Trinidad & England Sandwatchers Meet!
WOW! What an experience. Nineteen students, three members of Staff, three members of the Mayaro Environmental Wave (MEW) and four parents started a Global School Partnership (GSP) journey to the Kings Park Primary School (KPPS) of Bournemouth, England. What an experience! Mayaro Government Primary School (Trinidad and Tobago) and Kings Park Primary School (United Kingdom) have partnered on The Sandwatch Project as we seek to work together on global themes, develop our curriculums and make our schools more relevant and efficient. Life at these two schools will never be the same again, thanks to Sandwatch.
As a lead up to this visit, students from both schools were engaged in writing to each other. This was designed to help students learn about international themes and become responsible global citizens. This GSP provided educational benefits for our students to develop into global citizens. Sandwatch was creatively used to facilitate such.
The main aims and objectives of this initiative were to develop joint curriculum work, prepare students to function in this global society, where they can critically reflect on their own attitudes and perceptions and challenge idealised or negative perceptions of ‘other’ people and places.
So where are we? Mayaro Government Primary School (MGPS) is back on the Sandwatch project. After being dormant for a few years, a new team has been created. Despite some challenges, we intend to be an active agent. We have been working along with KPPG to develop their Sandwatch team and programme. Training sessions were conducted and have been facilitated by members of the Mayaro Environmental Wave.
From my personal involvement in the GSP, I have concluded that this global school partnership can:
Despite the challenges to sustain this partnership, we all agree that the benefits to be derived from the GSP for the students are worth it.
During our stay at Bournemouth, we had the awesome opportunity to visit Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the National Arts Gallery, Hengistbury Head, Brownsea Island, and the famous London Eye. The highlights of our visit were being able to witness the Olympic Torch Relay, while adding a “trini” flavor to it and the visit to the school by one of the runners who participated in the Olympic Torch Relay. Breath-taking. Our students will never forget holding the 2012 Olympic Torch and taking pictures with it. This will be cherished for a life time.
Being active participants in the classrooms and having the opportunity to teach at the KPPS were awesome opportunities. Our students interacted with other students, were active participants in the classrooms and enjoyed every moment of those experiences.
Thank you Kings Park Primary for a wonderful and unforgettable experience. Special appreciation to the following for making this educational trip an awesome experience. Thank you Mrs Melanie Berkhauer. All your hard work and dedication brought delicious fruits. Thank you to the Head Teacher, Mrs Tanya Bunting for being a willing facilitator. Thank you to all who have contributed in making this possible; British Council of Trinidad and Tobago, the willing sponsors who assisted Mayaro Government Primary School, our Staff and parents. Thank you to the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Education and the South Eastern Educational District.
We look forward to the reciprocal visit in November 2012. A warm ‘Trini” welcome awaits you. Lets us continue to work collaboratively on the Sandwatch project and make it a resounding success at both schools.
Mayaro Government Primary School