Nov 10 2009
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UAE teachers build new partnerships with UK school under the British Council's connecting classrooms programme
UAE, 10 November 2009: New international school partnerships that give students in UAE and the UK the opportunity to learn directly from each other about their respective cultures are this week being formed under the British Council's global Connecting Classrooms programme.
Teachers from schools based in Derbyshire in the UK are visiting UAE (07 - 10 Nov) to meet for the first time teachers from their potential new partner schools in UAE.
The six new UAE schools participating in the Programme are:
Othman bin Afan School, Umm Al Quwain
Al Khansa School, Dubai
Al Shafei School, Dubai
Al Edreesi School, Dubai
During the four day Contact Seminar being held at Dubai the teachers will finalise their new partnerships and develop a joint curriculum project for their students to take forward. The new schools joining the programme will form 'cluster' partnerships between groups of 9 schools. This will give the schools more scope to work on projects they are particularly interested in and help to ensure the long-term sustainability of the partnership.
Discussion sessions will give the teachers the opportunity to build a shared understanding of the cultural differences between them and their different education systems. The teachers will also participate in a school visit to Al Khansa School to attend classes and meet with the students and teachers. They will also sample some of the sights and culture of the Middle East with a tour of Dubai's Bastakiya area.
There are now more than 200 schools in the Middle East and the UK operating in partnerships since Connecting Classrooms was introduced into the Middle East in 2006, with plans to increase that number by a further 180 over the next two years, 21 of the current participating schools are based in UAE.
Connecting Classrooms aims to improve trust and understanding between students living in different societies, by linking schools around the world with schools in the UK. By working on joint curriculum projects students have an engaging and motivating way to learn about the world in which they live and to help prepare them for their future role as active global citizens, while teachers have the opportunity to share and learn new professional skills.
At the Contact Seminar, Eman Lutfi Jamil Hussien a teacher from Al Khamael Model School for Girls, Madinat Zayed which already has a Connecting Classrooms partnership with Shirebrook Community College in the UK described how her students' joint curriculum project on culture and traditions had a positive impact and enabled her students to have a better perception of their partner country and its people.
She said: "My students prepared postcards which focussed on traditions and family life in the UAE and exchanged them with the students at Shirebrook. The fact that the project was done as part of the school's curriculum greatly helped in terms of better value added to my students' education. They have now understood what it means to be a 'Global Citizen'. I personally, gained a lot of experience by sharing best practises with my counterparts in the UK. I was delighted to visit and meet the teachers and students of Shirebrook when I participated in a Study Tour that was organised by the British Council as part of the Connecting Classrooms programme. The visit to UK was an eye opener for me."
Amy Cottage, Regional Programme Manager Schools for the Middle East said:
'Contact seminars are an exciting time for teachers as they mark the real start to an international schools partnership.
'This is the first time teachers from the participating schools have the opportunity to meet and to begin to share their knowledge, culture and skills. For many of the UK teachers this week's visit will be the first time they will have visited the Middle East and experienced its hospitality.
'The British Council's successful and expanding Connecting Classrooms Programme is now the largest international schools programme in the Middle East and works in partnership to support a country's national education strategy.
'I look forward to seeing these new partnerships flourish and wish them all every success.'
Connecting Classrooms builds lasting partnerships between schools in the UK and others around the world. Through these partnerships, the programme develops understanding and trust between young people in different societies, creating a safer and more connected world for the future. For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org/connectingclassrooms
Connecting Classrooms aims to directly engage over 30,000 schools and two million young people worldwide by 2013, making it the largest and most far-reaching international school programme in the world. Through virtual links and sharing resources it will indirectly reach a further 38,000 schools and five and a half million young people.
Celebrating 75 years in 2009, the British Council is the UK's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. We work in the arts, education, English, science, sport and governance and last year we engaged face to face with 13.2 million people and reached 221 million.
We are a non-political organisation which operates at arm's length from government. www.britishcouncil.org/me
The British Council is the UK's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. We work in the arts, education, science, sport and governance and last year we reached over 128 million people.
We are a non-political organisation which operates at arm's length from government. Our total turnover in 2007/8 was £565 million, of which our grant-in-aid from the British government was £197 million. For every pound of grant we receive, we generate an additional £1.92.
For further information, please contact:
Ph: 02 6910606
Mob: 050 8116287
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