Connecting classrooms near east and north africa contact seminar
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Connecting Classrooms Near East and North Africa contact seminar. Selsdon, 6 th -8 th November 2010. Outline of today’s session. The partnerships Successes; Challenges and ways of overcoming them;   Communicating; Involving students;. Where I am from. Chris Williams [email protected]

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Connecting Classrooms Near East and North Africa contact seminar

Selsdon, 6th-8th November 2010


Outline of today’s session

  • The partnerships

  • Successes;

  • Challenges and ways of overcoming them;  

  • Communicating;

  • Involving students;


Where I am from

  • Chris Williams [email protected]

  • Former History teacher

  • Former Deputy Head and then Acting Headteacher at large 11-18 school

  • Special Projects Consultant at Lincoln Christ's Hospital School

  • Partner Adviser in Lincolnshire – Local Authority reprepresentative

  • British Council Ambassador for the East Midlands


The projects in which I am working

Afghanistan (2008-2011): Year 3

The partners?

UK – Lincoln cluster – three schools

Afghanistan – Mazar-el-Sharif – five schools

My roles ?

Local authority representative

Lead person in one of the schools


The projects in which I am working

Sub-Saharan Africa (2010-2013): Year 1

The partners?

Nigeria – Lagos Island – three schools (Y1)

Uganda – Mukono – three schools (Y1)

UK – Louth cluster – three schools (Y1)

(Each cluster will add three more schools in Y2 and again in Y3)

My role ?

Local authority representative


The projects in which I am working

China (2010-2013): Year 1

The partners?

China – nine schools in Zhuhai

Lincolnshire – nine schools south of Lincoln

My role ?

Support for the local authority representative in writing application and general advice


Five successes

  • Finding a good name for the project to unite the Nigerian, Ugandan and UK partners:

    Mvoakraba

    “Tiny seeds to great trees”

    Mvule (UG),

    Oak (UK),

    Araba (NIG) –

    pron. Mow - krab – a)


Five Successes

2. An early visit to the UK by a team from one of the Mvoakraba partners in October 2010


Five Successes

3. Afghanistan - teaching units in two of the UK schools

  • Secondary school – Year 7 Study Skills

  • Primary school – Six week theme for the Year 5 class embracing most subjects e.g numeracy. literacy, art etc.


Five Successes

4. Afghanistan – hands-on activities in partner schools in both countries:

  • Greenhouses have been built from old plastic bottles;

  • Vegetable plots have been created, and crops compared


Five Successes

5. Afghanistan

– I visited Kabul in September 2010 to meet partners;

- Year 3 planning took place;

  • Outcomes (products) were exchanged;

  • School assemblies on my visit have been well received


Five challenges and ways of overcoming them1. Communications


Five challenges and ways of overcoming them2. Technology


Five challenges and ways of overcoming them3. Language (and cultural) differences


Five challenges and ways of overcoming them4. Time scales


Five challenges and ways of overcoming them5. Leadership and teams


Communicating in the UK cluster- how? when? where?

  • Afghanistan

    Despite close distances, communications have mainly been by email, with termly meetings at most

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

    Key communication is between heads of the three Year One schools at regular general meetings. Mvoakraba is a fixed agenda item


Involving students

  • All schools in the cluster

  • Disability Awareness event

  • Tree-planting event

  • Primary schools

    - Monks Abbey weather project

    - letter exchanges

  • Secondary schools


General advice with which to finish this presentation

  • Build a team

  • Share the tasks across the cluster

  • Keep the activity content simple to start with

    e.g. weather data

    e.g. ‘my journey to school’

    e.g. ‘my food this week’

  • Plan the first visit as early as possible in Year 1


The end


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