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South Dartmoor Academy strengthens links with CHIRANJIV BHARATI SCHOOL, GURGAON, INDIA to boost education for all.

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South Dartmoor Academy strengthens links with CHIRANJIV BHARATI SCHOOL, GURGAON, INDIA to boost education for all.

South Dartmoor Community College has been chosen to develop international links with India as part of a major new school twinning project to boost global education.

Connecting Classrooms is a UK government and British Council education initiative. South Dartmoor Community College has been selected in recognition of its commitment to teaching students about global issues. Teachers and students are working with Chiranjiv Bharati School, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon, New Delhi in India to learn how to become responsible global citizens and to develop skills to work in a global economy. Schools across the UK can benefit from a range of support offered by the scheme.

• Principal Hugh Bellamy and International School Co-ordinator Mustafa Shaikh “We feel as part of the Connecting Classrooms initiative teachers benefit from gaining understanding of other countries’ education systems and become better equipped to teach about global issues, while improving their own teaching and curriculum and students will develop an understanding of other countries and cultures, understand their rights and responsibilities as global citizens and develop skills needed to work in a global economy and build a fairer, more sustainable world.

Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening said:

“I am very pleased that South Dartmoor Community College in Ashburton, Devon 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 that 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 that 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.”

The programme has already enabled teachers Mustafa Shaikh and Ben Mukherjee Ben Mukherjee from South Dartmoor Community College to take part in an exchange visit with Chiranjiv Bharati School and work alongside Principal Sangeeta Saxena and former International Schools Coordinator Hanu Narang. The partnership has already seen a reciprocal school visits take place in July 2014 and August 2014 to learn about School Organisation, Leadership and Management, Curriculum Developments linked to Geography and Art work plus Student interaction with a Skype/email exchange conference between the two School Councils. This has now been extended to reciprocal student exchange programmes over the last year.

The two schools have already collaborated on a “Landscapes/Favourite Places” project which has seen each school share curriculum resources about Dartmoor and Gurgaon. This has involved pupils sharing written and art work about their respective localities. In addition our partner school in India has also told us about the importance of the Diwali festival through sharing video links and artefacts which has enabled our Year 7 students and their families to gain a better understanding about life in India. For their part South Dartmoor organised ha a skype conference between the two School Councils to bring young people together in a dialogue across the globe. This is now been extended to involve student interaction from both organisations. Last July saw students from New Delhi visit and spend a week sampling the curriculum at South Dartmoor and recently in October 12 students from South Dartmoor went out to New Delhi.

International Schools Coordinators Mustafa Shaikh from South Dartmoor and new International Schools Coordinator at Bhavna Chibber at Chiranjiv Bharati School following on from their recent reciprocal visits are keen to establish a sustainable partnership. Plans are being develop to explore regular Skype conferences, continue with a joint art project, continue student exchange programmes including the possibility of cricket tour and opportunities for further staff development to build on what we have already taken place.

For further information about South Dartmoor Community College, please contact Mustafa Shaikh, mshaikh@southdartmoor.devon.sch.uk.
For more information about Connecting Classrooms, please contact ppMDC@britishcouncil.org

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