British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Programme serves as an ideal platform for schools to make learning meaningful, engaging and enjoyable – a healthy sharing of ideas and information between schools and cultures that are inherently different yet bound by common goals.
This programme has for it’s prime foci, interactive learning and teaching. It brings together students and teachers for closer networking, and fosters collaboration between schools across the world – a bridge across the seas, transcending borders and breaking barriers!
As part of this programme, Ms Jayshree Ravi and Ms Sunila Mary from Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram visited Cardinal Hume Catholic School, New Castle, England in April 2014. Bhavan’s projects included teaching British students conversational Hindi and Tamil, providing a thorough case study about Kerala, teaching Indian traditional and tribal art forms, holding meaningful discussions and debates on topics ranging from ethics, morals and social values, view-points, Indian economy etc. Resources made by our students contributed substantially to their “Environment Week Celebrations”.
While in England, the teachers observed classes of Food & Technology, Art and Craft, Music, Religious Education etc. A brief visit to a primary school gave a holistic view of the education in England. The thoughtfully planned sight-seeing trip to ‘The Angel of the North’ ( a massive modernistic metal structure) , The Hadrian Wall , The Tyne Bridge and a walk down the cobbled streets of Old Durham town added charm to the visit.
Reciprocal visits were made by Dr.Ian Stanton and Mr.Robert Stack, of the Modern Foreign Language Department of Cardinal Hume. Our children benefited immensely from their French and Spanish classes as did the teachers from their videos of Math teaching. Critical appreciation of both Indian and British poetry, cookery, debates and discussions held with students on a variety of topics, class observations and interaction with students and teachers gave them an over-view on the Indian education system.
The guests were overwhelmed by our Indian hospitality – the multitude of Indian cuisine, visit to Mylapore Temple, Marina Beach, Santhome Cathedral, Mahabalipuram and even a “dekho” of an Indian wedding.
With many more constructive collaborative ventures on the anvil, this symbiosis will certainly enhance a mutual understanding of cultures and life-styles.
Click here to learn more about Connecting Classrooms in a different country through this video.
The author, Ms. Jayshree Ravi, teaches English at Bhavan’s Rajaji School, Chennai.