TLC! has been awarded the contract to deliver bilingual Core Skills and competencies training to teachers across Wales. These training sessions will focus on two of the British Council’s Core Skills areas – Critical Thinking & Problem Solving and Digital Literacy, as agreed with the Welsh Government. The sessions will take place over the next two to three years and consist of two initial training days followed by a mentored action research project back in school that culminates in a reflection and sharing day. Finally, teachers will have a fourth day reviewing ‘Teachers as researchers’ to support them in continuing this professional development back in school.
TLC! is working with the National Schools Partnership to revitalise and relaunch the Royal Bank of Scotland’s MoneySense website. The website aims to improve financial education in schools across the UK. Our consultants are developing new material and reviewing that authored by others.
We have been accepted onto the British Council’s STEM framework to supply consultancy and professional services. This is within three areas, STEM Curriculum Development & Consultancy, Innovation in STEM education and Resource Development.
TLC is currently working with the Thai Government to update their vocational STEM curriculum for ages 15 to 18 in Thailand. The review involves working with high performing vocational colleges in Thailand to integrate STEM pedagogies into the curricula of agriculture, industry, food technology, tourism and biotechnology. The project will deliver an overview of proposed STEM curricula which are better integrated with their core curriculum.
TLC worked with the Mexican Academy of Sciences in Mexico City. We reviewed the La Ciencia en tu Escuela (Science in your School) distance learning website in order to develop a training package on the STEM pedagogies of higher-order thinking skills, quality questioning, collaboration, problem solving, creative and critical thinking, metacognition and formative assessment. The highly successful training was delivered to large groups of teachers, both primary and secondary, and a group of tutors from La Ciencia en tu Escuela and teacher trainers and educators from Mexican universities. TLC reviewed the processes used and made recommendations for the future development of La Ciencia en tu Escuela and how best to integrate STEM pedagogies into classroom teaching in Mexico.
TLC worked with the British Council in Mexico City to develop prototypes for Maths apps for Grades 5 and 6 learners, in English. TLC’s role in the process was to ensure STEM pedagogies were explicit to teachers as they used the apps. Again the STEM pedagogies included were higher-order thinking skills, quality questioning, collaboration, problem solving, creative and critical thinking, metacognition and formative assessment. The prototypes of the apps were then trialled with groups of teachers and learners to assess their functionality and usefulness in delivering mathematics to Grade 5 and 6 learners. TLC also wrote a step-by-step guide for teachers as to how to plan for and use an app in lessons. We also wrote a report on the processes used in development of the apps and recommendations for the future. The British Council presented the prototypes and their final report to a wide ranging group of educational experts from the government, stakeholders and partners in Mexico. The report and prototypes were very warmly received.
TLC had the pleasure in working closely with Techniquest between 2012-2016 delivering high-quality, bilingual Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2 STEM Outreach to primary schools across Wales. Beginning in 2012, TLC started to deliver its Outreach to schools in North West Wales, under contract to Techniquest.
After the initial one year contract, the Outreach was expanded so that we delivered further high-quality shows and workshops across various local education authorities to approximately 10,000 learners per year across 540 primary schools. By 2015 our contract included Gwynedd, Anglesey and the Aberconwy area within Conwy, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and the Brecknock and Radnor areas within Powys.
Several times a year special science and maths events were organised, during National Science Week and at the end of the school year, in central locations such as Plas Menai, Rheidol Hydropower Station and Electric Mountain. These events varied in length from one to five days and accommodated up to 120 children per day. For these special events, children were offered a full day of educational activities which included two Techniquest science or maths shows/workshops plus a specially designed numeracy and literacy trail around the venue.
Within 2013, TLC took on a small contract with Techniquest do deliver bilingual workshops to just under 1000 KS3, KS4 and Post-16 learners within North West Wales. The workshops focused on taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and skills and putting them into a real world context and demonstrating their importance in daily life.
A similar contract was awarded to TLC in 2015, but this time the workshops were to be delivered bilingually in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to KS3 and KS4 learners. Again, the workshops focused on STEM skills and putting them into a real world context. These workshops supported the teaching of the National Curriculum in Wales, the new Literacy and Numeracy Framework, work-related education and the Welsh Bacc.
