Eighty (80) teachers at the secondary school level were introduced to the six British Council core skills through training workshops conducted in Kingston and Montego Bay from October 17-26, 2017.
The British Council, in its drive to infuse Core Skills into student learning, is advancing a programme targeting head teachers, school senior leaders, middle managers and classroom teachers at the secondary, primary and early childhood level, to provide new tools and strengthen current teaching practices.
Teachers from 30 schools in Western Jamaica, Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine were exposed to new techniques enabling them to impart skills to students to solve potential problems, create innovative solutions and facilitate constructive relations among diverse groups of people in everyday classroom sessions.
According to Nathaniel Stewart, Mathematics and Science teacher at Glenmuir High School, “The Core Skills Workshop is innovative and applicable to real-world situations. It offers myself and colleagues the opportunity to engage students using new techniques, such as deep questioning and thinking, as well as how to engage digital technology in any subject area”. He reiterated the importance of problem-solving skills and how it benefits students in bridging the school-to-work gap and navigating adulthood.
The Core Skills programme also directly enables students to develop the necessary skills and competencies to meet 21st-century needs as teachers enhance their own teaching and learning techniques.
Nadene Newsome, Project Manager in Education at the British Council, explained that the response from teachers island-wide for participation and inclusion in the workshops has been overwhelming. “We are oversubscribed each time we put an open call for training. Accompanying this cohort of training is a baseline survey of the students whose teachers are trained in the British Council Introduction to Core Skills Training programme. The findings will be instructive in evaluating student impact before and after training.”
The British Council, in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, is championing the development of the following core skills and competencies:
• Critical thinking and problem-solving;
• Collaboration and communication;
• Creativity and imagination;
• Digital literacy;
• Student leadership and personal development.
These six core skills can be utilised throughout the curriculum and infused in any subject or lesson.
To date, 140 teachers from 60 institutions have benefitted from the British Council Introduction to Core Skills Training workshops. The British Council will be implementing additional introductory workshops for teachers of Special Needs students in early December as part of a Diversity and Inclusion Summit and Disabilities Awareness Week 2017. School leaders will be trained in January and British Council Advanced Core Skills Workshops, are slated to begin in February. Details on registration can be found on the British Council Caribbean Facebook page and website.