What went on at World Teach In 2015

On the 20th and 21st of November, teachers flocked to the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Imperial College London for World Teach In.


Now in its second year, the sold-out CPD event had a day for primary teachers (Reach Out CPD Live!) and a day for secondary science teachers (STEM for Schools 2015).


On the Friday, the secondary teachers threw themselves into the hands-on sessions, building robots with Timstar lab suppliers, exploring the science behind certain gadgets and gizmos with the National STEM Centre’s Karen Hornby, and devising earthquake-resistant buildings with Washirasorn Saengsuwan from Suratthani Rajabhat University, Thailand.


punk science

Other popular speakers included BBC producer Simon Baxter, and Imperial College London’s Jessica Wade and STEMNET’s Ashley Tamburello, who discussed how teachers can get more young women engaged with STEM (below).



On the Saturday, CBBC presenter Stefan Gates began the day by sending a fart out across the audience of primary teachers at Imperial College London (pictured top).


Amongst the most popular sessions was author of Reach Out CPD, Danny Nicholson, who provided a range of fun practical ideas to use in the classroom; the Primary Science Quality Mark’s Jane Turner, who shed some light on the difficult subject of assessment; science teacher Harvey Bashaw from North Carolina; and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Marc Neesam, who explored how chemistry fits into primary science.



Both days were powered by discussions of best practice and the high energy levels of the attending teachers, whose enthusiasm truly made the event. One teacher commented ‘this is the best CPD session I’ve done in eight years’. More details of World Teach In can be found here.


teacher laughing at NHM

Twig World keeps getting bett(er)

We are delighted to announce that three of our resources have been selected as finalists for the 2016 Bett Awards.


The Bett Awards is considered to be the world’s most prestigious education technology awards ceremony, celebrating the most creative and innovative learning resources. And this is the fourth year in a row that Twig World has made it to the finals!


This year, our already award-winning primary product Tigtag, which provides short films and learning activities for science and geography, has been nominated for International Digital Resource.


Our new product Tigtag Junior – the baby brother of Tigtag, with short films and interactive games for teaching science to ages 4-6 – is up for Primary Digital Content.


And Reach Out CPD, the much-loved continuing professional development resource for primary science teaching, developed in partnership with Imperial College London, has been nominated for Open Educational Resource.


We are delighted by the recognition that these resources have received, and can’t wait to hear the results in January.


Make sure you drop by our stand at Bett 2016 to see what’s new at Twig World and to pick up some freebies!

Flip the classroom with Twig

You’ve probably heard of a learning technique called flipped classroom. But what does it actually mean, and how can it enhance your lessons?


Flipped classroom is a form of blended learning that encourages students to study new topics in advance of lessons.


As a topic is introduced before the lesson, you can spend more time in class identifying any areas of difficultly for your students and consolidating their understanding of key concepts. The flipped classroom approach also leaves more time for group discussion and collaborative, practical work in lessons.


Short videos make great resources for students to use independently for flipped classroom learning, as they offer information in a concise and engaging format. Videos also allow your students to learn at their own pace – pausing and rewinding to ensure that they’ve understood everything.


The flipped classroom has drastically changed schools’ exam results.


Clintondale High School is thought to have been one of the first ‘flipped schools’. Clintondale had been struggling with results, with many students failing science and maths. But when the flipped classroom was introduced, failure rates more than halved, dropping from 44% to 13% in maths, and 41% to 19% in science.


But the flipped classroom approach has raised a number of problems for teachers. Firstly, it’s difficult to find short videos online which just cover the key learning points of the curriculum.


Secondly, with a video online there’s no way of monitoring whether to not your students have actually watched them – let alone whether or not they’ve understood the content!


That’s why Twig has created Assignments – a new feature that lets you set Twig films as homework and monitor whether or not your students have watched them.


Accompanying each from in Twig Assignments is a list of key points, supplementary material to broaden your students’ knowledge and quizzes that let you see how much your students have learnt. The quiz results are recorded in graphs, which measure your students’ progress over time and show which bits they found the trickiest.



