Exeter school forges closer links with students in Africa

Students holding up their Malawi artwork

Posted on: 14 June 2019

An Exeter secondary school is taking part in a prestigious international project to forge closer ties with students and teachers in Malawi.

St Peter’s is taking part in Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning.

It’s a unique global education programme run in 30 countries by the British Council and the Department for International Development.

St Peter’s will partner with Dawlish College and the Atkinson Centre in Exeter to extend the scope of the project.

Connecting Classrooms works with schools across the world to help young people develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make a positive contribution to their world.

The programme enables teachers not only to teach these skills to children in their classroom, but also to visit partner schools in other countries to exchange insights and ideas on how to improve teaching and learning.

St Peter’s teachers Vanessa Crocker and Andrew Hubbard will be leading the project.

Students will be working with their counterparts in Malawi learning about the importance of rivers to communities, wildlife and economies.

Students in Malawi will be studying the River Exe and local students will study the River Shire in Africa.

Vanessa, who is subject leader for art and design, said:

“These new links will offer great opportunities for both students and staff to develop their global awareness.

“In telling the story of the issues that people and wildlife face in relation to the rivers, we anticipate students will become more eco-literate and feel empowered to be part of the solution.

“The project will also allow us to develop art from different cultures in our schemes of work with more depth and meaning.

The British Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Sir Ciarán Devane, said:

“I am delighted that these three Exeter schools are taking on this excellent opportunity to develop their professional practice by collaborating with teachers from Malawi and the UK.

“Their commitment to equip young people with skills and understanding for life and work in an increasingly global economy is to be commended.”

Andrew Hubbard said:

“We hope that new partnerships formed through the Connecting Classrooms project can be sustained and long lasting, broadening the reach of the existing Malawi connections held by the school.

“We also hope to strengthen cross-curricular links between art and geography.”

Connecting Classrooms will enable Vanessa Crocker and students to visit the Malosa Anglican Secondary School and work with their teachers and students.

Students from St Peter’s took part in an art project called Rivers of the World last year and exhibited at the Phoenix.

Vanessa said: “We hope to encourage the students to share their concerns, reflections and questions about their local rivers and we hope that the artwork we will take with us to exhibit in Malawi will spark further questions and dialogue about the importance of protecting and preserving our natural resources.”

School girl working on Malawi-inspired art Canon Howard Nasoro, the acting headteacher of Malosa Anglican Secondary School, said:

“We would like to explore the exchange of teaching techniques with our partner schools.

“As art is not part of the secondary school curriculum in Malawi, we would like our students to explore their creativity together with their counterparts in our partner schools.”

School boy working on Malawi-inspired art St Peter’s head, Phil Randall, said:

“We are thrilled that St. Peter’s has been selected to work with the British Council along with other local schools on this prestigious project.

“We have long-established links with Malawi, annually sending about 40 St. Peter’s students to work alongside communities in Malawi.

“This opportunity feels like a perfect fit for our students and staff.”

For further information please visit the website at or call 01392 204764.

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