A WIGAN school’s educational links with a country thousands of miles away have received praise from the heart of government.
Byrchall High at Ashton has been chosen to develop international ties with South Africa as part of a new school project to boost global education.
Connecting Classrooms is a UK government and British Council education initiative and the Ashton school has been selected in recognition of its commitment to teaching students about global issues.
And this week Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, led the praise for its work. She said: “I am very pleased that Byrchall High School is taking on this excellent opportunity to link with schools in other parts of our world. Young people and teachers can make a fantastic contribution by sharing the best of Britain with their peers around the world and at the same time, the great thing is that they can get invaluable knowledge of what life is like in other countries.
“Connecting Classrooms will enable pupils to learn about the world around them, about the facts of poverty that face children their own age in developing countries and how education can help eradicate poverty.
“It will also benefit teachers by enhancing their professional skills.”
Teachers and students are working with Smiling Valley Intermediate Farm School in South Africa to learn how to become responsible global citizens and to develop skills to work in a global economy.
Byrchall’s deputy head Angela Finch said: “The grant will allow collaborative activities to be planned and delivered in both schools to prepare students to be successful global citizens. It will hopefully encourage them to take action to promote equality for all and a commitment to making a better world.”
The programme will enable two teachers to take part in an exchange visit with Smiling Valley Intermediate Farm School and work on classroom-based projects together, with the aim of giving young people a unique and hands-on international learning experience.
Smiling Valley principal Mongezi Mncono, said he is looking forward to learning more about how these themes are incorporated into the teaching at Byrchall High School.