CLWB at World Skills 2015

St Nicholas World Skills Guilherme

CLWB was proud to present the fantastic work done at St Nicholas School at one of the biggest education events in the world – World Skills 2015.

With an attendance of 200,000 people, and a 212,000 m2 site, World Skills is an extreme demonstration of applied learning. This bi-annual competition enables students under the age of 23 to compete on the world stage on the basis of their demonstrated abilities. The range of skills covered is vast – from aircraft engineering to software, to beauty therapy.


CLWB was delighted to be invited by the UK Department of Trade and Industry to present on their stand. The presentation featured children and staff from St Nicholas who showed the work they developed using the CLWB curriculum and learning kits.

St Nicholas HeadTeacher, Nick Thody, said “we’re in the 21st Century right now, and the skills that will be needed are certainly not those that we teach at the moment. I’m keen for children to learn the things that technology won’t be able to take away from them. Children need to learn how to make”.

Head of IT, Darren Burchall introduced the staff, students and their work. Darren explained how “the children take what they learn in the CLWB sessions to Science and Mathematics”.

St Nicholas Darren

Darren also told the story of Roberto Alves de Almeida who until recently was a security guard at the school. Roberto was given the opportunity to join the IT team as trainee, and started a part-time university course. As a result of his engagement in the CLWB project he changed his degree subject to fit the CLWB approach, and is now an in-demand teacher at the school.

The first demo was from Beni and Eduardo, Year 7. They invented an “explanation machine” using wand-activated voice explanations of key concepts such as recycling, DIY and consumerism. The students combined 3 key technologies – Raspberry Pi, Makey Makey and 3d printing into a superb example of ‘Invention-based Learning”.

St Nicholas Explanation Machine

St Nicholas Explanation Machine

Explanation Machine

Maria Elisa (Year 8) talked about how much fun it is to learn through programming and robotics.

St Nicholas World Skills Maria Elisa

Guilherme (Year 8), then talked about the excitement of making things like a phone-controlled car – “WOW, I made that!

Matheus (Year 8), talked about how he never misses a single lesson because he enjoys it so much, and why its so important to learn skills such as programming and making products – “We are in a technological revolution. Every day something new is going to appear. Through robotics we develop skills that we wouldn’t learn elsewhere – groupwork, creativity, innovation, and most importantly problem solving. We can fail 50 times – it doesn’t matter, we work as a team to fix the problems and make a great product. I think we should have programming as an actual subject in schools”.

St Nicholas group

Thanks to the students for their professional performances, and for providing such excellent examples of applied learning. Thanks to the teaching staff – Darren Burchall; Daniel Maranho and Roberto Alves de Almeida Jnr. And a special thanks to Nick Thody for brining CLWB to his school. Thanks also to Vera Oliveira and NneNne Iwuji-Eme at UKTI for inviting and hosting us.

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