If you are a subscriber on Twig-world.com and would like to start using Assignments, or you would like to start a subscription, please call 020 3475 7713 or email support@twig-world.com.

Introducing a new film page view for students

Film pages on Twig offer great related resources to help teachers, including classroom visuals, topic handouts and learning materials to use in the classroom. But these aren’t always relevant to students logging on.


Students benefit from resources that will help them understand topics and support their learning.


From next month, we are introducing a brand new Science and Earth Science film page view for students.


In place of teaching materials, they will see new content that helps reinforce what they have learnt in the film. The student view contains:


Key points to reinforce core concepts.


key points for blog

Fun facts to consolidate students’ learning.

facts for blog

And quizzes to make sure they’ve understood everything!

quizzes for blog


Teachers logging in can use the tabs underneath the film player to switch between the teacher and student views.

student teacher


To access the new film page view, students must log in using a student account. For information on setting up student accounts, simply email your account manager or contact us.

World Teach In – back and bigger than ever!

The world’s first pop-up science school returns this November, promising even more inspiring talks and explosive ideas to fuel teachers’ lessons!


Organised by Twig World, this exciting teacher training opportunity will be taking place at the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and Imperial College London.


Rivalling the conventional conference by putting teachers back in the classroom, World Teach In offers two dynamic days of awe-inspiring CPD (continuing professional development). Last year’s event saw teachers from 17 countries travel to London to learn about how to bring the primary science curriculum to life.


This year, World Teach In invites both primary and secondary teachers, and the focus will be on STEM learning.


STEM for Schools 2015– Friday 20 November (secondary education)


At STEM for Schools 2015, secondary science teachers will be inspired by experts in STEM, take part in live experiments and lessons, and learn how to teach the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills needed to maintain the future of STEM industries.


Most crucially, delegates will get the support they need to integrate STEM into the science curriculum, and walk away with resources and ideas to fuel their lessons.


Reach Out CPD Live!– Saturday 21 November (primary education)


Reach Out CPD Live! will provide primary teachers with a range of innovative, cross-curricular ideas for teaching outstanding science lessons. The day is named after the hugely popular Reach Out CPD online training resource, developed by Tigtag in partnership with Imperial College London.


With speakers including Imperial College London’s Professor Maggie Dallman, the BBC’s Simon Baxter and science writer Marcus Chown, plus the chance to share best practice with teachers from around the world, World Teach In is a unique education event not to be missed!


For a taste of what’s in store, take a look at what MIT’s Tyler DeWitt got up to at last year’s World Teach In, as he tells the story of the B-Cell.


For more information, please visit www.worldteachin.com

Twickenham Prep Support School in Malawi

Twig school Twickenham Prep has recently opted to support African Vision Malawi, a charity organisation that helps orphaned and vulnerable children with health and education.


African Vision has now partnered Twickenham Prep with a ‘pop-up’ school in Malawi. Unlike schools in the UK, Sognwe has no physical school building, but is simply a meeting of teachers and students in the community.


Head of Science Jennifer Scott said:

The nearest physical school is too far for the children to get to, so this ‘pop-up’ initiative has been started instead. There is fantastic news as the school has now been recognised as a Government school, which means that the Government has to provide at least two qualified teachers.’


The students and teachers at Twickenham Prep are hoping to raise enough funds to build a bridge at the bottom of the hill where the school is based, which would provide access to education for more children. Scott explained:

The river is too wide and deep for children to cross at the moment and the previous bridge collapsed so we desperately want to create further access.


But there are some things we’ve been able to help with immediately. During our first meeting with the charity, we learnt that the children love to get stickers. There is also a great need for pencils as the students often have to share!


What followed was a sweep round school to gather up stickers and stationary. Twig World supplied some free stickers, pens and science posters to add to the cause, and the students filled a whole box full of useful goodies, which will be taken to Malawi in the next couple of weeks.


Twickenham Prep we salute you!


Want to support a school in Malawi? Find out how by emailing info@africanvision.org.uk


Just want some cheeky stickers for your school? Email support@twig-world.com and ask nicely!