Schools debate: Celebrating school partnerships
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with all your opinions and comments!
- If your school could twin with the school of a famous athlete, who would you choose?
- What are the benefits of twinning with another school in a different country?
Right - that's your lot, folks - it's the end of the last debate of 2012!
We think it's been a really good debate to sign off with - celebrating the school partnerships that have made 2012 so special for World Class, while also acknowledging the impact of an inspirational year of sport.
We hope you've enjoyed sharing your partnerships today, and an especially big thanks to the Olympic Dreams Network schools who took the time to come online today.
And a wider thanks to all the schools who have made our 2012 debates such fun to do. We hope to see you again when our debates resume on 17 January 2013 - you can find out all about our upcoming debates here.
We'll say bye-bye in the only way we can - with some fireworks!
Ellen, Lucy and Lydia from Upton-By-Chester High School in Chester, UK write:
"We think that when twinning with another school it is important to respect each other's views and compare our lifestyles and educate each other in our different cultures.
If we were to twin with another athlete school then it would be interesting and would widen our views on sports and how differently we play them. We can learn from each other's experiences in sports and teach each other our different techniques. Liuyang Jiao is an Olympic athlete who broke the women's Olympic record for butterfly.
Despite this we still have 14 successful partner schools that haven't got an Olympic link."
St Mary's CEP Primary School in Folkestone, UK have an answer to Upton-By-Chester High School's question (1220). They write:
"No, we did not have any choice in which athlete or country we were linked with, we just heard that we were winners and that we'd been given the swimmer Achineng Ajulu Bushell from Peponi school in Kenya.
A brilliant school to work with which also led to many other links to schools in that part of Kenya, which we are now sharing with some of our local schools in Folkestone."
Here's a great picture of Jehue Gordon from the Olympic Journey film (right) in action!
Vanessa, Grace and Ellen at Upton-by-Chester High School have send us a photo of Mitchell, a 6th former at Upton-By-Chester high school, who was selected to run a leg of the Olympic Torch Relay due to his work with younger student in feeder primary schools.
They say "He is a inspiration for Upton High School. Our school is extremely proud of him as we have had a little bit of the Olympics with us. We hope to see more students taking part in future events like this."
Beth, Rachael, Kian and Mason from St Mary's CEP Primary School in Folkestone, UK write:
"Friendship is one of the main reasons for schools to link!"
They've even shared some letters they've got from their partner schools with us!
St Mary's CEP School in Folkestone, UK, have sent us this cool photo of speed-stacking with their partner school pupils in Peponi School in Kenya!
Wunshan Senior High School in Kaohsiung, Taiwan write:
"We think twinning with another school in a different country has many benefits. We can learn about different cultures in foreign countries by interacting with students in another country instead of going abroad."
Thanks very much Wunshan Senior High School!
We've really enjoyed hearing all of the benefits of international school twinning that you've all shared with us today.
"We would like to share our experience of having links with schools in another country", say Colegio Newland students in Queretaro, Mexico.
"Being friends with people in another country is a unique experience that we will never forget also it gives us opportunities to see and experience the other half of the world and that's something we value a lot".
Lets hear more from St Mary's CEP Primary School in Folkestone, UK have shared their main reasons for getting involved in international school twinning. They write:
- You get to learn about the things they learn and differences and their culture
- You get to see the differences how they teach, languages…it's fun linking
- It is good opportunity to learn cultural things. When the French came, we made things together and we had a Day in Dover at the Roman Painted House together, as the Romans were in France as well as in England.
- Pupils in other countries take great pride in presenting their work and hand writing is so good & work was beautifully presented…it makes us want to do our best
- England is an incredibly lazy country as we don't make an effort to learn lots of languages and having links with other countries makes you want to learn another language.
"We think it is good to debate with other schools each week, it is fun and you talk to children our own age."
Anna, Ashleigh and Will from Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, UK, tell us: "Recently we received letters from students in Northlands Secundaria, Uruguay.
