Connecting Classrooms and Rainbow Project

YEAR 1

Project Launch
The British Council funded “Connecting Classrooms and Rainbow Project” was launched in Autumn 2010 with a logo competition. The three Portsmouth UK schools, City of Portsmouth Girls’ School, Portsmouth High School and St Edmund’s set to work designing a logo to become the identity for the Rainbow project in the UK. Judging took place via video conference link between the three schools and the competition was won by Ella Bartlett from Portsmouth High School. The logo was reproduced on to badges and stickers worn by African teachers and pupils when the African teachers visited Portsmouth.

African teachers visit the UK
In October 2010 African teachers visited all three UK schools. A packed itinerary included meeting teachers, observing lessons, talking to pupils, discussions about environmental issues and making time for sightseeing and a little shopping! Tesfaye Duguma from Ethiopia put together her own Visit Diary to record her once in a lifetime experience. Our local press The News came to personally report on a visit where new friendships were made and fresh ideas were explored.

Environmental SKYPE seminar
In December pupils from all three UK schools took part in a SKYPE session with Senegalese students to mark National Environment Day in Senegal. All three schools put forward questions to Senegalese pupils and teachers. Skills in French were put to the test and a better understanding of environmental issues affecting Senegal was achieved.

Sharing the Connecting Classrooms Project
Pupils from all three UK schools have shared their unique experiences of the project with their wider school communities. The aims and achievements of the project have been presented in school assemblies to pupils and teachers.

Appreciation of music across the globe
This cross-curricular project has involved sharing dance and music ideas across the globe. Pupils and teachers have collaborated to produce short music podcasts and dance videos.

Building successful relationships through correspondence
Letters and e-mails have been regularly exchanged between the African and UK schools. This has been essential to ensure the smooth running of the project and has strengthened the relationship between all those involved.

YEAR 2

The second year of the project has seen the African and UK schools exchanging more ideas and getting involved in each other’s projects. In doing so, they have learned more about each other’s cultures and strengthened their growing friendships.

Sharing Royal Wedding celebrations
UK pupils shared their celebration of this year’s Royal Wedding by holding a special Royal Wedding Competition. The idea behind this was to explore different ways of celebrating a national event both here and in Africa.

Senegalese teachers get involved
Senegalese teachers joined in with the ground breaking Portsmouth High School Emotions arts project held earlier this year. The teachers designed some tiles based on the theme of ‘emotions’ which joined several hundred other tiles in an exhibition which travelled around the city.

More is planned for this three year project and we look forward to strengthening our links further with African colleagues and pupils.