Sri Lanka schools visit local partners

THIS week, four North Antrim schools will host a delegation from Sri Lanka as part of their involvement in an international scheme to build trust and cultural understanding between the two regions.

Cross and Passion College, Ballycastle, the co-ordinating school, St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s Primary School, Ballycastle, St Joseph’s College, Coleraine, and Coleraine High School have formed a cluster of North Antrim schools embarking on a three year project linking with a similar cluster in Sri Lanka.

For the local secondary schools this international partnership will provide a context for a Connected Learning theme in Year 10 which enables pupils to connect with their peers in Sri Lanka through a variety of curricular areas. It will support the Northern Ireland Curriculum objective of “developing the young person as a contributor to a global society and economy.” At primary level it will support the KS2 Global Learning elements of Personal Development and Mutual Understanding.

The visit is part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme which aims to build lasting partnerships between schools in the UK and others in over 60 countries around the world. The programme offers funding for joint projects, professional development for teachers and school leaders and recognition through the International School Award.

Barbara Ward, Principal at the co-ordinating school, Cross and Passion College said:

“Cross and Passion College is delighted to be taking part in the project. We see it as a great opportunity for our children to get to know about life, customs and traditions in Sri Lanka. In addition to this, we hope that the wider community in North Antrim will get involved and benefit from this very exciting link.”

The schools see this as a wonderful opportunity to enable young people to make real connections with young people in Sri Lanka, to use ICT as an effective communication tool and to improve perceptions of each other's countries through collaborative cross curricular work.

A busy programme has been organised for the visitors to provide a flavour of school life in Northern Ireland but also of the rich diversity of local cultures and traditions.