"We learned about their lives, their school, their family and friends, as well as their hobbies and appearance. Some even gave us their email address and Facebook names so we could keep in touch with our new friends.
"We then replied in Spanish, this helped us develop our language skills."
Ysgol Bryn Alyn teacher Katherine Phillips tweets: Fantastic live debate with all the schools who took part in World Olympic Dreams! What a legacy for 2012! #worldclassdebate
Vijaya International pupils from Agra, India, have this to say about school twinning:
"Education means gaining knowledge. There are many methods of getting educated - by interacting with different schools in different countries students can learn about different languages, different styles, customs, etc…
"Thus improving our knowledge in every field when they exchange their views between them."
Some intriguing thoughts from Alom at Bedford Academy in Bedfordshire, UK, who tells us: "If I could choose a country to twin with it would be somewhere in the middle east, perhaps Qatar.
"It would be interesting and completely different from the UK. I don't think its important to have an athlete although - with the World Cup in the region it would be interesting.
"Also our school in Kenya is in an area less economically developed than the UK while I believe that Qatar is at the opposite end of the economic scale".
Good points there. What about the rest of you? Would economic status affect your choice of partner?
Vanessa, Grace and Ellen from Upton-By-Chester High School in Chester, UK write:
"We think the benefits of twinning with another school in a different country are:
- Learning about different countries and their culture
- Making friendships and partnerships all around the world
- Getting to know the world we live in
- Getting to see how school life is like in other countries
- Learning to respect other people's ethics
- Making partnerships between schools to allow students who are learning a language to see the country it originates from
- They can inspire people to travel and live in other countries
- Making friendships that will last a lifetime"
Annabel, Rachel and Hannah have written in from Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, UK, who have 14 partnerships with schools worldwide!
"The benefits of twinning with another school includes learning and exploring their cultures, visiting them and learning about their environment in which they live in.
Also trading stories and traditions, people would also be more aware of the world around them; and the differences between their cultures and ours.
"Learning about different cultures is an advantage for the youth as we will know more about the culture as we progress on through our school career.
Really nice thoughts there - thanks very much for those insights guys.
Khaitan Public School in Sahibabad, India write:
"Our partner school at Sri Lanka is Sujatha Balika M.V.Matale which is an all girls school. They have about 750 pupils and are situated in a semi rural area. We exchange our views, news, information on culture, dance and art of our respective schools in India and Sri Lanka."
Deborah, former pupil of Highfields School and Young Ambassador, has mailed in to talk about her involvement in her school's Olympic Dreams Network partnership with St John Fisher School in Brisbane, Australia.
Many thanks to her for getting in touch!
"My involvement in the project was primarily on World Sports Day 2012, when ex-international hockey player Charlotte Hartley visited the school for hockey workshops. The afternoon saw teams of year 7 and 8 pupils representing GB, India and Australia take part in a triangular tournament which was eventually won by GB.
"The headteacher of St. John Fisher, Sheree Lane, was in attendance supporting the Australian representatives. This was a great opportunity to share experiences on both a school and elite level and to compare the set ups in both countries.
"We chose India as well because our school is now twinned with a school in this country. Our school has benefitted from these links as it has really made us value the benefits of learning about other cultures."
Colegio Newland in Querétaro, México have been watching MC Mary Kom's Olympic journey video (on the right) and have this to say about Mary:
"We believe she is an excellent example of a mother, a fighter and athlete. Her fight must be recognized all around the world. She fights for her family and for India and that should make anyone in her country proud.
We also believe that she is such a strong woman who never gives up and does all the things that a mother has to do."
Upton-by-Chester High School tweet: We would like to twin with Oscar Pistorius' school, he is inspirational to people with disabilities #worldclassdebate pic.twitter.com/cW5QmCAA
A reminder that there are 30 minutes to go in today's live school debate!
It's been a cracker so far - and we're especially fortunate to be joined today by schools from the Olympic Dreams Network - made of up schools attended by Olympic athletes which have been twinned with schools from the UK.
If you have questions for them or just want to chip in, email email@example.com to have your say.
