Birmingham 2022 launches free digital Queen’s Baton Relay educational resources for primary schools

Junior school children around the CWG mascot celebrating the launch of new key stage one and two resources for schools. Published: 2nd Nov 2021

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 and 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.”

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.”

The Queen’s Baton Relay has already visited Cyprus, Malta, Nigeria, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Cameroon.

The Baton will be in Kenya from 2 to 3 November 2021.

The new resources are now available to download on the Birmingham 2022 website