UK kids win coding comp

UK schoolchildren have outsmarted their European rivals at a coding competition in Brussels

Technology enthusiasts Alfie Finch-Critchley (14), Joseph Banerjee (12) and Jonathan Haley (12) from Uppingham have been crowned Masters of the inaugural European Kodu Kup in Brussels.

The team, from Uppingham Community College and known as Madd Hatt Games, wowed the judges with their creation “Confined”, a futuristic game in the style of Portal, in which the player has to complete various tests to progress through the game to defeat an evil robot at the end. Madd Hatt Games won the award for the 12-16-year-old age category. 

Alfie Finch-Critchley said: “Kids don’t always need to be told what to do to understand things, through computational thinking and perseverance you can find out for yourself, and if you can get a grasp of computers and computer science you can understand the world around us. Apart from the event itself, the best part of participating in the Kodu Kup for me was the teamwork. We worked together and we were able to take our individual talents and combine them to get the best result possible.” 

The Kodu Kup challenges children to create their own games using Kodu, Microsoft’s specially designed simple, visual programming language. 

The eight winning teams from this year’s national Kodu Kups (from Portugal, Finland, Norway, the UK, Belgium, Greece, Estonia and Lithuania) met at the Microsoft Innovation Centre for a specialised two-day European Coding Camp before going head-to-head in the Dragon’s Den style Kodu Kup final.