Lights, Camera, Action

Last week members of the Twig production team visited York University to film Chris Otter, our on-camera expert for the new Reach Out CPD Secondary pilot courses.


It was the final shoot, so the team now have everything they need to put a full pilot together on a demo site! This pilot will hopefully also encourage interest in SIP, our STEM Improvement Programme which encourages higher order thinking skills and easily ties into the CPD resource.

Happy Tigtaggers

Jane Shimizu’s class from Scoil Chaitríona Junior in Ireland look sufficiently calm with our Tigtag stress balls! Every lesson, the two students that have worked hardest are allowed to go on the computer and use Tigtag to further their own learning.


The students were super happy to receive the shipment of stress balls as a thank you for their help in some Tigtag research.

Tigtag makes science easy

When it comes to primary science, complex vocabulary such as vertebrae, osmosis, and spectrum may cause students to switch off long before they reach for a dictionary. Wait a second, what’s a dictionary? For the youtube generation, dictionaries are not are no longer the go-to point for student discovery. And even if they were, young bibliophiles might need help to translate a wordy, theoretical concept into something they can visualise and understand.


The Vineyard is a community primary school in greater London. Headteacher Ms Pearce lists ‘challenge and creativity’ as two of the school’s key focuses. To support her students with science, Pearce turned to Tigtag, a film resource that can animate how physical, material and living processes work in just three minutes.


Beautiful footage from programmes such as BBC documentaries and the US History channel have been edited to explain the learning goals for each part of the curricula. Science Coordinator Mr. Cooper said, ‘If you can’t have David Attenborough in your classroom the next best thing is Tigtag; a primary resource full of interesting facts and videos designed for non-specialist teachers and curious children.’


In 2013 The Vineyard achieved outstanding Ofsted status, and the report commented that:


New approaches to the teaching of science and the humanities to develop pupils’ thinking skills, with much more investigation, have brought these subjects to life and enabled pupils to produce outstanding work.


Tigtag is one such approach that develops such thinking skills and prompts investigation. Mr. Cooper uses the Teacher Toolbox to select different ‘Big Questions’ for discussion; can cats see in the dark? What happens to the brain when we sleep? Why is there no sound in space? These questions really set young minds into action, and can spark of an array of lively discussion and further learning, which often continues long after the lesson has ended.


In addition, Mr. Cooper chooses from a variety of Tigtag’s practical activities, which aid the children to carry out their own investigations. Today they are learning about light intensity from different sources around the room, documenting their findings in the downloadable worksheets provided. Tigtag’s ‘Additional Information’ helps Mr. Cooper explain the science at each stage of the investigation and the students are fully engaged, asking question after question.


The Vineyard has extended their subscription to Tigtag until 2018.

Twig takes on Bett and the Education World Forum

January certainly has been a busy month for Twig World!


Things started off on Monday 18th at the Education World Forum, where we announced our partnership with Imperial College London, one of the world’s top universities for science.


We welcomed many important education ministers to our stand, including Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.


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We spent the second half of the week at the colossal Bett Show, where the Twig World stand was bigger and brighter than ever.


At Bett we met a whole range of interesting people from different areas of education, but perhaps most importantly, we met lots of teachers! It was great to hear the latest classroom trends and ideas from the experts themselves.


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Finally – to top off a truly fantastic week – we won at the Bett Awards! Our continuing professional development resource Reach Out CPD, created in partnership with Imperial College London, was awarded Best Open Educational Resource. We were thrilled for the resource to have been recognised and look forward to continuing to help teachers deliver outstanding lessons.


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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!