British Council Core Skills for Life Programme (also known as ‘Core Skills for Life’) is a professional development programme for teachers, led by the British Council and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust). This project is designed to support English teachers in primary schools all over Hong Kong. Teachers who participate in the programme work alongside British Council trainers to plan and deliver engaging English lessons which also develop students’ core skills. These include: critical thinking & problem solving, communication & collaboration, creativity & imagination.  The programme can equate to up to 50 hours of Continuing Professional Development.

We would like to invite you to take part in this programme if you are committed to:

  • developing your own ability to equip your students with the 21st Century skills that they will need for life and work
  • enhancing your teachers' capacity to teach diverse groups of learners
  • establishing a learning circle in your school so that teachers can share core skills teaching approaches with their peers
  • being thought leaders in the sector by pioneering creative teaching approaches.

Why should we teach Core Skills to students? 

Core Skills support students to develop the ability to: 

  • create and innovate 
  • analyse information and find solutions to problems 
  • the ability to communicate and collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds.

How will teachers and schools benefit from joining the programme?

Teachers and schools will benefit from:

  • one-on-one mentoring for each teacher to support them in their development of lessons that include core skills elements 
  • a number of versatile and effective teaching ideas  
  • producing, with guidance from the British Council, five lesson plans that incorporate a focus on core skills 
  • the co-ownership of lesson plans developed by teachers at other project schools and the British Council 
  • enhanced class engagement across the curriculum
  • being part of a professional network aimed at supporting creative and effective teaching.

Project objectives

This project aims to:

  • equip teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge to embed core skills into classes of diverse group of learners 
  • support teachers to be change agents in teaching innovation  
  • facilitate the creation of a ‘learning circle’ in each project school (so that teachers can share approaches to teaching core skills with their peers)
  • establish networking platforms where practitioners, academics and relevant stakeholders can exchange insights into teaching approaches. 

Target Schools

20 Primary Schools

Target teachers

Three teachers from each school who are: 

  • teaching P1–P3 English
  • interested in teaching approaches that have been developed outside of Hong Kong
  • willing to share their learning with their peers.
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD): 50 hours

Targeted Core Skills

Three categories of core skills will be covered at each project school, with each teacher focusing on one of the following categories:

  1. Critical thinking and problem solving
  2. Communication and collaboration 
  3. Creativity and imagination

Mode of support

  • Four full days of training sessions 
  • one-on-one consultation sessions along the academic year 
  • unlimited access to the Core Skills for Life Online Resource Depository, which is full of core skills training materials and related resources. 


Core Skills for Life Teacher Training Workshop ©

British Council

Teacher Development Workshops

Each teacher will receive a three-day training workshop, a one-day reflection workshop and a one-day refresher training workshop on one of the following core skills:

  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Creativity and Imagination
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Workshop Content

  • Exploring and understanding Core Skills 
  • Applying core skills in your schools with action planning
  • Sharing lessons learned across schools

Mentoring Programme

The Creative Educator, as a British Council trainer, will provide one-on-one consultations for each teacher on integrating core skills into their current English lesson work plan. This will include:

  • guidance on lesson plan development
  • two rounds of class observation
  • an online discussion between the Creative Educator and teacher.

Creative Education Resource Depository

Each project teacher will receive face-to-face training on one of the three core skills and will self-study another two core skills from online training materials. 

Each project teacher will be required to devise lesson plans and accompanying materials/media that incorporate communication and collaboration, creativity and imagination or critical thinking and problem solving. All of the lesson materials created by teachers throughout the project will be published online on the Creative Education Resource Depository and ultimately made available to other primary schools city-wide after 2021.

Demonstration Session

At the end of each year, selected teachers from the project will be invited to demonstrate a class in front of teachers/school representatives, students, parents, industry professionals and Hong Kong Jockey Club representatives as part of a sharing experience and discussion regarding creative teaching. 

Teacher Sharing Forum

Teachers and school leaders will be invited to join a one-day forum to share stories of success and learning and exchange insights with leading practitioners, policy makers and researchers from Hong Kong and the UK.


Activity Date Venue

 Pre-training class observation

October 2019 (By appointment)

Individual teacher’s school

Teacher Training
(7 hrs per day)

Batch A

Day 1 – 2
17 – 18 October 2019

Day 3
4 November 2019

Batch B

Day 1 – 2
21 – 22 October 2019

Day 3
11 November 2019

British Council

Day 4 Reflection (7 hours)

Batch A

Day 4
30 March 2020

Batch B

Day 4
6 April 2020

British Council

Lesson plan development

(Each teacher will develop five lesson plans under this programme with two lesson plans developed during the training days.)

Lesson plan 1
13 December 2019

Lesson plan 2
10 January 2020

Lesson plan 3
14 February 2020 

Online submission
 Individual class observation 2  January – April 2020 (By appointment) Individual teacher’s school
Demonstration session (2 hours) July 2020 (TBC) To be confirmed
Teacher refresher training (7 hours) October 2020 (TBC) To be confirmed
Teacher sharing forum (7 hours) November 2020 (TBC) British Council

Selection criteria

Priority will be given to: 

  • schools with fewer resources in remote districts
  • schools who have teacher-training needs in core skills and creative teaching

Cohort 2020 - 2021 will open in second quarter of 2020. Please check back here for updates.  For enquiry, please call 2913 5114 (Karen Law) or email at

See also