Highland Schools Urged to Form International Partnerships

Pictured: Inverness High School Headteacher John Rutter.

Foreign Secretary urges Highland schools to form international partnerships through UK Government funded Connecting Classrooms programme.

Highland schools are encouraged to sign-up to £37million Connecting Classrooms programme for World Teachers’ Day (October 5).

Inverness High School tells how it will use free support to develop Kenyan school link to boost learning on global issues like climate change

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has today urged more Highland schools to sign up to a UK Government funded programme to put pupils to touch with their peers in the developing world.

Mr Raab is keen to support more Scottish teachers and children aged seven to 14 to learn about the wider world through the Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning (CCGL) programme.

It puts Scottish pupils in touch with children of the same age in 29 developing countries across Africa, the Middle East and Asia via video link.

Funding grants will also be available so that teachers can visit their partner schools face-to-face, once coronavirus travel restrictions are eased.

The £37million programme, run by the British Council and co-funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), has already helped over 2,000 British schools.

The pupils discuss global issues such as climate change, gender equality and sustainability.

Now Mr Raab is using World Teacher’s Day on October 5 to launch a new drive to help more schools in Scotland to sign-up for Connecting Classrooms.

The deadline for the next round of applications on December 2.

The Foreign Secretary said:

“From Lockerbie to Kirkwall, this initiative is connecting Scottish teachers and pupils with schools worldwide to discuss – and find solutions to – global issues like climate change, while building friendships for life.

“As we celebrate World Teacher Day, we want to encourage more Scottish schools to get involved so that even more children can enjoy the benefits of this inspirational programme.”

Connecting Classrooms is a completely free and flexible programme open to all state schools in the UK.

Designed by leading education professionals, Connecting Classrooms provides a range of free high-quality classroom resources to blend with existing curricula to help schools deliver exciting lessons and classroom projects about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Participating schools are entitled free support from local experts across Scotland to develop their projects.

Teachers and pupils receive support to enable joint classroom-to-classroom activities with schools across the UK and abroad through letter writing or video link-ups.

Funding grants will also be available so that teachers and school leaders can gain from face-to-face visits to their partner school, once coronavirus travel restrictions are eased.

Inverness High School is one of the Scottish schools already benefitting from participating, having formed a partnership with Gilgil Garrison Secondary School, in Kenya.

Headteacher John Rutter said:

“We are excited to have signed up for Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning.

“It is a wonderful to be part of something that promises to bring communities around the world together, giving young people the opportunity to explore both the similarities and differences of growing up in different countries.

“We’re confident that the programme will prove a valuable tool for bringing learning to life to help shape the next generation of global citizens, by encouraging pupils to discuss their knowledge and experience of a shared topic, to discover that there is far more that unites us than divides us.

“The lives of our pupils and staff will be hugely enriched by being encouraged through CCGL to learn how issues like climate change, gender equality and Sustainable Development Goals can help bring positive changes for everyone in the world.”

Darren Coyle, of the British Council, said:

“We are delighted that Inverness High School is embedding learning for sustainability into their curriculum through participation in Connecting Classrooms.

“It has never been so important for pupils to understand the big issues that shape our world and equip them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to make a positive contribution.

“We hope that many more schools will opt to take advantage of the opportunities to connect and learn through Connecting Classrooms.”

For more info on how your school can become a part of CCGL click here.