design an app which will help new students settle into the school by providing useful information, advice and support.

The winning proposal from those pitched by the pupils will be produced by Kal, and be available for download on iTunes.

The inspiration for The Great App Challenge came from a new course developed by the school to support the move from primary to secondary school.

Headteacher David Allsop explained: “We already have a good transition process, but we wanted something that would run right through the year.

“The app project is an opportunity for the pupils to distil everything that they have learned from the course and pick out the most important things to share with the next intake.”

Marie Muir, assistant headteacher, added: “It has given them the opportunity to reflect on their year, what has gone well, what their worries were and how they addressed those fears.

“It has also boosted their confidence, they have realised that they have something to share with the new students, even though they have only been here a few months themselves.”

Groups from each of the school’s six houses worked on a pitch for the app, and the next step was to work with an industry professional to develop their ideas.

Andrew Wood, the managing director of Kal Group, a leading digital design agency based at Marshall’s Yard in Gainsborough was only too happy to share his expertise.

Andrew worked with each group to advise them on the real-life practicalities of producing an app, give advice on elements to include and help them to think about the usability of the finished product.

and he was impressed with the effort that the pupils had put into their work.

He said: “Their ideas were fantastic, they had a really clear idea of the features that they considered to be important.

“They were really thinking about their target audience, which is exactly the same thought process as when we are writing an app for our clients.”

The involvement of Kal Group has been an important aspect of the project.

Mr Allsop is keen to work with local businesses wherever possible to enhance and support the learning experience.

He said: “It gives the students a clear understanding of how businesses operate and the considerations that they need to bear in mind.

“I’m thrilled that Andrew has been able to find the time to spend with the students; I know they have got a lot out of his visits.

“They love that fact that this is not just a project; it’s real.

“The fact that they are going to produce something tangible at the end of it, and that the app is going to be available on iTunes, has really captured their imagination and they can’t wait to see the final results.”

Andrew added: “As far as we know, this project is unique and we hope that it will inspire other schools to think about app development within their lessons.

“This project proves that a little bit of creativity can really inspire the students.”

Following Andrew’s input, each group refined their proposals and pitched their plans to their classmates, who voted to find the winning proposal from each form.

The final six ideas will be presented to the whole year group on July 7 when a panel of judges, including David and Andrew, will choose the overall winner to be developed by Kal.

The pupils from the winning group will get the chance to visit the studios and meet the coders who will be bringing their ideas to life.

Andrew added: “What a great way to inspire young people to consider a career in digital development.

“You never know, in a few years we might see one of the pupils involved in this project working in our app development team at Kal.”