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Picture for Supported Partnerships between NI and Bangladeshi Schools

Through the British Council's Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning (CCGL) programme, five schools in Northern Ireland were partnered with the same number of schools in Bangladesh in the third iteration of the Supported Partnerships programme. The initiative allowed schools new to international partnerships the opportunity to gain confidence and skills by engaging in a guided online collabroration process led by experienced facilitators.

Rosie and Anna, our Schools Advisors for the Connecting Classroom programme in NI, facilitated two 'meet and greet' introductory sessions, to begin with, followed by three pre-arranged workshops over the course of the six week course that took place from mid-September to the beginning of November 2021.

The list of Northern Ireland schools that took part in the British Council's Supported Partnerships were:

  • Clandeboye P.S
  • Bangor Central P.S
  • St Colman's High and Sixth form College, Ballynahinch
  • Loughshore EOTAS, Belfast; and
  • Gaelscoil Léim an Mhadaidh, Limavady

Each of the three online sessions was carefully planned in advance to help participants understand the potential of global learning through international partnerships. In addition to this, the facilitated process also allowed participants to explore how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could provide a context for young people, to advance and develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes around the hugely topical and much debated subject of climate change (Goal 13).

The timing of the sessions deliberately coincided with COP26, a climate event that was held in Glasgow, UK, in November 2021. The Conference of Parties (COP) is an annual global United Nations summit about climate change and how the different countries are tackling it.

What was covered in the facilitated sessions?

In session one we explored the value of developing common aims, priorities and plans based on the Sustainable Development Goals and COP26, to meet the needs of partner schools and build on what was/is already working for others.

The second session focused on Sustainable Development Goal 13 and explored climate change and its relationship to the Sustainable Development Goals. Participants were introduced to active and participatory methodologies that could be used with their partner schools, to explore the impact of the climate crisis in both local and global communities, highlighting the interconnectivity of our world. 

The third session examined​ the various ways we can empower young people to take action, particularly around the issues associated with climate justice. 

Padlet, an online platform, was used to upload all project work and to encourage one-to-one engagement between each partner school and teacher, with the levels of interaction between both schools proving to be both strong and engaging. 

Post-project feedback and testimonials

When asked what each school was looking forward to the most from working and collaborating with their international partner, we had a variety of responses like, "I want to be a global citizen and exchange cultures with one another" or "I'd like to learn more about what teaching is like in Bangladesh."

Ashura Akter from Dungsree Government Primary School said about the images below, and while pupils were watching a video on climate change,

"Our pupils are so interested in climate change that they refuse to sit down to watch it!"

Thanks to all schools in both countries who worked on the online Supported Partnerships programme and who have made a difference to the level of understanding regarding climate change and, more importantly, to climate action.

Resources to Support Classroom Practice and a Whole School Approach

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