Devon school reaches a global audience

Media meets art

Media meets art - Credit: Archant

Pupils at a Devon school are getting involved in projects overseas, as Manya McMahon explains

Media meets art

Media meets art - Credit: Archant

A state primary school in the East Devon village of Broadclyst is operating at a global level, thanks to technology and a resourceful team of teachers.

Broadclyst Community Primary School has been able to involve its 436 pupils in a variety of overseas links and projects that provide valuable cultural experiences.

Connecting classrooms

A partnership with Bekumsa Biya school in Ethiopia has resulted in regular visits from BCPS teachers, who teach there with the support of the British Council’s ‘Connecting Classrooms’ programme. Their experiences, photographs and footage have increased pupils’ knowledge and understanding of global citizenship.

Bronnie Williams and James Beevor were the visiting teachers in 2015. They introduced the Broadclyst vs Bekumsa Biya Olympics, demonstrating the use of investigation in teaching mathematical skills. They tasked the Grade 4 children with measuring their own long jumps and timing themselves running 400m, as well as recording their scores for the children of Broadclyst to compete against.

Media meets art

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BCPS is participating in an exciting two-year Media Meets Art project funded by the European Commission. The project began in Volksschule Gutenberg, Austria, and has now expanded across four other schools in England, Denmark, Finland and France. Teachers will visit each school to gain new insights and knowledge in the fields of media competence and new technologies based around the teaching of art and art history.

Teachers Lucy Lees and Chloe Farrant travelled to Austria in November 2015. They kept a blog of their trip on the BCPS website and, on their return, used some of the methods they had observed to teach the children about European artists. Year 3 and 4 children have learnt about Austrian artists Klimt and Hundertwasser, participating in activities including map-making, creating quizzes, writing booklets and critiquing artwork as well as creating art using a variety of media. They will be meeting the Austrian and French children in their classrooms via Skype.

Global enterprise challenge

BCPS was awarded $25,000 by the Microsoft Global Education Forum in 2014, to develop and run the Global Enterprise Challenge, which connects schools and children from across the world in one global education project.

Hugely motivational for the children, and exciting for the teachers, it incorporates business skills including product design, market research, manufacture and marketing. It encompasses many elements of the curriculum, putting children’s learning into a real-life context, increasing their awareness of cultural diversity and their understanding of world markets and currencies. It also hones their entrepreneurial, communication, collaboration and problem-solving skills as well as their creativity, through the use of technology.

In 2015, after six months of hard work, innovation, creativity and teamwork, the Bookmark Team from R N Podar School, Mumbai took the prize and received their award in Seattle at the Microsoft Global Forum for Education.

This year 1200 students across 21 schools in 10 countries are connected, running 10 international companies, each with 10 regional offices/teams.

The Cornerstone Academy Trust, which runs BCPS, will be extending this global approach to its new-build primary school, proposed for West Clyst, later this year. w

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