The Upper Office Communications and Sustaining Links The Dutch Barn Elm Tree Park Manton • Listen to the people in your partner school to find out what they Marlborough Wiltshire 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: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org • Don't expect your partner to have reliable email access. Many www.ukowla.org.uk Internet service providers in the South are enormously expensive. Text messages via mobile phones may be appropriate. • 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 ukowla.org.uk email@example.com 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: www.globalgateway.org.uk. 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 www.bbc.co.uk/worldclass. • 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 appropriate. • 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.