Notley Wins KS3 Website Competition

Wednesday, 28 June 2006.
Notley Wins KS3 Website Competition

After months of preparation by students, the day they’d all been waiting for arrived. Entrants from Tabor School and Notley High School met together here, on the afternoon of Tuesday 27 June for final judging. 

The Braintree Schools’ KS3 Website competition was launched in February, with six schools in the area invited to participate. Alec Hunter School did have a number of entrants, but pulled out a few weeks before the judging day. Thirteen students aged between 12 and 14 met in the Library computer room with their teachers and judges, all keen and eager to look at the competitions’ websites! Notley had seven entrants and Tabor had six.

Students had been asked to produce a fan site for any band, PC game, sport or other relevant topic which included video, sound, animation, digital images and text. The navigation and design of the fan site were key elements, as was having no dead links. Students had to take into consideration the purpose of their sites and their intended audiences, but the content, hyperlinks and design were entirely down to them.

Two independent judges, Richard Millwood from Ultralab and Chris Doré from Tamdown Ltd, spent a good few hours investigating all the fan sites whilst marking criteria check lists. During this time students were looking at each other’s sites, whilst making constructive notes and suggestions for the author to take home. It was a very busy afternoon which gave students and staff the opportunity to admire the fantastic standards achieved by such young people. Part of the judging also took into account the reasoning behind each fan site, which students described on questionnaires.

Fan site topics ranged from Age of Empire 3 to Motor Racing and Final Fantasy 7 to The Legend of Zelda! The judges retired to a separate room and, after much deliberation, made their decisions on final placings. Each fan site was given feedback as to its individual merits and as the last placings were announced the tension mounted! 4th place was awarded to Lucie Dean a Year 7 Tabor student who had created a stimulating, colourful site about Destiny’s Child. 3rd place went to Charlie Jennings, a Year 9 Notley student, who was given particular praise on his X-Box fan site for its professional look – as good as any e-commerce site found on the Internet. 2nd place was awarded to Wesley Hicks who produced what the judges described as a quirky, fun, different site called Gunge & Splat. As a Year 7 student, it was a wonderful achievement to have competed so well against those older than himself. Finally, 1st place went to Daniel Burgess, Year 9 Notley, who had spent months on developing a real, online fan site for HabboLife. This site actually earns Daniel a small profit – another Bill Gates in the making! The amount of work and technical content that Daniel had created was astonishing for his age. Both judges commented that students had shown skills more advanced than their own employees and were extremely impressed. Entrants’ fan sites will be hosted on Notley High School’s website as show pieces and will hopefully encourage more students from other schools in the Braintree area to enter next year’s competition.

Certificates were awarded to all students for participating and the three winners received an Olympus 8 Megapixel digital camera (1st prize), a Wacom Graphire tablet and pen (2nd prize) and a 2 Gb Kingston USB pen (3rd prize). Notley was also awarded the competition trophy – a beautiful crystal hand and globe. This will take pride of place in the trophy cabinet in Reception and will be hotly contested next year! It was an extremely successful event and was enjoyed by all – this is certainly a competition which is set to grow. Congratulations to everyone who participated, but particularly to the 3 winners – well done!

Mrs Jacqui Smith – Director of ICT