dos and donts

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					                                                                                                                                      The Upper Office
            Communications and Sustaining Links                                                                                       The Dutch Barn
                                                                                                                                      Elm Tree Park
•   Listen to the people in your partner school to find out what they                                                                 Marlborough
    want and expect. Don't think only of your needs.                                                                                  SN8 1PS
•   Do expect your partner's needs to be different from yours.
                                                                                                                                      Tel: 01672 861 001
•   Do expect communication to take time. It is not unusual to                                                                        Fax: 01672 861 081
    hear nothing for months and for packages to go missing.                                                                           Email:
•   Don't expect your partner to have reliable email access. Many                                                           
    Internet service providers in the South are enormously
    expensive. Text messages via mobile phones may be
•   See how the partnership can support the curriculum in your
    school. Links cost money and time, so the whole school ought
                                                                              NORTH-SOUTH SCHOOL
    to benefit. School partnerships can support all curriculum
    areas.                                                                       PARTNERSHIPS
•   Involve as many staff & governors as possible - there is
    strength and sustainability in numbers and it is safer than

    relying on one individual who may leave and the link collapse.
    Don't expect to arrange everything by post. Most people in the
                                                                                        A Brief Guide and Tips
    world do business face-to-face and teacher and pupil reciprocal
    visits if appropriate make the link come alive.
•   Be prepared to respond to requests for assistance from your                                DOs and DON’Ts
    partner and don't set yourself up as experts in what they need
    or don't need.
•   Don't expect to buy friendship and gratitude by handing out
    wealth & technology.
•   Expect your partner to be aware that they were once a
    European (perhaps British) colony and to have a different view
    of the partnership to yours based on the historical relationship.

         Don't give up. Keep trying.
        Linking can be a remarkably
    rewarding experience for all involved.
UKOWLA                              DfID Global School Partnerships
The Upper Office, The Dutch Barn    The Tun, 4 Jackson’s Entry
Elm Tree Park                       Holyrood Road
Manton, Nr Marlborough              Edinburgh, CH8 8PJ                                               Registered Charity No. 1105005
Wiltshire, SN8 1PS
Tel:      +44 (0) 1672 861 001      Tel:     +44 (0) 131 524 5780            A Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England and Wales No 4153210
                                                                                                        Registered Office Address:
Fax:      +44 (0) 1672 861 081      Fax:     +44 (0) 524 5701           The Upper Office, The Dutch Barn, Elm Tree Park, Manton, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 1PS             
North / South school linking is becoming immensely popular and if             •   If you don't have a partner and can't find any local contacts with
done properly can provide huge benefits and mutual learning.                      overseas partners, try the Global Gateway website:
                                                                         There are hundreds of schools
This leaflet cannot tell you exactly how to organise a partnership -              from around the world seeking partners in the UK.
every link is individual and develops in a different way.                         Look at
                                                                              •   Don't be surprised if your partners don't welcome a link proposal
However, it does give a number of general principles and tips which               with open arms. They are probably trying to figure out what you
experience has shown to be helpful when organising a link with a                  really want, and meanwhile they have lots of other things to do!
partner school in the South (Africa, Asia, Latin & Central America,           •   A local disapora group may be able to help through connections
the Caribbean, the Pacific).                                                      to their home communities.
                                                                              •   Be patient!
         “A school link is about developing our curriculum,
                   not developing our partners”
                                                                                                 Joint Planning and Review
    "The learning process becomes direct and immediate. Pupils
    can ask questions, it brings a sense of reality, and it enlivens
                                                                              •   Take plenty of time to establish joint plans and ground-rules with
                      otherwise routine tasks."
                                                                                  your new partner. It is vital that you are both aware of your
                                                                                  motivations for linking, what you expect from the link and how
                               Motivations                                        you want to work together. Don't expect your own plans to set
                                                                                  the agenda. Your partner may have totally different perceptions
                                                                                  of what the link is all about. A written Memorandum of Under-
•     Be clear about your aims and whether a link is the best way to
                                                                                  standing is very often appropriate.
      achieve them. For example, if you want to study a brief unit or
                                                                              •   Review the link together with your partner at regular intervals.
      theme (life in a hot country, the rainforest, etc.) a link may not be
•     A successful link is a long-term undertaking.                                           Support and Help for your Link
•     To be sustainable school partnerships require commitment by
      the head, governors etc and should be included in the school
      development plan.                                                       •   Consult some of the publications available on school linking.
•     Consider the fund raising implications - teacher and possibly               UKOWLA produces a useful resource list, and our newsletter
      student exchanges are often seen as important at many stages                One World Linking has information, advice & news on many
      of a link. Can your school afford it?                                       links.
•     School linking should be about mutual benefit.                          •   Look to your local community for support not least expatriates
                                                                                  from the countries with which you are linked.
                                                                              •   Contact other schools with experience - most will happily help.
                               Starting Out                                       To find schools near you, contact UKOWLA, or the DfID GSP
                                                                                  (address on the back) who have a national database of schools
•     There may be a North-South community link in your area,                     with links.
      through which you could find a partner. Contact UKOWLA to find          •   Explore local educational resources, such as Development
      out.                                                                        Education Centres (for your local Centre contact Development
•     All English Anglican dioceses have international links. You may             Education Association), UKOWLA or other local groups such
      be able to build on these.                                                  as VSO.

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