Connecting Classrooms: Exchange between Chennai (TN) and New Castle (UK)

Newcastle upon Tyne

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.

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

Cobbled streets of Durham

Cobbled streets of Durham

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.

From Left: Sunila Mary, Dr. Ian Staton, Jayshree Ravi,

From Left: Sunila Mary, Robert Stack, Ian Stanton, Jayshree Ravi.

Ian Staton with students of Bhavan's Rajaji School

Ian Stanton with students of Bhavan’s Rajaji School


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. 

8 thoughts on “Connecting Classrooms: Exchange between Chennai (TN) and New Castle (UK)”

  1. Anant Mani says:

    These interactions helps in building a better society in every chaotic environment.

  2. Umesh G says:

    Remarkable to see schools and teachers are taking such ventures to explore different methods for betterment of teaching. I too truly believes that these kinds of collaboration helps the teachers with fresh and different perspective learning approaches.

  3. Swami says:

    Cross cultural interfaces and exposure to Students and Teachers that there exists a BIG world out there is extremely important in inspiring them in their formative years and to prepare them to look at the entire world as an Opportunity and not just the village/town/suburb/city/country they are part of.

  4. Anjan says:

    Parents and teachers need this, more than students. Observing how schools function in other parts of the world may inspire parents and teachers to encourage students to take the offbeat path more often.

  5. Jayshree Ravi says:

    Undoubtedly, Unarguably and Undeniably, this was an experience of a life time! This takes the whole teachinglearning concept to a completely whole new level. The British Council’s cross cultural exchange programme does seem to be gaining more and more popularity these days, and one can only hope and wish that every educator/teacher/facilitator gets an opportunity to experience this at least once in their life-time! Thank you Nectar, Educators’ Paradise, for coming out with this:)

  6. Venkatesh says:

    The only thing that multiplies when shared is knowledge and these programs stand true to the statement. Teachers and students get a whole new perspective of what is happening outside their circle.

  7. Jack says:

    How could I missed this post. Congrats the team behind for making us to know such wonderful things happening in education.

  8. Venkatraman says:

    These cross cultural programs also helps schools to exchange best practices followed in different parts of the world. This initiative will also foster better quality education through out the world

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