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Beccles Free School declared World Champions at RoboCup 2016

IMG_9030A team of students at Beccles Free School have been crowned junior world champions after defeating hundreds of school teams globally at the RoboCup 2016 World Championships. The world-class computer coders, in Years 7 to 9 at Beccles Free School, returned from the RoboCup in Leipzig, Germany, with their trophy earlier today (July 5).

This is the second year that Beccles Free School have represented the UK in the RoboCup competition, after achieving second place at the competition hosted in China last year. The 2016 team, who called themselves Tempest, were thrilled to beat teams from Japan, Taiwan, Portugal and China this year as well as a tough match against Croatia in the final.

Johann Don-Daniel, the robotics team lead at Beccles Free School, said: “We are completely amazed at the exceptional achievement of our RoboCup team, and we are so proud that they have brought home the junior world champions trophy. The team work incredibly well together and have shown fantastic dedication in preparing for the competition.”

The CoSpace Robotics (RoboCup) is a computer coding competition where the best young programmers from around the world compete in a series of computer-based robotic challenges, such as picking up objects, avoiding traps and dropping off loads in designated areas. The competition develops the students’ ability to write computer code, programme robots, analyse the effectiveness of different search strategies and develop mathematical and problem solving skills.

Since taking part in the RoboCup last year, the student team has been hosting a weekly coding club with local primary schools, where they have been sharing their expertise and inspiring youngsters to build and battle their own robots using code. The RoboCup is part of a wider strategy to encourage more involvement with STEM subjects, and to provide students’ with a range of exciting learning opportunities. Other recent opportunities include a Maths Olympiad competition, a science fair involving local primary schools and a visit from London’s Science Museum.

Nigel Youngman, Headteacher at Beccles Free School, said: “We are all so proud of the students’ world-class achievement, they have done incredibly well.

“Subjects such as science, technology and mathematics are becoming increasingly important to address the UK’s skills gap and to prepare young people for the modern world of work. It is brilliant to see students at Beccles Free School excelling at STEM subjects and developing a passion for skills such as computer coding, as highlighted in 2015 where 83% of students achieved their maths GCSE.”