The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has launched free online learning resources for primary schools, themed around Queen’s Baton Relay.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities from across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games. It officially began on 7 October when Her Majesty The Queen placed her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton. The Queen’s Baton is now embarking on an incredible journey, visiting all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth, before returning to the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on 28 July 2022.
Designed to provide learning opportunities both in the classroom and for at-home learning, the resources have been created for Reception, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. They aim to develop children’s understanding of the Queen’s Baton Relay, covering the history of the tradition, the Baton design, and the Baton Relay route as it travels to Birmingham 2022, through themed cross-curricular activities.
The activities in the resources range in length and can therefore be selected to suitably fit into schools’ learning schedules and timetables. Each activity has been designed to be standalone, so the resources can be used throughout the 294-day journey that the Baton is currently on.
The activities are also linked to the curriculum, spanning English, Maths, Geography, Performing Arts, Art and Design, History, Computing, Physical Education, and PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic). Examples of tasks include designing and creating their own Baton, learning about the different time zones in the 72 nations and territories, and learning to read a map.
As well as developing an understanding of the Queen’s Baton Relay and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the activities will develop transferable skills in communication, confidence building, presentation, and research.
The resources were developed by Birmingham 2022 with support from an external creative education company, whose aim is to connect children and learning, using creativity and imagination.
The Queen’s Baton Relay resources are the first of many and are being made available ahead of the official launch of the Birmingham 2022 Youth Programme, which will engage at least one million children and young people aged 5-25 across Birmingham and the West Midlands with Birmingham 2022.
The Youth Programme, which will officially launch in early 2022, will complement the curriculum to widen knowledge, improve access to sports, arts and culture, while helping to boost confidence and resilience. Learning activities for schools will include further digital classroom resources on the Commonwealth and Birmingham 2022, lesson activities, a range of classroom or whole school workshop activities, teacher insight and inspiration sessions, school festival days, plus visits by Perry, the Birmingham 2022 mascot.
Alton Brown, Head of Youth Programmes & Policy at Birmingham 2022, said: “These free online resources will provide real value in the classroom, offering pupils a greater understanding of the significance of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s Baton Relay. The learning packs are now available to download for schools across the West Midlands and beyond to delve into and enjoy, and our hope is that they provide hours of enjoyment for pupils. The Baton is on an incredible 294-day journey, travelling to every corner of the Commonwealth, so it’s great that we’ve been able to tie this Commonwealth Games tradition to the curriculum in a fun and engaging way.
“We’re launching these resources ahead of our wider Youth Programme which will go live early next year. The programme will see us work closely with teachers, school networks and youth organisations and engage with at least one million young people across the region.”
Adam Hooper, Senior Leader of Teaching and Learning at West Heath Primary School in Birmingham, said: “The children of Birmingham are very lucky to have a global event take place on their doorstep. At West Heath Primary School, we encourage pupils to actively participate in school sport and physical activity for the benefit of their mental and physical wellbeing. We also promote values education where pupils understand and respect different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. The free Queen’s Baton Relay resources will provide current, relevant learning opportunities that reaffirm our curriculum drivers.
“It is important for our children to use and interact with the resources, so they develop their knowledge and understanding of the Commonwealth Games. The Queen’s Baton Relay is a great way to generate a knowledge-based excitement for the Games, an excitement that will hopefully create a legacy that inspires their future. The Games coming to Birmingham may inspire the sports stars of tomorrow, the free resources will spread the message of solidarity, hope and community.”
Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture at Birmingham City Council, said: “This package of resources shows how we are making this the Games for Everyone – it is helping some of our youngest residents, the children of our primary schools, learn more about the event and the Commonwealth in a bold and engaging way.
“The school pupils of today are those who will gain most from the long-term benefits we obtain from being the Proud Host City of the Games, so it is great they are being given this opportunity to get involved through their studies.
“This, along with the wider Youth Programme, will inspire many young people, so I hope as many schools as possible take advantage of this first phase of free resources as a way of building excitement and interest in the biggest event Birmingham has ever held.”
Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “I am delighted that primary school pupils will be able to experience the wonder of the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay with these free online resources.
“Young people across Birmingham and the West Midlands will be able to discover and connect with the epic journey of the Queen’s Baton, learning about the Commonwealth, its athletes, and communities, as well as its vision and values.
“I sincerely hope that everyone following the Baton in the Queen’s Baton Relay lessons will be ready and excited to welcome the Baton back to the proud host city of Birmingham in July 2022.””
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay resources will be fantastic asset for children across the West Midlands to broaden their knowledge of the Commonwealth countries, as well as build excitement ahead of the Games next year.
“The history of the Baton and the Relay event is fascinating, and it’s brilliant that pupils will get to learn about this whilst also improving on key subjects such as English, maths, and geography as part of the core curriculum.
“This is a great initiative, and shows how Birmingham 2022 is so much more than just medals.”