On 22nd March we welcomed eleven Sri Lankan teachers to Greenfield Community College. The British Council Connecting Classrooms project has helped to create partnerships between clusters of schools in Durham and other schools from Sri Lanka. These partnerships have helped to bring an international dimension to young people’s learning, to improve their knowledge and understanding of other cultures and prepare them for life and work as global citizens.
Without these links with schools through the Connecting Classrooms project it can be very hard for pupils to experience and develop knowledge and understanding of different cultures. The interaction with pupils from different countries and even different continents, through this project, can help break down the geographical barriers provided by such large distances apart. Groups of pupils from all years have been involved in different projects, such as writing about the similarities and differences of what they see on their way to school, producing a collaborative calendar and book of sports and also exchanging Christmas cards and letters with Sri Lankan pupils.
During their short stay in Durham they visited four primary schools and Greenfield alongside a schedule of tourist locations. We welcomed our guests with a series of performances including pupils playing the steel pans, a dance, a musical assembly and the school choir. The Sri Lankan teachers came into a mixture of Science, English and PE lessons and took part in leading activities for our pupils. They also led Q&A sessions with the pupils which provided an excellent opportunity for pupils to experience and develop knowledge and understanding of different cultures.
After their visit to Greenfield, Mr Butterworth took our guests to Durham County Cricket Club for a tour of the ground. The Sri Lankan delegates thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the cricket ground which rounded off a fantastic day for all concerned. We are proud that we have provided such a rewarding experience for the Sri Lankan teachers so that they too can hold lasting memories upon their stay in Durham, just as Mr Butterworth did in Sri Lanka in January.