Improve pupils’ global awareness – and you might even get some cash too…

Dave Smith, ICT adviser at Havering School Improvement Services, shares the opportunities for schools to  connect withDave Smith others around the world.

  • Would you like to link with another country in Europe through ICT?
  • Do you have a desire to partner with a school outside of Europe?
  • Are you looking to enhance your provision for Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural?
  • Would you like some funding to help too?

Well, the British Council has some ideas that could help…

Schools with whom I work have had the pleasure of making some excellent links through international study visits, video-conferencing and linking programmes including strong relationships with Japan, Sweden and Italy amongst others.  The British Council has often been part of supporting the initiation of such links.

John Rolfe, schools marketing manager at the British Council, recently came to talk to schools who are part of the Havering International ICT Development Group to share the range of opportunities to link with schools in other countries. A fascinating talk from John provided lots of ideas about how to link with schools overseas – a great way to enhance the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) aspects of your school’s provision.

John shared various projects, including the excellent Connecting Classrooms programme.  Working in over 50 countries, Connecting Classrooms is committed to supporting partnerships between over 5000 schools in the UK and worldwide and to help over 30,000 schools to collaborate online. The programme comes with a £1500 bursary to fund inter-school activities and visits, as well as direct support from officers at the British Council to help to link you with a partner school.  You could take the opportunity to share ICT practice in your establishment with a partner school abroad and find ways to use free, online tools to work on collaborative projects as part of this too.

Working internationally to support global citizenship in the curriculum is a learning journey for schools and teachers. Connecting Classrooms has developed a range of face-to-face and online courses and workshops that are aimed at practitioners who are new to the international context and for those who are already actively engaged in school partnerships who wish to deepen their professional experiences. The programme also supports the very accessible and supportive Britsh Council International School Award accreditation framework.

The next deadline for funding applications is Monday 11 February and further information can be found at www.britishcouncil.org/connectingclassrooms

John also spoke to attendees about the fantastic etwinning (www.britishcouncil.org/etwinning) opportunity – the free and safe platform for teachers to connect, develop collaborative projects and share ideas across Europe.  We are aiming to hold an eTwinning workshop for Havering schools later in the spring term 2013 – again funded by the British Council.  We hope that schools will take this opportunity to make links through ICT and develop strong linking projects that will again enhance opportunities for pupils and help to strengthen their SMSC provision, hopefully helping them to achieve even better Ofsted inspection outcomes.

The British Council provides a superb collection of eTwinning ideas including a downloadable publication available at the following address http://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/index.htm

So, with these ideas in mind why not add the British Council at stand B353B to your visit planner at Bett. I’m sure that you will come away pleasantly surprised at the great opportunities available for pupils and staff alike.

Dave Smith is ICT adviser at the Havering School Improvement Services in London, England. Find out more at www.haveringict.edublogs.org, or find him on Twitter at@haveringict or @davesmithict.

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