The school is part of a group that has worked in partnership with a cluster of Iraqi schools through a British Council programme aimed at building trust and cultural understanding. The programme offers funding for joint projects and professional development for teachers and school leaders.
The cluster in Northern Ireland is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education. NICIE Professional Development Officer, Paula McIlwaine speaking about the visit, “This link through the British Council enhances the global connections between integrated education and education in other cultures, bringing an international dimension to the school curriculum.
“This visit to Iraq has provided further context to the link between the schools by providing an opportunity for face-to-face meetings and planning between the teachers as well as an opportunity to meet the pupils involved in the project in Iraq. It has helped to break down stereotypes and given an insight into day-to-day life beyond the television headlines.”
In Northern Iraq a busy programme was organised, providing not only a flavour of school life but also of the rich diversity of history, culture and traditions. For the local schools this international partnership, which has been developing over the last three years, provides a context for a Connected Learning theme, enabling pupils to connect with their peers through a variety of curricular areas.
It also supports the Northern Ireland Curriculum objective of ‘developing the young person as a contributor to a global society and economy.’
All schools involved in the cluster look forward to carrying out the plan for the final year of the funded project but intend that their relationships should grow and learning