School linking

Partnerships between schools provide rich opportunities for mutual learning for both young people and their teachers.  This section considers how to make the most of those opportunities, and shares approaches and reflections from teachers involved in school partnerships.

School partnerships provide significant opportunities for professional and personal development, between classrooms in the same country or different ones.  How can we make the most of these opportunities for teachers and children?  How open are we to learning from difference?  What learning environments and teaching approaches are best suited to collaborative activities?  How do we respond if our thinking is challenged?

In the sections below, we highlight resources developed by teachers, which share ideas about: 

We hope that these resources will inspire you to try some global learning activities in your classroom ~ we would love to hear how they went!

Contact us to find out more about the support we offer, including our professional development programme and current teacher projects.

Learning by taking part in a study visit course

A visit to a different place offers a deep learning opportunity for participants, and can lead to personal and professional changes. These reflective articles share some thoughts and experiences from participants in Tide~ study visit courses, with a focus on Uganda 'Exploring Ugandan perspectives',  Gambia 'Learning from experiences in the Gambia' and 'Thinking through Africa' article by Sally Wood; and India 'Encounters in Kerala'.  For details of the 2012-13 Gambia Study Visit Course click here

Learning from partnerships

Tide~ global learning has had a long standing relationship with the National Environment Agency in  The Gambia. The articles ‘Mutual learning for sustainability: The Gambia and the UK’ and  ‘Exploring partnership- A dialogue between Tide~ global learning and the National Environment Agency, the Gambia’ shares reflections from both sides on the value and impact of this relationship.

Partnerships start with individuals, but can lead to the involvement of whole organisations in projects. ‘A shared dream’ is a collaboration between Acton Scott Museum in Shropshire, UK, and Tanje museum in The Gambia.  The article, ‘From little seeds...thinking about Africa’ describes how one school drew on this partnership in its work on food and farming.

Translating experiences into the curriculum

The space provided by visiting another locality can inform curriculum innovation. ‘Talking about learning and citizenship by visiting another locality’, ‘Exploring cultural identities’ through art’, and ‘Learning about distant places at key stage 1’ share some ideas for this.

The resource ‘Educating for sustainability’ supports teaching about sustainability in both the UK and The Gambia, and was collaboratively developed by teachers in both countries.  For an account of a successful school linking project within the UK, which made imaginative use of ICT to engage children in thinking about climate change, see 'Climate X-Change - Children using ICT to share ideas'.

Perspectives on development influence our teaching.  ‘Development Encounters’ and ‘Thinking through Africa’ raise questions about our own understandings. 

‘Global learning and school partnerships ~ thinking it through’ offers a wealth of guidance and onward links to support school partnerships and curriculum development.

Using images as a stimulus

A powerful image can inspire a range of emotions and raise questions and challenges for learning.  Sharing images between partner schools can help young people develop connections with different places and diverse groups of people, and so be the starting point for meaningful activity.

Teaching ideas for using images along with a selection of downloadable resources are available here.  This includes material and images for teaching about contrasting localities, in order to understand what people and places have in common.

Developing questioning and enquiry

A starting point for many discussions about global issues has been the Development Compass Rose [DCR].  The DCR framework reminds us to consider a range of perspectives related to environmental, social, economic and political aspects prompting deep engagement while encouraging the development of a range of communication skills.  This process challenges our assumptions and stereotypes, while creating a space to listen to others’ viewpoints of the world.  Comparing questions about comparable activities in our home locality and that of a partner school offers an excellent starting point for understanding commonalities.

‘Young children and global citizenship’ offers a range of ideas for developing the questioning and communication skills of children at KS1 and Early Years, including through the use of story, image and creating opportunities for them to learn from each other.

Exploring global learning

Global learning in primary schools’ shares ideas about global learning, proposes an entitlement for young people and is supported by a range of downloadable material which can be used in the classroom or with colleagues in a CPD session.