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Calibre Academy had established a partnership with The Edward Richardson Primary School, a primary school in Lincolnshire District,UK in the year 2006.Five years later this relationship has blossomed and strengthened to the extent that the two schools are looking at the possibility of this give and take for another five fruitful years! This year Mrs Gomathi a Social Science teacher and a batch instructor of the fifth standard along with the GSP co-ordinator,Mrs Nalini Subramanian visited The Edward Richardson Primary School.The whole week was spent in 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 creation of simple sculptures with bio degradable and bio non degradable material,sharing of a traditional story from each country and planning on how to present it,creation of a ‘BUG BOOK’ depicting the various bugs in both the countries and comparing and analyzing the insect life of the two countries etc. Since the Head Teacher of the school,Mr. Andrew Hyde was keen on both Gomathi and Nalini presenting various facets of India to the children, the two of them had carried several power point presentations depicting the various faces of India. A tour of the neighbouring counties had been organized by the management of the Edward Richardson Primary School. The visits to different castles took us back in time and mentally we compared them to the life styles of our Maharajas. At school we were allotted classes to observe teaching methodologies and to interact with the students. We made a note of all the activities that the students did. We could look at the similarities in some. We could also show them how we, as Indian teachers dealt with certain concepts. A lot of ideas were exchanged. We were also assigned classes to talk about India and had to face a volley of questions on India, all pertaining to the existing poverty and backwardness in our country. The children could not fathom an India which had developed to the extent it has with so much of poverty existing simultaneously. Visits to different schools in the area had been planned and those were eye openers for us. The first was a nursery school at Skegness, a place which is known for its beach in the Lincolnshire District. Children from 4 weeks to 4 years are taken care of here and we were introduced to various interesting activities specially designed for the children of various age groups according to the needs of the age. The main intention is to make the children self reliant, confident and decisive. The Kirkby-on-Bain Primary School is primarily a Church school being supported by a the Church of England. The children here were full of curiosity about India. What was surprising was the fact that they knew about Sachin Tendulkar,Shilpa Shetty of the Big Brother fame and about the ‘hatred’ between India and Pakistan. Apart from this we were treated to scrumptious dinners at various local inns or at the houses of several staff members of the school.This gave us an opportunity to interact with the families of the teachers and we realized that whatever maybe the culture or the country, the middle class believes firmly in the values of respecting the concept of a family and the responsibilities and commitment that come with the setting up of a family.We also witnessed a comedy play at one of the plush theatres at Louth,one of the small villages in the Lincolnshire District.The Lincoln castle was regal to view and the famous Lincoln cathedral was a place one can never forget. The week ended with us cooking a vegetarian Indian meal for all the teachers of the Edward Richardson Primary School.The verdict need not have been delivered verbally. The act of the guests licking their fingers was good enough for the two of us!
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