Developing Global Citizens through Meaningful International Partnerships

The Calibre Academy started by Madhuvanthi Arun and Arun.K.Vaddi in 2006 at Chennai, has in its short history forged some dynamic partnerships on both the national and international front. The forerunner to all these has been its partnership with Edward Richardson Primary School at Lincolnshire in the UK. The partnership was first encouraged by the British Council through the Exchange Grant and then given official recognition and support by the council through the Curriculum Grant as part of the Global School Project. Thanks to the support and the dedication of the teachers from both countries, it has reached a rewarding 3rd year and is ready to set and achieve loftier goals.

Madhuvanthi Arun, Correspondent, Calibre Academy, says, “Over a period of 3 yrs we’ve had about 6 mutual visits. It has become possible to work, analyze and improve on the partnership and achieve long-term results. We would now like to take it forward and explore the advantages of student visits and exchanges.”

Two teachers from Calibre Academy, namely, Mrs. Rama Narayanaswamy, Head Teacher and Mrs. Nalini Subramanian, GSP co-ordinator, visited Tetford in September 2009, as part of the Curriculum Grant exchange wherein they spent a whole week exchanging ideas on sharing of curriculum and innovative teaching methodologies apart from deciding on the agenda of the five main collaborative projects to be carried out by both the schools on Food and hunger,Water,Terrorism,Recession and role of films in a child’s life. Both of them also took classes for the children of Edward Richardson Primary School.

Subsequently, two of the teachers from our partner school, Edward Richardson Primary School visited us as part of the same Global School Partnership programme. Mr. Andrew Hyde, the Head Teacher of the school and Mrs. Tracy Lynam, a primary school teacher were here from the Jan.31st - Feb. 6th, 2010. As part of their visit here, we had arranged for them to observe some classes in our school as well as be a part of our school project being put up by our students on Water, Food and Hunger, Recession and Terrorism. They were also taken to some important places in Chennai such as Kalakshetra, Dakshin Chitra, The Museum, a couple of Indian weddings, a Bharatanatyam Dance recital etc. just to give them a flavor of the culture and traditions of India in general and Tamil Nadu in particular. This gives a deeper understanding and proper context to the exchange of ideas and implementation of projects.

A Press Meet was arranged for, on the 5th of February at Hotel Savera, for which representatives from both British Council and British High Commission were invited. Mr. Mike Nithavrianakis, The British Deputy High Commissioner in Southern India accompanied by his wife promptly arrived for the Press Meet at 7 p.m.Mrs. Maya Sivakumar, Senior Trade and Investment Advisor, British High Commission, was also present.Samyuktha Balakrishnan, Manager, School Projects (South India) represented British Council at the Press Meet. The British Deputy High Commissioner expressed his immense appreciation for a scheme such as the Global School Project which aimed at bringing two cultures together and aspired to make global citizens out of the children studying in schools, both in India and UK, who had become a part of the Global School Project. He wished Calibre academy well and hoped that we would achieve great success in all our endeavours.

According to Arun, Trustee, Calibre Educational Foundation, “We have been working on forging partnerships in specialized fields and will soon be announcing our partners in the fields of Technology and Design as well as Arts and Art-Education.”

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