Pikes Lane Primary school forms links with six European countries
CHILDREN and staff at Pikes Lane Primary School are stretching the hand of friendship to not one — but six — European countries.
Schools say closer links between colleagues and peers can raise standards replace ignorance and prejudice with appreciation and understanding.
The Bolton primary school has linked up with schools in Spain, Cyprus, Poland, Romania, Ireland and Scotland to celebrate diversity, multiculturalism and heritage through the Knowing Me, Knowing EU Project.
They are learning from each other to further raise educational standards.
While children will be taught to respect other cultures and traditions across Europe, they will also learn about the importance of knowing languages in the modern world.
The two-year project has been organised by the Comenius programme, which is funded by the European Commission and managed in the UK by the British Council.
Pikes Lane School will be working with Pollokshields Primary School in Glasgow, Dimotiko Agias Marinas Chrysochous in Cyprus, Zespol Szkot Miejskich Nr 1 w Jasle in Poland, Scoala Gimnaziala ‘George Bacovia in Romania, Termon National School in Ireland and Colegio Hernandez S.L in Spain.
The programme was officially launched in Bolton with representatives from the countries travelling to the school for their first collaborative event in experiencing a week in an English school.
As well as learning about different cultures, the scheme is also designed to help young people learn more about their own culture and build links within their local community and gain new skills which will impact on their future lives and careers, such as learning a new language.
Louise McArdle, from Pikes Lane Primary School, said: “We are always keen to look at new ways to engage our children and improve our curriculum. Our school will use this fantastic opportunity to look at the ways that other schools deliver their curriculum. We look forward to welcoming our partners and building fantastic relationships over the next two years.”
Head of EU Programmes at the British Council, Ruth Sinclair-Jones, added: “We have a responsibility to prepare young people for life and work in our global society.
“Partnerships like this one not only help to build trust and understanding between people of different cultures, but also broaden pupils’ horizons, bring languages and other subjects to life in the classroom, and equip young people with the skills and understanding they need to become global citizens.”
And youngsters have given the scheme the thumbs up.
Annas Mulla, aged 10, said: “This programme is about collaboration, and it does not matter where we are from or what language we speak, we are all the same and it is about learning from each other.
“I am very excited about the project.”
During the festive period, children will be linking up with their partner schools to see how the season of goodwill is celebrated in different countries.
Maria Hernandell Ubert, deputy headteacher of Colegio Hernandee, who organised the programme, said: “Projects like this have a deep impact on those who take part it in, they feel like European citizens and Europe becomes more than just a collection of many countries.
“We realise we share the same problems as citizens. It promotes appreciation and understanding, and people see that they are more similar than different.”
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