Learning morals and modern skills in one 50p game

Students at Thomas Gainsborough School helped to create an app to raise money for charity. ANL-150513-112833001
Students at Thomas Gainsborough School helped to create an app to raise money for charity. ANL-150513-112833001

Pupils at Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard have created an online game which they are selling for charity.

The game Tapping Parrots is similar to the hit app Flappybird which was downloaded by millions of people across the world.

The idea came about in a Year 7 IT lesson where students were creating and developing small applications or apps, when a pupil asked how many lines of code it would take to create a game such as Flappybird.

“I didn’t know the answer so we set about finding out by actually making the app,” said IT teacher Jason Partrick.

Once complete it was decided the school would sell it to raise funds for Suffolk Mind, one of the five chosen charities the school supports.

Mr Partrick explained the process of making the game was relatively simple, but getting it ready to sell was a challenge of its own.

“Most students after a couple of lessons are able to create simple apps for PCs,” he said.

“The difficulty came when actually trying to create this app for sale.

“We discovered that once we had a working app we then had to consider the end-user, and add much more content, such as menu screens and high score tables.

“Then all the images and audio files have to be checked to see if they are allowed to be used in our app.

“Only then can we actually publish the app to the Play Store, and deal with in excess of 9,000 different Android devices, each of which deal with the app in a slightly different way.

“Perhaps the biggest difficulty is less in the creation of the product, but in making sure all regulations are adhered to.”

By the time of sale the game was in its 30th edition.

The process has had a combined effect on pupils, not only teaching them importing computing and coding skills in an increasingly technological world but also charitable ethics.

Kenny Alexander, Director of Sixth Form at the school, said: “The time, effort and dedication from the students and staff to bring this app to life has been amazing.

“It has been great to see the students learning new and transferable skills, whilst supporting one of our very worthwhile school supported charities.

“It’s also been great to see the students trying to get the best score and beat the teachers.”

The app is available for 50p from the Play Store on all Android devices.