Strathmiglo and ‘Muchty strengthen African links

Angela McArdle and Jayne Holmes visited Mitole Primary School in the Chikwawa District in October, and the newly-awarded funds will help finance another trip to the region.
Angela McArdle and Jayne Holmes visited Mitole Primary School in the Chikwawa District in October, and the newly-awarded funds will help finance another trip to the region.
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TWO local primary schools have been given the opportunity to further develop their links with schools half way across the globe, thanks to funding from the British Council.

Both Strathmiglo Primary and Auchtermuchty Primary were awarded £1500 each as part of the Connecting Classrooms project, which aims to boost global awareness.

Both schools have already nurtured ties with schools in the Chikwawa District in Malawi thanks to a partnership with Bell Baxter High School and these funds will help them to continue to keep these links with the south east African state open.

“We are really looking forward to having a fruitful and productive link with the schools in Malawi,” said Angela McArdle, headteacher at Strathmiglo.

“The opportunity to establish partnerships with our school and get to know its pupils, staff and community has captured the imagination of our children.”

As part of their connection with the region, both schools have already welcomed representatives from Malawi to their schools.

In February 2012, the district education manager and primary education advisor for the Chikwawa District and the headteaacher of Chikwawa Secondary School, all visited Fife.

And six months later, Ms McArdle, along with Jayne Holmes, then head of Auchtermuchty Primary, and Martin Gibbons, curriculum leader for social studies at Bell Baxter High, travelled to the Chikwawa district to visit schools in the area and give presentations on life in Scotland.

“It was a fascinating experience,” said Ms Holmes.

“We visited nine schools, mostly in the mornings as the day is finished by about noon, and in the afternoon we were able to get to know the staff and talked a lot about education.

“I was struck by the many similarities between our curriculums. There is certainly lots we can share and learn. This link isn’t about charity – it’s about being equal partners, and it can only help to enhance the curriculum.”

Lucy Young, head of education for British Council Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have so many schools from Scotland receive funding this year.”

Ms McArdle added: “Even though we are still at the early stages of forming this partnership, we are excited about its possible impact on our children’s awareness and understanding of the world around them and their development as global citizens.”