Friday, 10 October 2008

My colleague Jo Speak, international co-ordinator at Cookridge Primary School, sent me details of the partnership schools in Leeds have established with Nigeria and South Africa...

"The partnership is part of the British Council’s initiative ‘Connecting Classrooms’, the partnership links clusters of three schools in each of the three countries. This year, Cookridge Primary School is leading the project, the other two schools in Leeds are Ireland Wood Primary and Iveson Primary. The partnership was formed following a Connecting Classrooms partner finding seminar in Ghana at the end of July 2008.

From September 27th to October 6th 2008, three teachers from Nigeria and three from South Africa, visited the Leeds Schools. Visiting teachers took part in a week of activities in school, which involved teaching traditional songs, stories and dances. The International School Council made up of children from the three Leeds primary schools interviewed the African visitors during a lunchtime planning meeting. Children from Cookridge Primary School demonstrated their South African Gum Boot dance and South African hymn to members of a local community group, OPAL (older persons group) as part of their AGM on Friday 3rd October.

Children from Ireland Wood, Iveson and Cookridge all came together to hold a cultural celebration. Performances included Samba drumming, exercise routines singing (in English, Spanish, and Zulu) and the African teachers were presented with a book about Yorkshire and a presentation plate for their schools. Cultural visits throughout the week included meeting the Lord Mayor and a tour of the Civic Hall, a historical tour of York and an Iftar meal (the breaking fast of the month of Ramadan) at the home of one of the teachers.

The visit was a wonderful opportunity to begin working in partnership with our African colleagues. Children in all schools are so excited about working together, despite the miles separating us”

Please contact Cookridge Primary School for further information.

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