Teachers can also post comments from pupils on our Facebook page or by tweeting using #worldclassdebate.
A big hello to Shipra from Apeejay School in New Delhi, India, who has this to say about the role of sport in school twinning:
"In this contemporary era, sports play a core role in one's life. Sports and studies now weigh equally in a balance and are both considered equivocal.
"A collaboration between sports and studies might prove beneficial in shaping the future of our youth. This proposal is still to be accepted in my country, India, but rest of the world has initiated their moves towards this goal.
"According to me, twinning with a school of sports facilities is more important than to twin it with a school of a famous athlete".
Interesting thoughts from Shipra - more from her later!
Ellen, Lucy and Lydia at Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, UK think that "If we were to twin with another athlete school then it would be interesting and would widen our views on sports and how differently we play them.
"We can learn from each other's experiences in sports and teach each other our different techniques."
On which athlete's school they would like to be twinned with: "Liuyang Jiao - an Olympic athlete who broke the women's Olympic record for butterfly".
Ysgol Bryn Alyn in Wrexham, Wales, tell us: "We are now debating the value of using sport in school twinning with Year 10 pupils and their thoughts are:
"'It makes me want to travel the world and experience different cultures.'
"'It raises awareness of different approaches to sport, introducing us to sports that we do not have much experience of.'
"'It makes us realise that ordinary people can be involved in extraordinary events if they have a positive approach and use the Olympic and Paralaympic Values.'"
Great stuff there - some good points.
James and Josh from Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, UK, have a question for all the Olympic Dreams Network schools online today.
"Our school was not part of the Olympic Dreams Network and we want to know: were you able to choose any athlete you wanted or was there only a selection you could choose from?"
Ysgol Bryn Alyn in Wrexham, Wales also have an answer to our question at 1133. They are twinned with the school attended by US gymnast, Shawn Johnson.
"We, at first, were focused on the sporting link. However, now we have built on our introductions and we are hosting our link school's orchestra in March (68 American Students are coming over!)
"It has been amazing to share ideas, cultures and experiences - from swapping recipes and curriculum work (letter writing is one example).
"London 2012 was so special as we could share it with (partner school) Valley Southwoods - and they enjoyed following our preparations for this worldwide event".
A really interesting summary there - sounds like a partnership that developed further than the sporting roots that started it off.
Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, UK, have been thinking about our debate point (see above) about which athlete's school they would be twinned with!
"We would choose Oscar Pistorius because he is a massive inspiration towards people with disabilities. It gives the disabled people more confidence to express their personalities and their abilities in sports and life".
"Even though Oscar Pistorius didn't have any legs, he still managed to come 4th in the Olympics - but in the Paralympics he managed to fulfil his dreams and win gold. This is a massive inspiration for people with a disability."
An inspiration for everyone, we think!
Bedford Academy in Bedfordshire, UK have shared another great photograph of a visit to their partner school Bishop Okiring Secondary School in Kenya!
Mason, Kian, Rachael and Beth from St Mary's CEP Primary School in Folkestone, UK have also been in touch to tell us about the benefits of school twinning. They write:
"You don't get any feelings or emotions from information that is static from the internet or books. It is more interesting when children tell us how they live their lives. It makes us feel more grateful for what we've got.
Someone might live in harsh conditions and you read it on the internet, but if you're talking to them and it is a real person it helps you to understand that it's another person and not just a robot."
St Mary's CEP School in Folkestone, UK, have more to say about the value of school linking:
"(It helps) you understand how other people live their lives compared with you. In some countries, children start work at 14 and in other countries girls don't always go to school, which we don't think is right."
Adding: "When you get really lovely work in from children with few facilities who send in amazing letters, it makes you want to do your very best when you reply and meet their standards of work."
They've sent the pic in below so we can see what they mean!
Kate, Chris, Becky, and Beth, from Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, UK, have a really nice response to our question at 1133.