TLC! has produced an accredited specification for AHDB Llaeth/Dairy and HCC for the Global Citizenship Challenge in the Welsh Baccalaureate (Foundation/KS4). The Challenge focuses on sustainable food production and how to ensure that food production is local with minimal environmental impact. To support its use there are learner materials and teacher notes on the AHDB – Llaeth/Dairy website at www.ahdb.org.uk/wales .
TLC! has produced bilingual, web-based materials for the Arts Council of Wales within a Toolkit to promote literacy and numeracy skills through the Arts. The materials to support collaboration between schools and artists include:
classroom-based rich activities for teachers
guidance for artists to develop their own rich activities
guidance for artists and teachers to support initial contact and processes to follow for collaboration
guidance for artists to support their understanding of the National Curriculum, the LNF and links to the Arts, how to work with schools to develop and evaluate projects
case studies of effective collaborative projects including assessed learner work.
TLC! delivered bilingual teacher training courses across Wales to both trainee teachers and practising teachers. The courses were accredited through Agored Cymru at Level 4. Over 300 trainees and teachers took part in sessions to support them in using dairy farming as a context to develop literacy and numeracy activities. This pilot delivered an evaluation report and recommendations for the future.
We have redesigned the bilingual information boards and designed a working model of the power station for visitors, working in partnership with Techniquest, Cardiff.
TLC! has produced materials for Bridgend County Council, which aim to enthuse young people and parents alike with the diversity of Bridgend County's outdoor spaces.
The materials recognise and embrace the wealth of biodiversity within Bridgend and those for families and schools are focused on developing the literacy and numeracy skills of children.
There are three main parts to the materials:
a Family Activity pack of things to do in the outdoors. This has eight activities for you to try (with or without your children!) which should cause much head scratching and discussion.
a set of Schools' Rich Activities, ranging from Foundation Phase to Key Stage 3, with suggestions for Key Stage 4 learners. These should help teachers to develop learners' literacy and numeracy skills (as in the LNF) and use outdoor learning experiences to motivate them and therefore improve outcomes.
a Schools' Biodiversity Action Plan to help schools to develop their own outdoor spaces in order to increase biodiversity in Bridgend and enthuse learners.
All the materials have been trialed with families and across Bridgend's schools. The materials can be found on Bridgend’s Natural neighbourhoods website at http://www.naturalneighbourhoods.com/.
Building on the already successful Bridgend Outdoor Schools project, TLC have developed further materials including packs of family, school and further/higher education activities for Kenfig National Nature Reserve.
The materials are available on the Natural Neighbourhoods website http://www.naturalneighbourhoods.com/community/a-schools-activity-pack-for-teachers.aspx and can be downloaded by families and teachers/lecturers before they visit this special area of conservation.
There are three main parts to the materials:
a Family Activity pack of things to do in Kenfig National Nature Reserve, plus a separate downloadable Geocache trail to follow around the reserve
a Schools’ Activity Pack, ranging from Foundation Phase to Key Stage 3 (four at each phase/key stage with an additional KS2/KS3 activity)
a Further and Higher Education Activity Pack with suggested activities focused on sampling habitats, plant and animal species, visitor-use and management at Kenfig NNR.
Five ‘Bridgend Outdoor Schools’ (BOS) geocaches have also been hidden around Kenfig National Nature Reserve to encourage families to explore the reserve and appreciate the various wildlife on offer.
TLC! has developed children's interactive exhibits for Oriel Pendeitsh on behalf of Gwynedd County Council. Designed by TLC! and built by Techniquest, Cardiff, these exhibits will help young children to understand the history of Gwynedd and especially the Caernarfon area.
TLC! has produced materials for young visitors to the slate museum, that draw out the Numeracy aspects of the exhibits - as linked to the national Literacy and Numeracy Framework in Wales.
TLC! has developed the initial, comprehensive suite of Guidance for implementing the LNF for all mainstream teachers in Wales, under contract to the Welsh Government. The guidance includes: training workshops, advice on curriculum planning, classroom tasks and exemplars of learners' work assessed against the LNF.
These materials can be found on Learning Wales.