Connecting Classrooms

Connecting Classrooms is British Council’s flagship global school programme co-funded by UKaid from the Department of International Development. Connecting Classrooms is the overarching programme that supports schools through its work in areas  namely school-to-school partnerships, professional development of teachers with face-to-face and online courses, school leadership, International School Award and policy engagement. By working directly with policy level officials, school leaders and teachers, the programme will reach 5000 schools across India by 2015 creating enriching teaching-learning experiences in schools and ultimately developing global citizenship and 21st century skills among the young people in schools.

Some of the significant projects and activities under Connecting Classrooms include the International School Award recognition for exemplary global education in school, Professional Development workshops, online courses and action research accreditation for teachers, School Leadership Development courses for headteachers, collaborative projects, grant preparation seminars for school partnerships. 

Read further to get involved.

School-to-school partnerships

The Connecting Classrooms programme is committed to supporting partnerships between over 5000 schools in the UK and worldwide and to help over 30,000 schools to collaborate online. School partnerships give young people the chance to collaborate with their international peers on curriculum-based activities. By entering into a global partnership pupils as well as the teachers will gain a fuller understanding of other countries and cultures. A sustainable partnership also helps educators to share best practice with their colleagues at home and overseas and to learn from education systems in other countries. Partnerships between schools in the UK and other countries bring lasting benefits for young people wherever they live. In particular, pupils get a chance to tackle challenging global themes, explore their rights and responsibilities and prepare to work in a global economy. 

Any partnership activity should ideally be planned on the following three objectives:

  • increasing global citizenship
  • enriching education
  • developing an equitable and sustainable partnership.

To know more about the partnership eligibility, application process and the funding support, click here

Professional development of teachers

The Connecting Classrooms programme offers excellent opportunity to educators to access continuing professional development courses and resources to support the integration of global citizenship and international work in their schools. There are both online professional development courses as well as face-to-face workshops that are held from time to time. The online professional development courses are free to register and can be completed at one’s convenient time. Presently there are seven courses in which one can enrol. 

To register yourself on the British Council professional development site, click here

Global Teacher Accreditation (GTA) is a unique opportunity to gain recognition for high-quality professional practice, grounded in peer development and reflection for serving teachers undertaking development activities. The British Council and Cambridge Education Foundation, work together to deliver the GTA programme, funded by the UKAid, to promote a global dimension in the school curriculum through the development of innovative, equitable and sustainable school partnerships. The accreditation aims to:

  • provide funded access to continuing professional development (CPD), that will enable the teachers to internalise their learning from their partnership work.
  • improve teaching-learning experience as a result of introduction of global dimension within the curriculum.

The GTA scheme is open to all teachers and builds on their learning in the classroom, their knowledge of how students learn, and the impact of their partnership work. The teachers work on action research projects through six months based on guidelines given by Cambridge facilitators. Participant teachers are provided local mentors and training on the process and framework of working on Action Research.

Click here to read our publication "Reflective Practitioners: Journeys of Action Research from India" from Global Teacher Accreditation 2013.

Feel free to contact us at connecting.classrooms@in.britishcouncil.org if you are interested to register yourself for the global teacher accreditation scheme. 

International School Award

The International School Award (ISA) is an accreditation scheme that recognises and celebrates exemplary practices of internationalism in schools. ISA provides a framework for schools to develop an action plan and implement international activities throughout the year, and encourages schools to collaborate with overseas schools to create a rich learning experience for students through use of ICT, creative pedagogical practices and real context for learning. Working towards accreditation has a positive effect on the school, pupils and teachers by:

  • opening a window to other countries and cultures, giving teachers and pupils a new outlook on the world.
  • preparing pupils with skills for life and work in a global economy, opening their eyes to new opportunities
  • creating links between teachers from other countries, facilitating the sharing of best practice and the development of new skills
  • giving your school a fresh and attractive identity, and a new globally conscious ethos.

ISA was piloted in India in 2003 and today more than 1200 schools in India have been accredited. To know more about the International School Award, drop an e-mail to isa.india@britishcouncil.org

School leadership

With the rise in demand for leadership training across India, British Council has designed a Leadership Development Programme for senior school personnel such as school principals. The modular programme will culminate in the award of certificates for those participants who successfully complete each module. It will also be offered with the award of a Postgraduate Certificate, validated by an award-bearing institution of high repute.

The Certificate in Leadership programme will offer an opportunity to the participants to reflect on their professional practice and to engage, at an advanced level, in a study of the practice and theory underpinning the role of leadership in their own particular contexts. The programme is designed to provide participants with a rewarding experience in a lively intellectual and social community, as well as to deepen their understanding of current practices and research in the field of leadership. It aims to help them to further develop themselves as professionals so that they can contribute to the development of leadership in their local and wider context.

Do visit the Schools Online website to remain updated about the Leadership Development Programme.

Policy engagement

The Connecting Classrooms programme has a dedicated strand for policy level engagements. The target audience for policy level engagement is policymakers and senior practitioners who we expect to develop an enhanced understanding of international best practice. The primary purpose of such engagement is to facilitate and engage in strategic level discussions with decision makers and influencers to ensure that our interventions support education policy in the UK and the rest of the world. This will enable us to make the greatest difference possible to the millions of young people with whom we work. A policy-based approach is the most sustainable and cost-effective way of doing this as Ministries and other institutions benchmark their own approaches against others’ in order to adopt, embed and mainstream the outcomes of collaborative work.

 

The following are the five priority themes for policy level engagement:

  • Leadership and governance
  • Quality assurance (QA) and accountability
  • Teacher training
  • Continuing professional development (CPD)
  • ICT in education.

There is also is plenty of interest in the teaching of STEM, improving skills based learning, curriculum reform, inclusive education and trying to convince policymakers and senior practitioners of the wider programme benefits and organisational objectives (e.g. school partnerships, intercultural awareness, promoting English, etc).

 

The activities undertaken to achieve the laid objectives include:

  • study visits to/from the UK
  • roundtable policy dialogues
  • education conferences
  • focus group discussions.

If you are a policy maker or senior practitioner, please visit the Schools Online website on a regular basis to update yourself of any policy-level conferences and seminars.