A tapestry of two towns

Upton-by-Chester pupils showcase their tapestry Upton-by-Chester pupils showcase their tapestry

Two schools in the UK and Yemen have used their impressive textile skills to collaborate on an unusual project.

Upton-By-Chester High School in Chester, UK, has been successfully twinned with Al Khansa School in Sana'a, Yemen, for nearly four years.

During that time, both schools have used their partnership to add a cultural twist to curricula activities - and pupils and teachers have visited their counterparts on several occasions.

But their most recent project was a bit different - a large, hand-stitched tapestry of street scenes from their respective neighbourhoods.

Close-up: the school tapestry

Upton-by-Chester Deputy Head, Sylvie Beuzit, said: "Chester students produced 'Streets of Sana'a', whilst the Yemeni students embroidered Chester's distinctive Eastgate Clock.

"Students were able to enjoy their counterparts' work whilst also appreciating each other's cultures."

The two schools were twinned through the British Council initiative Connecting Classrooms, and their friendship is a source of huge pride for the schools.

They use the link to inspire classroom learning - something that has become particularly effective after a series of visits bringing Yemeni and British pupils together.

Al Khansa teacher Jamila Dahaq, who has worked with the partnership since its inception in 2008, thinks that the initiative has helped to break down cultural barriers.

"Students are no longer frightened of Europeans because they have a good experience of meeting and exchanging ideas with them," she says.

"They had some negative impressions before about people from Europe, but not any longer."

If you are interested in twinning your school and would like World Class to pass your details on to school-linking organisations, complete the online form.

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