Last December, Barry Comprehensive welcomed two teachers from Juaben Senior High School, Ghana to the school and the local community to strengthen the Global School Partnership between the two institutions.
Eighteen months ago, Barry Comprehensive Art teacher Miss McCormick travelled to Ghana to develop an international link on multicultural education. Since the initial visit the project has grown tremendously with teachers and students across the curriculum becoming involved in the initiative. Through a successful application for funding from the British Council and fundraising within Barry Comprehensive, the two Ghanaian teachers were able to leave their country for the first time and visit Wales.
During the visit Mr Frederick Berchie and Mr Emmanuel Tumfour followed a lively timetable of lesson observations, cultural trips, staff meetings and extracurricular activities. Through these activities staff established a strong working relationship and shared information about their diverse cultures and teaching styles. The Ghanaian’s enjoyed trips to the Senedd and The Museum of Welsh Life and were particularly impressed with a tour of our local churches given by school governor Mr Graham Ellis.
Staff and students welcomed the Ghanaian teachers into their classrooms, and for the first time were able to ask them direct questions about their culture and traditions; gaining invaluable information and context that goes beyond Internet search engine results.
Rhws Primary School hosted our guests during their annual exhibition of Year 6 Art work, which was based on Ghanaian culture and included work created during a year 6 visit to Barry Comprehensive. Louise Lynn, Head Teacher of Rhws Primary School, was delighted to welcome our visitors and spoke highly of the art work and discussed ways the primary school could participate further in the international partnership.
The charity ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ invited the Ghanaians to their annual presentation event at Cardiff City Football Club. Miss McCormick had contacted the charity for support, as she wanted to challenge the stereotypes held about African people. In a project with the charity, both schools collaborated on a winning competition entry that celebrated cultural diversity.
The week finished with the Ghanaian teachers presenting Mr Swallow, who had supported the Global School Partnership from the outset, with a traditional hand woven gown and hand carved stool on his retirement.
On February 7 Helen McCormick returned to Ghana with Dale Gamble, Head of Chemistry, to strengthen the partnership further and begin delivering the classroom based activities which have been formed collaboratively. The teachers were both weighted down with supplies donated by friends, colleagues and organisations including the NASUWT and Show Racism the Red Card. Mark Stock, director of local company Paternoster Consulting, generously donated a laptop with the aim of improving communications between the two schools.