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Calthorpe School International PartnershipsNovember 2009 Calthorpe School International Partnerships.

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Presentation on theme: "Calthorpe School International PartnershipsNovember 2009 Calthorpe School International Partnerships."— Presentation transcript:

1 Calthorpe School International PartnershipsNovember 2009 Calthorpe School International Partnerships

2 November 2009 Calthorpe Sports College is an all age day special school catering for children with Severe, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties including Autism and Behaviour Problems. In addition to our first specialism we hold specialist status in Maths and Computing and Language. We have many Inclusion and International links, which have significantly contributed to our successive outstanding Ofsted Inspection. We achieved the full International Award in July We recognise that globally we have much to learn from each other and have capitalised on our established partnerships in China, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, France, Southern Ireland and more recently Sudan. Our experiences have provided staff and students with a depth of cultural understanding and a recognition that we can all learn from each other.

3 Calthorpe School International PartnershipsNovember 2009 Guangzhou School for Blind – China Guangzhou is twinned with Birmingham and there are extensive links between the two cities. We have been partners since 2006 and have a memorandum of understanding that defines the action plans that were agreed with the schools respective Education Authorities and the British Council. Or latest agreement was signed in December 2009 Calthorpe staff regularly visit Guangzhou and support the school in their limited but developing expertise with children with PMLD and Autism. The first UK pupil exchange took place in November 2008 and was a huge success. Our Chinese colleagues made a reciprocal visit to the UK in 2007 and another visit is planned for 2010 When together, we focus on sharing our cultural diversity and learn from each others work in the classroom, we plan joint projects and link teachers and students together. At Calthorpe we have employed a Chinese Language Assistant for the past 2 years, he teaches Mandarin to our pupils and also in our Partner Mainstream Schools.

4 Calthorpe School International PartnershipsNovember 2009 The Inspiration Why we decided to focus on the International Agenda In 2006 the Head teacher participated in a British Council School Linking visit to Guangzhou where we were introduced to Guangzhou School for the Blind, as potential partners. The Head saw the potential for extending curricular opportunities for our students and the CPD potential of my colleagues working with and exchanging expertise with teachers from China. He recognised that there was a potential for teacher and student exchange. He felt that Calthorpe could make a positive contribution to improve the quality of provision at Guangzhou School and help the staff develop new skills to enable them to address the changing needs of the students in their school.

5 Calthorpe School International PartnershipsNovember 2009 The Challenge When face to face promises flow and commitment are fairly easy to secure When apart communication is a real issue and requires persistence Involving a wider audience in the partner school is difficult as school co-ordinators are sometimes reluctant to release their grip on the potential to travel There is a need for the partner school to delegate tasks and responsibilities to ensure that a link is manageable and to get partner school to accept that others need to be actively involved Funding is always a problem but at Calthorpe we budget through capitation and are proactive in securing funding from other sources All the countries that we work with have more limited resources than us and are dependent on the British Council to fund their side of the collaboration. Language issues can be a barrier and it is necessary to ensure that translation is available when required. Time Zones – The 8 hour time difference with China can be an issue, but it can be overcome.

6 Calthorpe School International PartnershipsNovember 2009 The Solution At Calthorpe we have a can do culture and are persistent in ensuring that our action plans come to fruition Effective communication is essential and needs to grow as the partnership becomes more experienced We always purchase webcams for key international colleagues and introduce them to SKYPE. This facilitates a very simple face to face dialogue between teachers and students, helping us to build relationships and life long friendships, that will lead to valuable curricular projects. When we live in countries so far apart, it is essential to establish and maintain a passion and excitement when we return back to our respective countries after reciprocal visits. Action Plans and future visit plans, motivates a continuation of the link. It is essential to involve a working group in each country so that ideas can be bounced off each other To ensure that the partnership works, it is essential to provide evidence of completed activities through the sharing of examples of pupils work, photographs and video presentation We have built positive relationships with our Local Chinese Community, they fund raise to support visits of Guangzhou Staff and Pupils to Birmingham. Following a previous visit of Staff from Guangzhou School to Birmingham, some of our local Birmingham Chinese Community Business contacts have visited Guangzhou School Our Local Chinese Travel Agent secures cost effective flights to all our linked countries/

7 Calthorpe School International PartnershipsNovember 2009 The Impact Calthorpe is well recognised for ours International Work and we receive countless request to form further International Partnerships across the world. We have frequent visits from Inspectors, Education Officials, and Universities from across the world The Chinese Ambassador to the UK visited us and discussed the potential of further developing our links with China. Fantastic opportunities for our staff and student to travel to countries that they could only previously dream about. Fantastically cheap CPD. An understanding by our students of the wider world and the culture and customs of our linked countries There are massive opportunities for curricular development for both sides of the partnerships Development of ICT as a communication tool Increased funding opportunities Full International Schools Award A massive impact on the Community Cohesion aspect of the SEF

8 Calthorpe School International PartnershipsNovember 2009 Where are we now The International perspective is now firmly embedded into the ethos of Calthorpe School, supported by our Governing Body, the L.A, our Local Community and our Parents. Succession planning is essential to ensure that our Global Links continue to flourish for our students and staff. Each Senior Manager has the responsibility for enhancing the Links with one of our International Partners. Each Class groups at Calthorpe is linked to one at Guangzhou School, they agrees a project, share plans and examples of work. Classes participate in Video Conference dialogues and we also use Skype, ensuring that our Staff and Pupils get to know each other. There is a need to think at least 3 years ahead so that the partnership does not stagnate Accommodation costs for our International Guests have always been an expensive issue. Therefore we are in the process of converting and extending our the caretaker bungalow. This will provide affordable opportunities for our partner schools to visit the UK and also a much needed respite facility for our students.

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