Norfolk schools connect classrooms around the world

Norfolk schools connect classrooms around the world
Creating fashion and textiles by recycling is teacher Emma Markwell with students (from left) Ellie Locker, Leo Wallen, Ruby Schwarz, Rowan Mayer and Poppy Herring.

A group of West Norfolk schools are broadening their horizons with an international project to connect classrooms.

A major new programme is linking schools in West Norfolk with counterparts around the world in an international initiative to raise global awareness.

A successful funding application by the 11-strong West Norfolk Academies Trust means that each primary school is linked to another in India and each secondary school has a different school in Nepal it is working with.

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Cooking-up great ideas to share is George Munns

Grant funding from the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme has enabled the schools to start working with their partners in laying the foundations for joint projects to learn about another country and its people.

In the midst of a global pandemic, the seeds were sown and the Council helped the trust schools find partners and open lines of communication, often via Zoom. It has been difficult as schools around the world have all been working remotely due to Covid.

“This is a huge undertaking by everyone involved and I am working across the Trust so all our schools can start laying the foundations for an International School Award, which Springwood has already achieved and has been re-accredited for.

“We now have at least one international representative at each school and we have all been on a training course about the 17 key sustainable development goals and how to embed this in our curriculum,” said Karen Williams, who is the international coordinator for the trust.

“It is an incredible initiative and we have some amazing projects being worked on at each of our Trust schools. Things have been made more difficult by the pandemic, but everyone involved has been determined to make it work,” she added.

A grant of £8,400 was awarded to the trust from the British Council to cover costs and materials linked to the partnership scheme.

Each school within the trust has agreed a project to work on with its partner school, which has proved interesting with the timing as schools in India have long summer holidays in May and June while WNAT’s start this week (Jul 16).

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Poppy Herring

Springwood High School, King’s Lynn, is working on projects based around food and sustainable fashion and younger students will be working with a Green Group established by older students at the school.

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Gracie Rasberry with Caleb Gannon.

Smithdon High School, Hunstanton, is looking to establish a sensory garden using recycled materials and are encouraging the partner school to embark on a similar project.

St Clement’s High School, Terrington St Clement, students are working on a technology-based project linked with its opposite number in Nepal.

Pupils at Marshland High School, West Walton, are growing their own produce and their Nepal peers will look to create a rooftop garden using old items from around the home. They have also created video demonstrations of local, traditional recipes to share and try at home.

Gaywood Primary School is sharing tips on making eco-bricks and has exchanged introduction videos with its partner in Mumbai.

Clenchwarton Primary is linked with a school in Delhi and has also been working with eco-bricks and school assemblies on the topic of festivals Eid and Diwali have been held.

West Lynn Primary is also linked to a school in Mumbai and has exchanged introductory videos.

Walpole Cross Keys Primary is working on a phonics project to start in September and has already been in Zoom contact with its Indian school.

Heacham Infant and Junior Schools are partnered with different branches of the same Mumbai school and both are in the process of looking at a wildlife project and a celebrating languages event.

Snettisham Primary School has been working on festivals and celebrations and the joint project will be all about sustainable fashion and re-wilding.