Four Belfast Schools report on their visit to Johannesburg in February 2020!
Entry Date: 31 December 2020
Teachers from four Belfast primary schools - St. Oliver Plunkett, Christ the Redeemer, Holy Evangelists' and St. Kieran's visited their partner schools in Johannesburg, South Africa in February 2020, just before lockdown put a stop to global travel. Rachael, Claire, Paula and Louise were all participants in the Global Learning Programme between 2015-2018 and met during one of our information open days. Given their schools' proximity, they decided to form a cluster and take part in our International Schools Partnership, which is funded by the British Council.
The ladies grabbed the opportunity to visit their partner schools in Johannesburg, South Africa, spending a day with partner teachers and joining in classroom activities packed with personality and cultural learnings. While out there they took a trip to Soweto, a township of Johannesburg and well known for its uprising and civil unrest; a place central to the anti-apartheid movement.
To top it all, and wrap a week that would be forever imprinted, they managed to squeeze in a trip to the famous Kruger National Park, one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the world.
Despite the lockdown and travel restrictions, teachers from Northern Ireland and Johannesburg have stayed in touch using Whats App and are planning to hold a monthy event that will draw on collaborative experiences starting first thing in the new year. Their objecive is to share reflections - best practices for supporting pupil's mental health and wellbeing - and learning through the Sustainable Development Goals themes.
Even through one of the most disruptive years the world has ever seen, Rachael, Claire, Paula and Louise are very much looking forward to welcoming their South African colleagues to Belfast in 2021, where they will continue to develop their knowledge of collaborative learning practices.
We'll keep you updated as this intetrnational partnership continues its exciting journey!
If you would like to take a trip to Sierra Leone during 2021 and benefit from an international schools partnership exchange, join our seminar on 13th January where you'll learn more about how it works.