British Council are a leading partner supporting micro:bit activities in Spain.
The "Summer Plus" English-language learning programme is offered in teaching centres throughout Spain, in Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Palma, Segovia and Valencia. As a commercial offer, it covers English-language learning with practical hands-on activities.
Since 2018, micro:bit has been integrated into the programme for students aged 15-17, which were expanded in summer 2019 to include classes for primary school children from age 6.
The British Council Day School in Madrid also adopted micro:bit following the UK roll-out in 2016/17, and it is taught as part of the English national curriculum for computing.
Programme design and training materials
In the Summer Plus programme, three year groups of students aged 6-11, 12–14 & 15-17 years take micro:bit lessons to develop digital skills while incorporating English language learning. This part of the course is called "INVENT" and focuses on core 21st century skills and language with digital creativity.
In order to prepare for teaching this new material, an internal training session took place in Madrid to prepare core teachers as ‘micro:bit experts' who went on to deliver 2-hour sessions with students. Additional class teachers were also present throughout the sessions to support with language and classroom management.
These lessons incorporating micro:bit with language learning were rolled out in the British Council teaching centres across the country.
Lessons and pedagogy
As language classes, the Summer Plus lessons on micro:bit have a lot of vocabulary focus, covering names of components and features, use a lot of process language which is important for paired work, group language, drilling, practising and presenting.
Students record experiments and activities in lab books where they recording new vocabulary with adding drawings and sketches. Their activities also incorporate 21st century skills a focus on approaches such as critical thinking, digital creativity and collaboration with peers in order to create clear links to normal language classes.
Use of unplugged and craft activities focused on the micro:bit also support computational thinking concepts. Students are encouraged to move around class, collaborating and interacting with each other to solve problems.
Impact and results
Over 4000 students have participated in Summer Plus courses (including micro:bit) by end summer 2019 with further expansion into more teaching centres planned in 2020.