Finding the right partnership is a key step in developing your school’s international dimension. British Council Schools Online enables teachers from around the world to make contact, establish collaborative links and enrich their schools’ international work.
Your school profile
Once you’ve registered for British Council Schools Online you can access the School Search and your own profile page. It’s important to keep this information fresh and relevant. The more you can tell potential partners about your school and your aims the better. A vague profile might lead to a bulging inbox of unsuitable contacts so complete your school profile carefully and thoroughly.
Follow this process:
- Make sure you fill in all the fields so that we can update you with relevant information e.g. seminars.
- Outline the projects or topics that your pupils are working on. If you have particular curriculum requirements, make them clear from the start to avoid confusion later.
- Be flexible. You need to find the right school, but that doesn’t necessarily mean one that’s very similar to yours. For example, a UK primary school could benefit hugely from a link with an overseas secondary school where the children are keen to practise their English.
- Submit the form. Newly updated schools are returned at the top of the search listings.
So what kind of partnership are you looking for?
Easy first steps
If all this seems a bit daunting it’s OK to start off small. A simple exchange of postcards, or some other way of swapping photos and greetings, might suit your school at the moment.
You’ll find friendly schools that are keen to make contact in the forums. Remember, finding the right link teacher is more important than the choice of country – after all, you’ll be working closely together.
A project-based partnership
Perhaps your school would like to take part in a project or programme and needs to find a suitable link school. If you’re keen to establish a project-based approach planned around curriculum development, the forums and school search can help with this.
A supported whole-school partnership
Ideally, internationalism in the curriculum is something that needs to be planned and supported by the whole school, rather than an individual teacher. Partnerships that start in a burst of enthusiasm can weaken without whole school support.
A long-term, planned and sustained school link means you and your partner school can depend on each other to participate in learning activities. You can fit around each other’s curriculum needs and cope with setbacks. A short-term informal partnership may be great for a one-off activity but it may not have these benefits.