Free Digital & Employability Skills
Programme for Your Team

Click here to register your interest.

Build your team’s
digital skills. For free.

Belfast City Council and the Urban Villages Initiative are supporting MakeMatic to enhance provision of digital and employability skills in schools and community organisations in Belfast and Derry-Londonderry.

Participating schools AND community groups will receive:

  • Access to over 12hrs of online professional development resources for staff. You can learn more about our courses here.
  • Free on-site and group professional development workshops and on-going support
  • A place at one of two gala showcase events in June 2018

Schools will receive

  • Industry engagement both at your school and through work placements
  • Opportunities for students to engage with employers in our key growth sectors, and undertake exciting digital media projects
  • Access to lesson plans and activities

There is no cost for eligible schools/groups to take part – simply check the eligibility requirements below and complete the expression of interest form here.

Please note: In the event of oversubscription, consideration will be given to selecting schools/groups that reflect the wider demographic profile of Belfast as well as Urban Village areas across Belfast and Derry~Londonderry


Please check the Eligibility and Your Commitment requirements in the drop down menus below.
Eligibility Requirements


To be eligible you must be a primary or post-primary school serving one of the five Urban Village areas and agree to participate in the activities and events noted under Your Commitments below.

The Five Urban Village Areas are:

  1. Ardoyne and Greater Ballysillan (North Belfast)
  2. Bogside, Fountain and Bishop Street (Derry~Londonderry)
  3. Colin (West Belfast)
  4. EastSide (East Belfast)
  5. Sandy Row, Donegall Pass and the Markets (South Belfast)


Community organisations in the above areas may also take part in some aspects of the programme.


Belfast-based post-primary schools (outside of the Urban ViIlage areas) may also apply, on a competitive basis, to take part. A maximum of 12 schools outside of the UV Areas stated above will be selected to participate.


In the event of oversubscription, consideration will be given to selecting schools that reflect the wider demographic profile of Belfast as well as Urban Village areas across Belfast and Derry~Londonderry. You may be asked to provide additional information to help us make this assessment.


Your Commitments

In order to participate in this programme, ALL eligible schools must agree to:


  1. Provide all staff with access to the online course content. You will need to send us a list of staff names and email addresses.
  2. Ensure that the most relevant members of your staff are available to take part in a 1/2 day training workshop at your school (dates to be agreed with your in Jan-Feb 2018)
  3. Ensure that that most relevant members of your staff are available to attend 2 x 1/2 day group training workshops alongside other schools in your area (dates TBA in March-May 2018). These workshops will take place at a community venue and focus on development of the digital media project.
  4. Ensure that a minimum of 20 students at your school take part in the digital media project (details below). This will include these students creating, under teacher supervision, short videos and animations exploring:
    1. For post-primary schools – careers in high growth industries
    2. For primary schools – positive community identities and themes shaping the bid for European City of Culture
  5. For all participating students to attend one of two showcase events in Belfast in June 2018


Additionally, participating post-primary schools must agree to:

  1. Help facilitate work experience placements


Community organisations must agreed to encourage use of the online professional development resource by their staff / volunteers. They must also provide reporting to the project team.

What is the digital media project?

As part of the programme, students and teachers will be supported to create multiple pieces of digital content – typically short videos or animations. These creative projects are designed to help students to engage with employers in our key growth sectors, and help children from Belfast and Derry~Londonderry to foster positive community identities and explore themes shaping the bid for European City of Culture

  • Primary students will focus on the European City of Culture theme
  • Post-primary schools will focus on themes aligned to key growth sectors

The digital content created will be used in two ways:

  • as an open-access online resource to enable educators and young people to develop better understanding of these sectors and opportunities within them
  • as part of the showcase events in June 2018

Guidance will be provided as to what content should be included and teachers will be provided with lesson plans, activity sheets and hands-on support via in-person workshops and school visits.   

The digital media project is optional for community organisations.

What's included?

Each participating school will receive:



A minimum of 1 hour of professional learning video content will be provided each month. These videos are supported by downloadable materials including project resources and sample lesson plans.

All staff in your school will have access from 1 Jan 2018 – 31 Dec 2018. After this time you will still be able to access existing course content but will not receive new courses as they are published.


A 1/2 day “on-boarding” workshop at your school, plus invitations for your team to attend two further group CPD workshops in your area. These additional workshops will support your teachers to develop digital media projects with your students.


20+ schools will receive visits from digital / technology companies. These will be arranged with you directly.


20 post-primary students, selected from across participating schools, will be given the opportunity to undertake work experience within digital / technology companies.


A place at one of two gala showcasing events (one primary + one post-primary) in Belfast this June.


Participating community organisations will receive Professional Development support as noted above and will be invited to take part in workshops and the showcase events.

Who within my team can take part?

All staff within eligible schools/organisations will have access to professional learning materials and may take part in other activities.





How can our staff access the online content?

Online course content is accessible via using any modern browser, on desktop, tablet or mobile. Each staff member will be provided with an individual login.





There are no time limits for our courses – you can access them anytime you like and return to them as often as you like.

What subjects will be covered?

A few of the topics include

  • Coding in the Classroom
  • 3D Design & Printing
  • Designing a creative classroom
  • Software careers
  • Differentiation in STEM
  • Problem-based Learning
  • Media literacy
  • Minecraft Education Edition
  • G Suite
  • Technology coaching
  • Design Thinking
  • Future Careers
  • Digital Civics
  • Game-based Learning
  • Using video
  • Art-based Education
  • Maker technologies
  • Game-changing tech trends
Are there any terms and conditions?
Yes, please make sure you read through the terms of use and our privacy policy.