A group of pupils from Uppingham have placed as runners up in an international gaming contest organised by Microsoft.
The four boys from Uppingham Community College beat off competition from all across Europe to reach the final of the gaming competition Kodu Kup.
In the first stage of the competition 12 teams, representing ten schools from around the UK competed for the title of Kodu Kup Champions.
Uppingham Community College was one of the ten schools competing, with their team made up of four students, Joseph Banerjee, 12, Jonathan Haley, 12, Alfie Finch-Critchley, 13, and Matthew Mustard.
The team had to pitch their own game idea to Microsoft professionals and were successfully crowned the best secondary school and the best overall winner for the UK.
This gave them the prestigious place of representing the whole of the UK in Belgium at the European Kodu Kup contest.
For this stage of the competition, pupils from eight countries across Europe had to develop their own game idea using Kodo, Microsoft’s visual programming language.
The boys from the school created a game called ‘Confined’ which was a game based on puzzle, adventure and mystery.
Their game impressed judges with its inventive idea of putting players in the scenario of being stuck in a laboratory while being tested on.
The team had to pitch their game to an esteemed judging panel in Belgium, made up of professionals from Bafta, Facebook and Microsoft.
Overall the boys achieved second place, with the judges saying that they were impressed with their clear pitch, great presentation and market research that had gone into the game.
They all received a trophy each, along with an Xbox Kinect for the school.
Jonathan, who helped code the game, said: “We were all fairly nervous for our final pitch, but we rehearsed well and believed in our game.”
Matthew, who was the chief blogger of the team, said: “Presenting was a really good experience and one of the judges from Bafta even encouraged us to enter our game for a Bafta.”
IT Teacher Ray Chambers helped support the boys with their challenge, along with other helpers including Jonathan’s sister, Becky and Joseph’s sisters, Mia and Freya - who all helped make merchandise for the game, including loom bands, T-shirts and key chains.
The competition comes as part of a huge push to get children doing more coding in schools.
Principal, Jan Turner, said: “We are extremely proud of the boys and Mr Chambers for helping us become major competitors at the cutting edge of technology.
“Coding is a big thing that’s recently gone into the school’s curriculum and this competition has proved that the computing curriculum is not just about coding, but develops creativity, challenge and collaboration.”