My partnership with Causeway Bay Victoria

Last academic year, I had the great pleasure of working with Causeway Bay Victoria Kindergarten & International Nursery (CB Victoria) as a STEAM consultant. This was a year-long partnership that was mutually beneficial. I brought expertise in STEAM and they brought expertise in early years education. Together, we brought STEAM to life at CB Victoria! I really loved working with the passionate, enthusiastic teachers there and dipping my toes into the world of consulting.

Due to my move to Shenzhen, an unintentional disconnect from my blog and the general whirlwind that has been this year, I’m only now writing about this wonderful experience. Better late than never!

Makerspace Development

The partnership started when the team at CB Victoria was developing their makerspace and reached out for advice. They really transformed this room into an exciting space that invites creativity. However, we knew that the amazing new space would be worthless without the related pedagogy and staff buy-in. I worked closely with Head Teacher Ann Fung and the rest of the curriculum team to develop the whole-school culture of creativity and innovation.

Training and Planning with the Curriculum Team

As part of my work with CB Victoria, I attended planning meetings to discuss the curriculum and authentic opportunities to integrate STEAM. I was also invited to join the series of workshops that they organised with Gary Stager. Gary is co-author of one of my favourite books in education, Invent to Learn. It is a book that I have read multiple times, written about many times and gained a great amount of inspiration from. In one of the sessions, co-author Sylvia Libow Martinez also joined. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from Gary and Sylvia. Learning alongside everyone else in the curriculum team allowed us to discuss the ideas and plan for their implementation.

Workshop 1

In my first workshop, we explored the importance and relevance of STEAM for CB Victoria students and education in general, and I made reference to Gary’s presentation and ideas from Invent to Learn. Most of all, I wanted the teachers to experience making. I designed activities for each grade level that connect to one of their units. The teachers could then apply the same activities to their own teaching. For example, one year group has a unit about natural cycles. They created a stop motion animation to show the changing seasons. Another year group teach a unit on communities. They considered the needs of people in a community before designing and making their own town!

As you might expect from early years practitioners, they were awesome! I remember being absolutely blown away by their enthusiasm and creativity! I realise now that I was preaching to the choir about the importance of play and hands-on learning!

Workshop 2

The feedback from the first workshop was overwhelmingly positive and very insightful. I was able to plan the following workshop in response to the teachers’ questions and needs. In the first workshop, I emphasised the importance of allowing students time to reflect on their creations and make improvements. Several teachers asked if I’d be willing to expand on this and share some of the approaches I have used with my own students.

The majority of the session was spent exploring the principles of Agency by Design and trying some of their thinking routines, especially those that are designed to prompt reflection and improvements. For example, the teachers tried the Design Hunt and Imagine If… routines. I then allowed year groups time to look ahead to their next unit and collaboratively plan for STEAM integration.

Resource Exploration

Following the second workshop, some teachers mentioned that they didn’t have the ability or confidence to integrate some of the more “techie” ideas. In response, I planned a fun exploration session and allowed time for teachers to just play! The photo above shows the resources that I prepared and the intentionally basic instructions that I pinned around the room. I didn’t waste any time at the beginning on input or demonstration because I wanted the teachers to work through their confusion and solve their own problems. This is far more valuable than listening to me! Again, I wanted teachers to apply the same thinking as their students and learn from a similar experience.


Demo Classes


As part of this experience, I was able to teach their young learners and offer demo classes. This was my opportunity to demonstrate the principles and practices that I had been preaching. Truth be told, I was very nervous about this! I had never taught such young students before so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I set up multiple activities in the Maker Hub on the topic of electricity. It actually went really well and I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed it!

2023 Update

At the end of the 2021-22 academic year, I left Hong Kong and moved up to Shenzhen. However, I am still in regular contact and look forward to following their journey as they lead the way in early STEAM education!

I want to sincerely thank all of the staff at CB Victoria for being so enthusiastic and making the partnership so enjoyable for me. I learnt so much (probably more than they did) and had an absolute blast along the way!

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