As part of the unique global education programme, Connecting Classrooms, Mrs Bennett and Mrs Capel travelled to Mawanda Basic School in Zambia during the May half term in order to continue to develop a long term educational partnership.
Connecting Classrooms is run in more than 30 countries by the British Council in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID). IT equips teachers with the knowledge and techniques to teach young people the skills they need to live and work in an increasingly globalised economy.
The Mawanda Basic School educates approximately 535 students and is always heavily oversubscribed. Haygrove School has been partnered with Mawanda school for many years. Our initial donation of £200 allowed the school to remain open by constructing toilets and further fundraising has equipped the school with a purpose built classroom for ICT (which is currently under construction!).
On their visit, Mrs Capel and Mrs Bennett shared with the Mawanda Basic School their experiences, success in teaching and implementation of core skills in their own curriculum. The Haygrove Staff joined in with a lesson on an exciting project to explore the Sustainable Development Goal "Zero Hunger: Learning about Sustainable Living". This explored what world hunger looks like and how some countries have been successful in tackling it. Furthermore the Mawanda students practiced critical thinking, looking at the issue from various perspectives.
The Haygrove staff also took with them a suitcase full of equipment and resources to share with the school. This included items such as pens, colouring pencils and tennis balls which were kindly donated by Minehead Tennis Club. Additionally, the Mawanda students also received letters from some of our Year 7 students which were wonderfully written about what school is like here at Haygrove. We were very lucky enough to receive letter back from the Mawanda students which were fondly read out during tutor time.
Mrs Collinge from Haygrove said "We are delighted to have the opportunity to formalise the work Haygrove is enjoying on the Global Goals and extend this to our partner school in Zambia. It is so important that we enable staff and students to move towards a social justice mentality by providing not just funding but expertise. Connecting Classrooms is perfect vehicle for this...We have been instrumental in helping to secure their facilities and equipment - now is the time to share our professional expertise and learn from each other.
On hearing the news that Haygrove successfully applied to take part in the Connecting Classroom partnership visit, Sir Ciaran Devane (CEO of the British Council) said: "I am delighted to hear that Haygrove School in Bridgwater is taking on this excellent opportunity to develop their professional practice by collaborating with teachers from Zambia and the UK. Their commitment to equip young people with skills and understanding for life and work in an increasingly global economy is to be commended."
We'd like to thank Mrs Capel and Mrs Bennett for their hard work as well as the staff and students at Mawanda Basic School for welcoming our staff with open arms.