World Championship Fever Takes Hold Of Gateshead Primary School
Wardley Primary School’s Robotics team, based in Gateshead, will be heading to the USA in May. They will be one of around nine hundred teams from all over the world challenging for the right to be called crowned world champions.
The team won the right to represent the United Kingdom at the prestigious event in Dallas when they were named winners of the Excellence Award in Telford, last April. This award being the highest accolade presented at the competition. It is given to the group which embraces all the areas of the program the best. Each team is judged on the:
· performance of their robot during the competition
· their interviews with judges
· their robot design process and competition strategy
At the close of the event, they were also crowned National Teamwork Champions and came a close second in the Robot Skills challenge. Mr Daniel Burfield, Year 3 Teacher, and Vex Robotics enthusiast at Wardley Primary School, said:
“We are hugely proud of the achievements of our team – not only was it fantastic to get to the national contest, but to come home with multiple awards to share with the whole school was a really wonderful feeling."
Mr Daniel Burfield also won the award for the Most Inspirational Primary School Teacher at the North East STEM Awards 2022 in November.
Although this was the first time Wardley Primary has been crowned National Champions, robotics has enjoyed a high profile within the school for several years. Places on robotics teams are highly sort after and the opportunity to code robots during curriculum time is always relished. Over the past four years, Wardley’s robotics teams have competed in 3 First Lego League National Finals and 1 Vex IQ national finals. Wardley robotics teams always have a strong work ethic, a resilience to overcome problems and disappointment and a drive to be the best that they can be. Teams are so passionate about the programmes that they often spend their playtimes and lunchtimes perfecting their robots design and programming.
Excitement is growing amongst the team as they prepare for the new season and start to think about the up and coming competition, one school pupil commented:
“It was exciting to win the competition at our first attempt. It is a real honour that we are going to America to represent England.”
The team has recently launched a YouTube channel – WardleyRobotics so others can share in their journey. The channel is a celebration of Robotics in all its forms at Wardley primary school.
The fact that Wardley Primary School has a robotics programme and can compete on a national level is largely the result of funding from the Reece Foundation and the work of the Nissan Skills School in Sunderland. The Reece Foundation has provided a considerable contribution that will cover many of the costs of travelling to the USA. The school has also launched a GoFund and is looking at attracting sponsorship from business and donations from the public to help grow its robotics provision in school and ensure that the team has the funds needed to compete at the Vex Robotics World Championships in Dallas in May.
GoFund Link: Fundraiser by Kelly Hodgson : Wardley Primary provide STEM and Robotics for all (gofundme.com)