PRESS RELEASE from UK Aid and British Council – 25th February 2014
Elmtree School, Chesham (UK) links with Katapila School, Zambia to boost education for all
Connecting Classrooms is a UK government and British Council education initiative. Elmtree School has been selected in recognition of its commitment to teaching its children about global issues. Teachers and pupils are working within Zambia 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.
Chris Mead, Year 1 teacher and International Schools co-ordinator said ‘Elmtree School’s aim through Connecting Classrooms is to enable the children to have a good understanding of life in another country and to recognise how their daily lives are constantly affected by what people on the other side of the planet are doing. We aim for our children to understand the need to take care of our planet, demonstrating that they are on their way to becoming global citizens.’
The programme will enable two teachers from Elmtree School to take part in an exchange visit with Katapila School and work on classroom-based projects together, with the aim of giving young people a unique and hands-on international learning experience. They are Sophie Nowlan, Year 2 Teacher and Emma Choules, Additional Resources Provision (ARP) Teacher.
Sophie will use her creative skills: ‘Being a creative teacher encourages students to be creative learners too. I hope to share my attitude that if you can stimulate your students, you have a better chance at keeping them interested in their learning and that if you are able to present material in many different ways, the children will have a better chance of understanding it.’
Emma outlined the challenges too: ‘I understand the huge constraints for the teachers at Katapila: the large classes; the lack of resources; and the rigid Zambian National Curriculum but I would hope to be able to offer some ideas for alternative ways of teaching. My work in the ARP requires a multisensory approach to learning and I would hope to be able to use some of these skills at Katapila. An important part of the project is to begin to understand this vastly different culture, recognising our similarities and not focusing on our differences.’
‘We are excited to have this opportunity to visit Zambia and to explore the educational challenges, find out about such a different culture, focus on the positive aspects of the country and hopefully make an impact in the education of the children at Elmtree and Katapila.’
Daphne Dru, Headteacher at Elmtree School added: ‘I am delighted that Elmtree School have been successful in their bid. I look forward to welcoming teachers from Zambia to our school, and to incorporating lots of exciting ideas and activities into our curriculum when Sophie and Emma return.
Project Luangwa is a charitable organisation formed by the Safari Operators of South Luangwa as a part of their commitment to responsible tourism. Their aim is to ensure that the people of the Luangwa Valley gain the full benefit from tourism by investing in education and business development. We believe as a charity operating in Zambia that by developing and improving education in schools and creating training opportunities we can help families have the chance of a lasting and sustainable income.
Elmtree School and Project Luangwa have a positive and active relationship. Since 2009, they have worked closely with the charity and set up a link with the Katapila School in Mfuwe. Projects have included Pilot Post to set up a school ibrary, Planting for a Future where both schools planted trees and both Katapila and Elmtree are sharing their teachers.
Urban Student Life : USL – Next Generation Student Accomodation
USL Study Hotels combine all the benefits of living in a hotel with the freedom of living in a student community. They have very generously made a significant donation to the Zambian trip. This will allow our teachers to take much needed educational resources to Katapila.
For further information about Elmtree School, please contact Daphne Dru, Headteacher. 01494 771474. firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations to help pay for resources for the trip can be made via Elmtree’s Just Giving page. www.justgiving.com/elmtreeschool
Elmtree have set up a blog to keep everyone informed about the project.
For more information about Connecting Classrooms, please contact Andrea Mason T 020 7389 4031 Andrea.Mason@britishcouncil.org