Pupils at the Glyn School in Ewell have been learning about life beyond the walls of their own classroom and inside those of another recently as part of the school’s on-going partnership with the Philip Qua Que School in Ghana.
Two years ago Glyn established a link with the school in the coastal town of Cape Coast, about four hours away from the capital Accra as part of Partner Schools Worldwide, since when there have been teacher exchanges and an academic connection for pupils, seeking to emphasise the schools being on an equal footing and being able to help one another.
This term, Glyn pupils have been collecting educational materials such as books and stationery to take out to Cape Coast in the summer when a group of teachers and 12 pupils will visit Ghana to help with projects at Philip Qua Que.
“What’s different about this relationship is that we’ve spent a long time reinforcing the message of similarities and partnership, rather than just presenting it as a charity project for our students,” said Glyn teacher Lizzie Butler, who went to Ghana last February.
“We started out with classes writing penpal letters, then sending videos to one another, and since then we’ve had teacher exchanges – so the obvious next step for the summer was some of our pupils going out there.”
Studies of different aspects of life in Ghana feature across the curriculum at Glyn, in topics including geography, art, science and history. That information could be shared with other local schools as well, as Glyn is one of the founder members of the rapidly-expanding GLF Schools group, a Surrey-based multi-academy trust which now runs over a dozen schools across four counties, based on a system of collaborative learning.
“Lots of schools are involved in charity partnerships with schools in other countries, and they serve a great purpose, but our link with Ghana is a bit more than that,” added Ms Butler.
“It’s not just a one-way process – it’s about Glyn pupils learning lessons from their counterparts in Ghana, as well as vice versa. I think that two-way exchange has far more lasting value, so it’s very exciting that the students are so into the idea, and we can’t wait to get out there in the summer to see it. That will be a real learning experience for us all.”
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