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 and primary level, to provide new tools and strengthen current teaching practices.
Teachers from more than 100 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.”