Inspiring learning for a fairer future

Spotlight on International Partnerships

Tuesday, 14 January 2020 21:13

A teacher talks to a group of primary pupils about rural life, in front of a Rowan tree in Sutherland. She's from Kenya. Two pupils share experiences of how their lives are being affected by the changing climate and how they plan to take action. They are from Inverness and Kathmandu. Pupils write a song about the Global Goals and sing together, separated by 5000 miles. They are Scottish and Ghanaian.

Exciting times are ahead in the world of International School Patnerships. Through the British Council's Connecting Classrooms programme, more and more schools from across the Highlands are taking the opportunity to partner with other schools across the globe. It's leading to some interesting learning.

Visiting techers outside with pupils Visiting techers outside with pupils

"Teacher visits between schools undoubtedly bring learning to life. They provide opportunities for further learning, planned and incidental, and naturally break down stereotypes. In both schools, communities are extremely hospitable and homes are opened up to host teachers. Both schools also hold community events when teachers are visiting, such as multicultural evenings, ceilidhs and azonto dancing afternoons" Evaluations from both school communities are remarkably similar, with stakeholders recognising the advantages and added value of our partnership"

Partner School feedback

visiting teacher in the classroom

The process starts with a bit of good old fashionned match-making. The list of partner countries is wide, from Tunisia in North Africa to Nepal in the Himalaya. And beyond. Once a partnership has formed, you and your partner school decide on an equitable and sustainable project and then apply for partnership funding. There's help from HOW and the British Council with this and it's amazing how digital technologies like WhatsApp can speed things along! Once granted, you're off and running and there's £3000 of funding to allow teachers from both partner countries to undertake reciprocal visits to make their projects even more real and relevant. A wider partnership, or 'Cluster', of two or more Scottish schools can release up to £35, 000 of funding which can pay for teacher supply cover, in-depth support from HOW as well as the reciprocal visits.

Having fun at the ceilidh

If you are interested in finding out more please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 01463 701908 for a chat. The British Council web page is full of useful information -

Related dates for your diary are:

January 29th - Connecting Classrooms Webinar, Linking with South Africa, 4pm

March 5th - Global Teachers Network Twilight on Partnerships, Millburn Academy, 4-6pm

May 20th - Scotland-Malawi Partnership Roadshow, Millburn Academy, 5-7pm

Britis Council Connecting Classrooms Logo

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