Case Study | Bomas School

At a glance

Country: Nigeria
Number of students: 34
Age of students: 12-14

Participant in Topical Talk Festival 2023
Part of the British Council partnership

Edited by The Economist Educational Foundation for clarity

Topical Talk has been so exciting and a time of great learning for us and our children!

Bosede Obende, Teacher

In their own words

Why we took part in Topical Talk Festival

As a school, we look out for ways where we can engage our children globally. The Festival has helped us with that, especially by providing news children can engage with. It’s also helped us see how to push our students’ knowledge forward and how to expose them to global issues as well as local issues.

Our main goal for taking part in the Festival has been to get our students to a place where they are globally-minded. The Festival worked well as we already work with the Sustainable Development Goals which are covered by the lessons. The Festival has given us more ideas as teachers for covering these goals and it’s helped us to understand the steps to help our children have deeper understanding.

Who the Festival works for

When we start picking the children for Topical Talk, we actually start picking some from our grade 3 (aged 9+) because we believe that we need to bring in these discussions early. We started with students from the lower grades and, initially, they were not able to bring their points together, but as we walked through it using the resources, it got better and better for them. They began to understand it. It’s a gradual process where we are building experience over time.

The impact of the Festival

The Festival is especially impactful when we talk about writing. When we talk about bringing our points together, it’s really helped younger children to discuss and then form written opinions. The Festival has made a difference to how developed our children’s answers are. Initially, when I’d ask children to write an answer, they’d go straight to the point without elaborating, maybe a one-line answer. Now, through Topical Talk discussions, they are able to write 400 words for their Standpoints. They are able to draw out their thinking. My students were also keen on the audio Standpoint opportunity and producing them has helped with their speaking skills.

Some of our children don’t have exposure to the news, especially things happening now. Topical Talk means they are actually able to hear about it.

The children were particularly interested in the 'Strikes' lesson because, at the moment, this is something they have seen in Nigeria – it’s close to home. There are also topics, like the 'Metaverse', that feel far away from them but the lesson allowed them to build understanding. And so, for me, the Festival really broadened knowledge and experiences.

It has also improved critical-thinking and problem-solving skills because, when they come up with ideas, they are interrogating them more and asking themselves, “will this work? What do I need to think about?”. They’re learning that these skills are needed for daily living and it’s something they will keep on applying.

Topical Talk has tremendously impacted the school, the teachers and the students. They’re all learning and we are learning together.