Global Dimension News
In September Thorpe was granted the International School Award which is a nationwide accreditation which lasts for 3 years. This is in recognition of all our International work and Global links with South Africa, China, Zimbabwe and Abu Dhabi across the world and Empingham and Great Casterton village primary schools closer to home.
Last year Mrs Akhtar made a trip to Golden Apple School, Shanghai to meet the pupils there and share a typical day in the life of a Thorpe school pupil. Some older Chinese students made a return trip to visit us in the summer and taught some classes Chinese writing and also spoke about their daily lives. This was an enriching experience for all our students.
The School Council and the Globe Trekkers Club visited Empingham and Great Casterton Primary schools last March. They all had an opportunity to meet and interact with the pupils and also to share about Thorpe. In the summer term Year 3 visited Empingham and had their lunch with the children whilst on their ‘Studying and Comparing a Local Area’ trip. The Reception class from Empingham also visited our Reception children at the end of the summer term.
Global Partnership with South Africa
Since 2009, Thorpe Primary has been privileged to have a global link with Pinetown Senior Primary School in Pinetown, South Africa. The whole school has been aware of our partnership but it has been the children in Key Stage 2, Years 3-6, that have predominantly taken part in the scheme. All children in these year groups have a named pen pal in Pinetown Senior Primary which they keep for 4 years in order to develop a relationship over 4 years through half termly letters. The two schools have also been exchanging work which has been displayed in respective schools or used as information texts for project work e.g. Leaflets on endangered animals exchanged in year 4. During 2010 we were lucky to achieve a reciprocal grant to enable a teacher from each respective school to visit each other. Miss Meier from Pinetown visited Thorpe and Mrs Cutler visited Pinetown Senior Primary. Thorpe has been extremely fortunate, and through a lot of hard work, to achieve a Connecting Classrooms Joint Curriculum grant for the last 3 years. This has funded a joint project with Pinetown Senior Primary and also has enabled 3 of our teachers to travel to Pinetown, South Africa and 2 South African teachers to visit us.
Pinetown Senior Primary School
Pinetown Senior Primary School is a large urban school situated in Pinetown, approximately 25km inland from Durban, South Africa. It is placed in the centre of town near the main shopping street. Pinetown is also an industrial area with many of the children commuting in from outlying towns and villages. The school has grades 1-7, with a remedial department and a special needs unit. It has a mainly African intake. The school grounds cover several playing fields as well as cricket nets, a swimming pool, netball courts and a cross country track.
‘Dreams’ – a collaborative project between Pinetown Senior Primary and Thorpe Primary
Thorpe’s Connecting Classrooms joint project grant is to enable the two schools to work together on a project that encompasses an aspect of Global Education. We are collaborating under the heading of ‘Dreams’. This started in September 2012.
For the first year Mrs Cordes headed this project. The children discovered through poetry and drama their own personal dreams for the future and that their dreams were shared by the Pinetown children. A joint poetry book was produced. We received a visit from Mrs Rajah from Pinetown in November 2012 and Mrs Cordes flew off to South Africa Easter 2013. This project culminated in an assembly which took place simultaneously in Thorpe and Pinetown in our summer term.
Last year, 2012 – 2013, Year 2 of our 3 Year project, we moved the project on to 'Dreams for our School' and both schools concentrated on how to make the school a better place. We planned to develop the Dreams Project through music and performance, using as a starting point the song 'Children of Tomorrow' which was taught to Thorpe and the whole school was recorded singing it. This was then taken to South Africa by Mrs Tipping and the song taught to the whole school there and also recorded so the two schools are able to sing together about global dreams across the world.
Also Mrs Tipping, on her visit to Pinetown, taught some pupils the song 'I sing the body Electric' which talks about becoming one, recognising own strengths, celebrating yourself and how individuals can make a difference to the whole world. She also taught ‘Hey Mr miller’ which is a favourite of Thorpe and now Pinetown! These South African pupils elected to stay after school to learn about the global issues in the song and put together the performance. This culminated in a performance to an audience made up of the rest of the school and an elderly community group and was also recorded and shown to the whole of Thorpe in an assembly on Mrs Tipping’s return.
In addition to all this, Miss Anderson, Deputy Head Teacher also visited Pinetown Senior Primary and she launched a Fair Trade project across the two schools. As soon as the idea was introduced by Miss Anderson in the first assembly before the visit to South Africa was made, the Thorpe students took to the idea eagerly. This gathered steady momentum during the school year. As this topic has been rolled out across Thorpe school, it has been keenly taken on board by all staff – teaching, office, cleaning and catering. After a pupil audit, the children interviewed key members of staff. Mr Armstrong, the site manager, has promised to look out for some Fair Trade cleaning products, the office staff has made the switch to Fair Trade tea, coffee and sugar in the staff room and Mrs Cresswell, the catering manager, is gradually including more Fair Trade products in the kitchen. Two teaching assistants organised a Fair Trade coffee morning for parents with Fair Trade cakes and biscuits. Leaflets and recipe cards prepared by the pupils were handed out for Fair Trade information at this event. Mrs Tipping who had visited Pinetown, took a group of six Year 5 children to a Fair Trade conference at a local school. All of them were extremely enthusiastic when they returned and brimming with ideas for us to do at Thorpe! Miss Anderson took the work and ideas along to Pinetown and taught lessons on Fair Trade in Pinetown.
We are now in Year 3 of our collaborative project with Pinetown Senior Primary School and this year the schools will be reflecting on what we have achieved already and moving on to 'Dreams for our school in the local community'.
A teacher from Thorpe will also be visiting South Africa in February.
Thorpe and Pinetown have closely collaborated and decided for the next year to have a three pronged plan to achieve our goals.
Earth Care – in order to achieve the goal of caring for the earth and making the learners aware of this, we have decided to teach permaculture gardening (growing our own food that is eco-friendly). In both Pinetown and Thorpe schools permaculture gardening will become more developed and the children will become more aware of its benefits and reasoning. They will be more actively involved and taking responsibility for growing indigenous plants and sharing the value of what they are growing and why.
Watch for photos of our produce!
People Care – this will involve ‘Dreams for our cities’ that is, how our schools can improve our local communities. We are hoping to achieve awareness in the pupils that dreams for the community are universal. In order to do this Thorpe and Pinetown pupils will be consulted in what they think the important issues are in their respective communities. We will suggest litter free campaigns in and around the schools. The children will be actively involved in the planning of and execution of their ideas. Another dream could be a safer local community around the school with respect to traffic and road safety. Thorpe also plans to get involved in a local housing project to improve communal areas where our pupils play and live.
Fair Share – the schools will continue with their Fair Trade ethos and education. Thorpe will be applying for the third part of the Fair Trade awards in order to become a Fair Trade school. Thorpe plans to embed Fair Trade Fridays and next year plan activities in the universal Fair Trade fortnight. Pinetown will also join in the Fair Trade fortnight and we will be sharing our work.