Inspiring learning for a fairer future

Spotlight on North West Sutherland Schools: Connecting Classrooms

Wednesday, 08 May 2019 11:41

Ben (one of our Global Learning Officers), has recently been involved with teachers from North West Sutherland. He delivered the first part of our Getting Started With Rights CPD to teachers from across the local schools group and will return in August for part 2.

Deputy Head Katy Lee very kindly provided us with this spotlight on their School Partnership activities and how these have contributed to their ongoing integration of Global Citizenship in the schools' teaching. They have used their connections to help them to incorporate the Global Goals (SDGs), Rights, climate and more. Cultural exchanges and knowledge sharing has helped all the partner schools to build strong supportive relationships with one another.

VisitingTeacherIn 2015 four Crofting Connections schools in Scotland including Kinlochbervie High School formed a partnership with four NECOFA schools in the Eastern Rift Valley in Kenya. A key focus for this initial project was learning outdoors about soils, water, compost, crops, seasons, using the harvest; finding out about what pupils can learn from each other about gardening in very different climatic conditions. I was able to visit our high school's partnership school (Sachangwan) and whilst there visit a feeder primary school (Nguzu). During the visit we discussed a partnership between our schools that would extend to the primary sector. In 2017 we applied for British Council Connecting Classroom funding which involved our high school and primary schools of Durness, Kinlochbervie and Scourie. The funding allowed two secondary teachers and two primary teachers to visit our Kenyan partnership schools in February 2018. While there we spent time in the schools working on environmental projects and in the primary schools working on mental maths games.

PrimaryVisitAs a follow up project we chose the Global Goal on Gender Equality (SDG 5). The target group for this project was 9-14 year olds. The project aimed to promote the teaching of citizenship by providing our learners with the opportunity to understand the importance of equal rights, develop a feeling of belonging and help to develop skills that will to bring about positive change. We shared learning through drama, music and poetry - all via videos on WhatsApp.

TDancingTogetherhis year we have been granted further funding through the British Councils Connecting Classroom cluster application. A key part of this round of funding is reciprocal visits. In the last week of term we hosted a visit from four Kenyan teachers. The visit involved spending time in all our cluster schools from early years to the high school. We included an evening programme hosted by a different village each evening; including a sports night, Scottish country dancing and music evening . This opened up the project to our three communities.

Our current Kenyan Connections project explores the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The main elements will be learning about are rights, learning for rights and learning through rights. We have agreed on this project with our Kenyan partners. In Scotland, we are working towards our Rights Respecting Schools Awards across the schools group and recently hosted a fantastic training session run by HOW. All staff across the schools group were invited to attend and are now informed and inspired to drive our rights-based learning and teaching within our school community.

CeilidhNightThrough our continued partnership we have established a professional relationship between our school communities. It has helped us to establish an international teaching community where teachers are working together across age and stages. We aim to build a strong relationship between our partner schools which seeks to create supportive and reflective dialogue. In October four of our teachers will be visiting our partnership schools again. During this time we hope to plan a future student trip.

Katy Lee
Deputy Headteacher
North West Sutherland Schools

A member of:

Funded by:

This website has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Highland One World (HOW) and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.