Milford-on-Sea CE Primary Academy & Kushadevi Model School - Sister Schools
Through our links with local charity Freedom to Learn, we have been paired with a school in the Kathmandu Valley.
The school is in the village of Kushadevi and it is a priviledge to be involved to be paired with such a forward-thinking government school.
Proudly known as the Mushadevi Model School, the aim of the staff is to provide an education, in English, that is on a par with the Private school system - in short, to show other government schools how to breathe life into their curriculum and provide a quality education for children from the poorest backgrounds (who can argue with that?).
The Sister Schools project has been running for just over six years now and during that time we have undertaken countless live video links with the children in Kushadevi; formed groups of 'Friendship Ambassadors' in both schools and shared information on key events and festivals that shape the lives of the two schools. Our children have also been involved in helping to raise funds to support our friends in Kushadevi, such as doing a sponsored climb on the anniversary of the devastating earthquake which affected many families in and around Kushadevi.
So far, our support has helped to provide a library and begin to stock it with books in both Nepali and English!
An important part of the Sister Schools project is the exchange of knowledge and educational practices between the staff at the two school and back in 2016, Mr Willis went out to Nepal to visit the school and support the staff through training - see below. We hope that this year we may be able to send Miss Walton out to work with the wonderful teachers in Kushadevi.
Phase 2 planning has been beset by issues, but visa-permitting, we hope to welcome either the director of the Model School Project, SK Thapa, or one of his dedicated teaching team to Milford in the near future too!
In the meantime, our 'connecting classrooms' project continues apace with live-links between the two schools. 2018-19 saw us move from Friendship Ambassador live-links to individual class live-links, where classes of pupils from both schools have a chance speak 'face-to face'; share some learning and ask questions of one another. Our conversations and connections are given a shared structure each year by adopting one of the UN Global Goals as a theme. In 2018-19 Global Goal 6 - Clean water and sanitation provided the theme and in 2019-20 we capitalised on Greta Thundberg's media presence and used UN Global Goal 13 - Take Action for Climate Change as our theme (take a look at an overview of our Face-time sessions, below).
Unfortunately the programme of Facetime sessions was cut short by COVID-19 school closures, both here and in Nepal - Kushadevi has been forced to close three times! We were just getting started again last year when the Panauti region entered its 3rd Lockdown, so once again we were unable to run a full program of Live Links. However this year we are excited and keeping our fingers crossed that all our classrooms can be connected through this amazing project. See below for further details:
If you want to find out more about the Sister Schools Project, or are interested in supporting the valuable work of the Freedom to Learn charity, please do not hesitate to come in and speak to Mr Willis, or visit the Freedom to Learn website.
What's New for 2022-23?
This year we are excited to re-connect each of our classes in a slightly different way. Because many of our children have 'lost touch' with each other over the last few COVID-interrupted years, it seemed the right thing to do to re-launch the project and re-establish the partnership, focusing again on UN Global Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals. Our project this year will be to make videos on aspects of school life to share with each other; watch them before the live link session and then use the connecting classroom conversations to ask questions thrown up by what they have seen and learned.
As each classroom connection happens, a brief write-up will appear below, so keep coming back to this page to keep up-to-date with our programme of live-links.