BBC World Class, in partnership with the British Council is an integral part of the BBC's commitment to ensuring that the London 2012 Olympics Games leaves a legacy for future generations.
The initiative puts young people right at the heart of the BBC’s coverage of London 2012 by aiming to inspire schools to twin for 2012
Since its launch in 2005 the project has supported thousands of teachers in developing school-to-school partnerships and encouraged pupils to share creative work inspired by the London Olympics with the organisations' global audiences
Now in 2012 many schools have been partnered with schools attended by athletes from around the world who are part of the BBC’s World Olympic Dreams project. They have been matched with schools in Kosovo, Kenya, Ulan Bator, Belgium, Bradford, Brazil, middle America and the Middle East with over 2,600 more schools signing up to twin
In feedback to the BBC World Class team teachers from across the world are very clear about the benefits of twinning:
They want to broaden the horizons of their pupils
Give children who may not have left the neighbourhood an awareness of the wider world
Prepare their pupils for a global future
In the UK specifically, teachers give two main reasons:
Some schools want to celebrate the diversity of their pupils by making friends with schools elsewhere
Others want to offer mono-cultural communities a taste of the wider world
Twin for 2012
Primary and secondary schools are invited to 'twin for 2012' with BBC World Class - bbc.co.uk/worldclass. With a target of inspiring 3000 schools to twin, BBC World Class is currently well on the way to achieving its goal. Working with the BBC World Class team and the BBC's partners, these schools are able to share and compare ideas and experiences online and, on occasion, in the BBC’s World Olympic Dreams broadcasts.
BBC World Class in partnership with BBC Learning has launched a new weekly resource for primary and secondary teachers in schools; 2012 Assemblies. These offer:
Assembly video clips, teachers notes and discussion points
This resource was launched following feedback by teachers who said that they struggle to find topical resources for assemblies
This is the first time that the BBC has provided video assembly packs
Each assembly ends with an Assembly Question. For example:
"Do you prefer to play sport on your own or in a team?" (from an assembly on double gold mountain bike medallist, Julien Absalon) or:
"Should girls and boys be allowed to play the same sports?" (from an assembly on World Champion female boxer, MC Mary Kom)
Schools are encouraged to do a show of hands and email their answer to email@example.com
2012 Assemblies celebrate the build up to the London Olympics with films from World Class schools, World Olympic Dreams athletes and topical features from the Schools World Service.
In addition other BBC 2012 content such as School Report and Off By Heart Shakespeare, as well as 2012 projects outside the BBC such as Face Britain are featured.
Schools World Service
BBC World Class and the British Council signed a co-production agreement to produce topical stories for teachers across the UK to use as educational collateral in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic Games:
The project aims to increase pupils understanding of international stories, how they are affecting the wider world and engage them in debate and dialogue
The new project has been piloting since April when the first film, the story of the Cairo revolution from the point of view of some of the Egyptian school children involved was produced
More recently, BBC Breakfast reporter Jenny Hill went to see how pupils at a school in Kessenuma, Japan have been affected by the Tsunami and how they are starting to rebuild their lives
Working in co-operation with Global News, Schools World Service films have been shown on BBC World. Further details can be found at: bbc.co.uk/worldclass.
Other films include a Welsh 13 year old with Downs Syndrome who represented Team GB at the Special Olympics in Athens and young people in the Amazon rainforest as they seek to find the right balance between development, and the preservation of their unique environment.
Olympic Dreams Live
The BBC and the British Council worked together to organise a competition for UK schools. Their prize was a partnership with a school attended by an Olympic hopeful and an invitation to the Olympic Dreams Live event, funded by the British Council. The event took place in January 2011with teachers from the winning schools and one pupil from each secondary school. They were joined by teachers and pupils from schools around the world. Over the two days, the schools received a crash course in successful and sustainable partnerships from the British Council, while the pupils also worked together to exchange ideas and develop leadership skills as ambassadors for the project.
The British Museum, as host venue, also encouraged delegates to explore the galleries and choose an object from the world collection which the felt best represented them or their partnership.
Amanda Farnsworth, BBC London 2012 Project Executive said: “The BBC made a commitment to ensure that the London 2012 Olympics Games leave a legacy for future generations and we are thrilled at the success of BBC World Class so far in helping us fulfil this pledge. From Olympic Dreams Live to Schools World Service to the World Class Assemblies we have seen thousands of schools across the world engaging with each other using our content to further their development and understanding of the world. We hope this is just the beginning of some really rich and engaging relationship between the schools that will last up to and beyond the London Games.”