School helps to create global citizens
A TORQUAY school has been chosen to develop international links with Africa as part of a major new school twinning project to boost global education.
Westlands School has been chosen to take part in the Connecting Classrooms scheme, a UK government and British Council education initiative which aims to boost education for all.
The Plainmoor academy was selected in recognition of its commitment to teaching students about global issues.
Teachers and students are now working with schools in Uganda to learn how to become responsible global citizens and to develop skills to work in a global economy.
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Hamish Higginson, a school partnership coordinator at Westlands, said: "The development of the Connecting Classrooms project will be an invaluable asset to our students' education.
"It will open opportunities which otherwise would have been inaccessible and enhance their education, offering a global dimension to an already rich curriculum."
Westlands School has been working with schools in Uganda for the past four years and has developed curriculum links through a number of areas, benefiting all participants. The British Council cash will help fund further partnership work, including reciprocal visits of teachers from both schools.
The programme will enable Mr Higginson to take part in an exchange visit with Wampeewo Ntakke Secondary School in Uganda and work on classroom-based projects together, with the aim of giving young people a unique and hands-on international learning experience.
Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, said: "I am very pleased Westlands School in Torquay is taking on this excellent opportunity to link with schools in other parts of our world.
"Young people and teachers can make a fantastic contribution by sharing the best of Britain with their peers around the world and, at the same time, the great thing is they can get invaluable knowledge of what life is like in other countries.
"Connecting Classrooms will enable pupils to learn about the world around them, about the facts of poverty which face children their own age in developing countries, and how education can help eradicate poverty.
"It will also benefit teachers by enhancing their professional skills."
Mr Higginson added: "The partnership work will be focused on international enterprise, encouraging students to develop skills and knowledge relevant to today's ever-changing global society."