"In reply to the question 'Does twinning with and athletes school make the partnership better?', we feel that although it may be an interesting opportunity, we feel that it's the long-lasting partnership rather than the celebrity aspect of the link that's important.
"We are, however, paired with many different schools around the globe, and we enjoy meeting these people on exchange trips. It's important to learn about traditions and culture in other schools and countries."
LATEST UPDATE: One hour and half-way in to today's live schools debate about international school partnerships and twinning, and it's been fantastic so far hearing about your twinning experiences.
Just a reminder that you can also ask other schools online about their experiences by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
Kamla Nehru Public School in Phagwara, India have got in touch to tell us that the famous athletes' schools they would twin with are Usain Bolt's and Michael Johnson's.
Who would you choose? Let us know by emailing email@example.com
Pupil Emily from Highfields School in Derbyshire, UK, tells us: "We were lucky enough to have the head teacher from St John Fisher school visit our school for the Olympic Torch Relay!
Teacher Sarah Needham adds: "Having this connection has really inspired many students at our school and when the torch arrived at our school on 29 June, (partner school St John Fisher) head teacher very kindly was there to share the experience with us.
"Having this connection has spurred many students on and we look forward to supporting (former St John Fisher pupil and Olympic swimmer Emily Seebohm) in future events!"
James and Josh from Upton-By-Chester High School in Chester, UK have an answer to our question (1133) about the benefits of twinning with the school of a famous athlete. They write:
"We think it does make the partnership better because it allows the students of the athlete school to pass on advice and experience on to the partnered school.
By doing this they build better relationships within the school community allowing students to excel and achieve in their favourite sports.
It also gives the students in the non-athlete's school the teaching and a different aspect of learning to what they are normally used to."
Ysgol Bryn Alyn in Wrexham, Wales have emailed in with a great pic from their Olympic Dreams partnership!
"Attached is a photograph of 'Team Shawn Johnson' at the Iowa Hall of Fame in Des Moines, USA.
The British staff from Ysgol Bryn Alyn, Erasmus Darwin Academy and Herbert Thompson Primary School visited with their link school staff and students.
This is us standing by a bronze of Shawn Johnson and a display about her achievements. It was a truly amazing trip and we are looking forward to hosting Valley High's orchestra in March 2013. The Olympic Legacy continues!"
Let's hear more from Bedford Academy students about their partnership with Bishop Okiring Secondary School in Kenya:
Alom tells us: "I've been able to have new experiences from our international link, like meeting the Kenyan head teacher and a student from Bishop Okiring with polio called Alex.
"Meeting Alex inspired me as he has faced so many challenges and overcome them."
You can find out more about Alex's trip to the UK and visiting Bedford Academy by watching this film.
Lakiesha in Year 10 adds "It's great to find out about how schools in Kenya operate. The similarities and differences - for instance we have lots of IT and computers while our partner school doesn't.
"Their students are really enthusiastic and value their education".
Just a quick reminder - if you want to join this discussion, or have any questions about international twinning for the schools already online, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll feature your comments right here on this page!
Teachers can also send in their pupils thoughts via our Facebook page or tweeting using #worldclassdebate.
St Mary's CEP Primary School in Folkestone, UK who have just finished a live video link with one of their twin schools in Georgia have shared a list of athletes they would like to twin schools with:
"Olympians we would like our school to twin with include Mo Farah, Micahel Phelps and Ye Shiwen"
Let us know which famous athletes school you would like to twin with by emailing us at email@example.com
Bethany from Highfields School in Derbyshire, who were twinned with the school attended by Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm, says: "We enjoyed watching and tracking her progress over the summer, where she won a gold and silver medal in various swimming events".
It's really interesting to hear the views of Bedford students (1145). What about other Olympic Dreams Network members?
Perhaps you were interested more in the sport at first, but the partnership became more important as time went by?
We'd like to know!
Bedford Academy pupils in Bedfordshire, UK, have an answer to our question (see 1133):
Lakiesha in Year 10 tells us: "Having an athlete as part of our school twinning partnership was interesting in the lead-up to London 2012 so we could hear the views of those aspiring to compete at the games.
