Teachers From St Aidan's Are Off To India On An educational Exchange of Best Practice

 Teachers From St Aidan's Are Off To India On An ducational Exchange of Best Practice

Teachers From St Aidan’s Are Off To India On An Educational Exchange of Best Practice
St Aidan’s Church of England Academy, in Hundens Lane, Darlington, 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 and St Aidan’s Academy has been selected in recognition of its commitment to teaching students about global issues. Teachers and students are working with Dayanand Public School in India to learn how to become responsible global citizens and to develop the skills needed to work in a global economy. Schools across the UK can benefit from a range of support offered by the scheme. The programme will enable Academy staff members Richard Johnson and Steph Francom to take part in an exchange visit with Dayanand Public School over Easter, during which they will work on classroom-based projects with the aim of giving young people a unique and hands-on international learning experience. As both the partner schools are located near industrial areas, Richard and Steph have agreed to work on projects involving steelmaking, looking at the use of raw material for steel manufacturing and the industry’s effect on the environment and communities. The Indian school is supported by steel firm Tata, which operates in the Indian area and also on Teesside. Steph, Assistant Principal, said she and Richard would bring back material to be turned into documentaries giving Academy students an insight into life in India. She said: “I am a great believer that travel broadens the mind. All experiences of other countries and cultures enrich you as a person and this project will help our students to realise that the neighbours are not just the people of Teesside and Redcar. It will help them realise what a big world this is, that with globalisation their neighbours are also the people of India.” Kiki Haines, the international coordinator at St Aidan’s, said: “Connecting Classrooms will help the students and teachers in the Academy to learn about the school in India, about what life is like for students there. “This is the first time we have had contact with a school outside Europe. It gives students an extra dimension of understanding of the differences in the culture, language and the way people live and also how industry influences our countries.” Swrna Mishra, the Principal, and Rakhi Choudhary, from Dayanand Public School, which is in Jamshedpur, said the collaboration will ensure development of a global skill in self awareness and positive sense of identity; development of a sense of interdependence. Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening said: “I am very pleased that St Aidan’s Church of England Academy in Darlington 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.”

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