A Cardiff teacher has become one of the first in the country to complete an innovative training course run by the British Council. The programme aims to create the next generation of well-rounded and truly global citizens among the UK’s young people.
The programme, called Connecting Classrooms, has been completed by Sarah-Jane Maples, who works as the Leader for Social and Cultural Learning and International Coordinator at Llandaff City Church of Wales Primary School in Cardiff. The aim of the programme is to support teachers in developing core skills among their pupils that are often not explicitly taught in the mainstream curriculum – like digital literacy, critical thinking and problem solving. The programme is open to teachers from all types of school setting and who work with pupils of all ages.
The Connecting Classrooms course, which is fully funded by the British Council, has seen Sarah-Jane undertake her training with teachers from other schools across South Wales in order to explore and share ideas as to how pupils can be better engaged with core skills development. Having completed the first part of the programme she was also eligible to take advantage of an additional element of the Connecting Classrooms course which gave her the opportunity to travel to meet teachers in her overseas partner schools to share and learn from experiences of teaching core skills together.
Sarah-Jane, who manages the international partnership between her school and partner schools in Zambia and Bangladesh, believes that the training programme has enabled her to not only give her pupils the best start in life, but help them to better engage and interact with their local communities and society in a more positive and responsible way.
Sarah-Jane commented: “The Connecting Classrooms programme has already given me such a boost in terms of how I engage and interact with my pupils – not only when it comes to supporting them in developing their core skills, but in terms of how they comprehend and engage with the ever-changing world around them. What’s more, it’s had a great impact on the pupils too in terms of how they interact with me and each other.
“By going on the course, I’m now confident in how I approach teaching fundamental skills like communication and critical thinking – skills that can often seem abstract, challenging and hard to put in to real terms for some young pupils. What’s more, I’m now looking forward to the opportunity to travel overseas in order to share what I’ve learnt with a partner school.”
The British Council will be running the Connecting Classrooms programme across Wales and the rest of the UK. Connecting Classrooms is a global education programme which has been developed by the British Council in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID). To find out more about the programme or to enrol on one of its face-to-face or online core skills courses, visit: https://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/about-schools-online/about-programmes/connecting-classrooms