"Also to see how the students of Bishop Okiring were inspired by one of their former students competing at the games."
Alom in Year 9 adds: "Its not the main thing to have an athlete part of our partnership. It's pretty good to have an athlete involved as it's fun to find out about how they made it to where they are.
"But the main thing is to share ideas with our partner school and to discover all about them and their country".
Teacher Jayne Allen has written in from Highfields School in Derbyshire, UK, to talk about their involvement in the Olympic Dreams Network!
"We were twinned with St John Fisher School in Brisbane, Australia attended by the Olympic swimmer Emily Seebohm.
"What an amazing journey we have had. I was able to go over to Australia to visit the school we are twinned with and great links have been established.
"Our school here has a sports leadership academy and we are now supporting the school in Australia to develop this there.
"The twinning has been amazing and brought many more opportunities to the school than wecould ever have dreamt of!"
Vijaya International School in Agra, India write:
"If our school could twin with the school of a famous athlete. We would love to twin with the school of Jamaican sprinter, widely regarded as the fastest person ever 'USAIN BOLT'.
He is the first man to hold both 100 metres and 200 metres world record. He has also set a world record with his team in 4x100 metres relay. He is the first man to have six Olympic gold medals in sprinting and five times world champion."
Pupils from the Russian Olympic Reserve School in Yekaterinburg, Russia, have sent in some comments about their involvement in the Olympic Dreams Network before the debate - let's hear what they have to say.
The school was attended by high jumper Ivan Ukhov, and they are twinned with Redruth School: A Technology College in Cornwall, UK.
Student Mirzoyan says: "I liked participating in the Olympic Dreams Network partnership immensely. Because of the participating I have become more popular among the mates.
"I have learned a lot about the project, and communicated with the twin school. I had been waiting for the film with my participation to feature on BBC site with such an eagerness.
"And also it was so interesting to watch other project participants from all over the world featuring in films. I'd like to participate in this project once again, to visit twin school, to get acquainted with students, to watch how it works myself.
"Having participated in this project I have broadened my mind and also as a person I have become more well rounded."
LATEST UPDATE: We're half an hour in to today's live debate and schools around the world are talking about the value of international twinning and partnerships.
World Class have a question for you all. Sport has played a part in the partnerships of several schools online today. Does twinning with an athlete's school make the partnership better? Or are other aspects more important?
Khaitan Public School in Sahibabad, India have got in touch to share their thoughts on the benefits of school twinning. They write:
"We are proud to be associated with our partner school from Sri Lanka Sujatha Balika M.V.Matale. Our pupils have gained so much culturally, informatively from them and appreciate their assistance. Khaitan pupils love to see images of their culture and dance forms and this partnership is a start for our long term collaboration together."
Teacher Mr Cox at Bedford Academy (see 1118) tells us: "Before we became part of the Olympic Dreams Network we had never had an international partner before.
"Our partnership with Bishop Okiring in Kenya has been amazing. It has really had an impact with our students and staff.
Learning about each others' countries and cultures. It has encouraged our students to share their backgrounds and cultures also."
If you'd like to ask Bedford or any of the other schools about their twinning experiences, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish your question right here on this page.
A warm welcome to Ysgol Bryn Alyn in Wrexham, Wales - another member of the Olympic Dreams Network!
"We at Ysgol Bryn Alyn have been twinned with Valley Southwoods Freshman High in West Des Moines, Iowa, where (gymnast) Shawn Johnson attended.
Our Year 9 Pupils think that having this link made the London 2012 Olympics even more special because we were twinned with a school that already had an Olympian.
We learned a lot about the Olympic Values and how these can help make a difference in our lives."
A quick reminder to teachers that you can also contribute your pupil's opinions through our Facebook page or by tweeting using #worldclassdebate - if that's your thing!
Hello and welcome to Felsted Prep School in Essex, England!
Renee from Year 5 writes: "It would be amazing to follow an athlete to Rio in 2016. We should follow an up-and-coming athlete, because we can relate to someone younger with similar dreams to us."
Felsted Prep School are already following a British wheelchair athlete, Nikki Emerson, who attended their Sports Day and spoke at the school's Speech Day. She is aiming for the triathlon in 2016.
To share your thoughts on the benefits of school twinning email us at email@example.com
Pupils at St Mary's CEP School In Folkestone, UK, are sharing their thoughts about learning from other pupils around the world!
Momi likes finding out what life is like for children in other schools worldwide.
Emily and Ryan enjoyed their video/conference to a school in Wales and think, "It's important to connect with other schools to see how we can help out across the world."
And Beth thinks, "Linking and learning about the different cultures in schools in different countries is really beneficial. I enjoyed linking to Kenya last year and finding out about the Olympic Dream swimmer Achieng Ajulu Bushell."
Hello to Bedford Academy in Bedfordshire, UK, another member of the Olympic Dreams Network, which twinned athletes' schools with schools in the UK!
They are twinned with Bishop Okiring Secondary School in Kenya, which was attended by sister and brother distance runners, Linet and Moses Masai.
In fact, the school is world-famous for producing distance runners. Bedford have send in this great pic of Kenyan representatives visiting their school!
Kamla Nehru Public School in Phagwara, India have been discussing the benefits of school twinning.
Simran writes: " The benefits are learning their skills, new ideas, life style and cultural heritage."
Nishant adds: " We can share their ideas and culture."
Thanks very much guys! What do you think the benefits of school twinning are?
Greetings to St Mary's CEP School in Folkestone, UK - part of the Olympic Dreams Network!
They are twinned with the old school of UK swimmer Achieng Ajulu-Bushell, who has since given up the sport to concentrate on her studies, and are also twinned with other schools around the world.
Mason, Kian, Rachael and Beth are online this morning and tell us:
"It's good to see how their lives are compared with ours. We can see how much more challenging it is for athletes in other countries to get to school or to achieve anything at all.
You get to learn about their culture more if you really link with a school, as books don't always portray the real message... It is better to get pupils' own opinions on things."
A big World Class welcome to Wunshan Senior High School in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. They write:
"If our school could twin with the school of a famous athlete, we would love to twin with Michael Phelps' school because he is the most decorated Olympian of all time.
We can learn a lot from him such as how he trained to excel at swimming and who is always there to support him doing this."
In honour of our Olympic Dreams Network guests (see below), we're asking schools: if your school could twin with the school of a famous athlete, who would you choose?
Our other debate point today is all about partnerships: What are the benefits of twinning with another school in a different country?
To take part in this debate, just send your answers and any other thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello to you all! It's a frosty morning in West London, and the World Class office could really use a roaring fire and some free woolly jumpers.
But we're not complaining - especially when there's a great schools debate coming up. Today, we're looking at international school partnerships and linking - and how students can learn from their counterparts across the world.
We'll also be joined today by members of the Olympic Dreams Network - in which the schools of Olympic athletes around the world are twinned with schools from the UK!
30 minutes to go alert!
There is just half an hour left until today's live schools debate!
We hope you're all raring to go. If you're unfamiliar with these live debates, it's easy to take part - all you need is an internet connection and some pupils.
Full details on taking part can be found below.
DEBATE TIME: Thursday 13 December, 1100-1300 GMT
Join pupils around the world on 13 December to discuss international school linking and partnerships.
How it works
In class, watch the films on the right and discuss the debate points above to get your pupils thinking.
This debate will have some special guests - schools in the Olympic Dreams Network. These schools were twinned with the schools of Olympic athletes in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
What would you like to ask them about their experiences?
And if your school could twin with the school of a famous athlete, who would you choose and why?
Come back to this page at any time between 1100-1300 GMT on Thursday 13 December to share and discuss your ideas by emailing them to email@example.com.
We'll publish pupils' opinions right here, allowing schools to respond and converse in real time.
Some helpful tips are available in our teacher's guide to live debates. We aim to include as many contributions as possible.