Sister school partnerships have a significant positive effect on the global awareness and attitudes of students.
Effective sister school partnerships can have a profound and positive impact on a range of areas of education. This includes:
- Student learning.
- Teacher capability.
- Curriculum, including language learning and intercultural understanding.
- Whole school improvement.
- Community Engagement.
From Headteachers to their staff, contributions made to intercultural understanding within the school community is what we found the most commonly reported benefit to these partnerships. Also followed by an increased understanding attending of one’s own culture and country.
For students, benefits included:
- Development of intercultural understanding and sensitivity.
- An appreciation of different points of view.
- Development of 21st-century skills to enable critical thinking.
- Cross-cultural collaboration.
- A positive attitude to diversity.
- Greater competence and confidence in language learning.
- Communication skills and renewed enthusiasm for language learning.
- Enhanced information communication and technology skills as students interact through wikis, blogs, and Skype.
- Tangible illustration of the concept of global interconnectedness incorporating authentic collaborative learning activities.
- Opportunities for students to locate and explore common ground.
- Unique intercultural element to collaborative learning.
- Development of cross-cultural communication.
- Diplomacy skills and a deeper understanding of international issues.
- Development of international friendships and networks.
- Increasing awareness of and comfort level with different styles of teaching.
For staff, benefits include:
- The opportunities to benchmark practice against other school systems.
- The development of intercultural understanding and sensitivity and an appreciation of different points of view.
- Increased awareness of different education systems. This includes pedagogies and curriculum.
- Greater competence and confidence in language learning and communication skills.
- Strengthened information and communication technology skills.
For the community, benefits include:
- The development of global networks and perspectives and with the flow-on effect of internationalizing the ethos of the whole school community.
- Raising the profile of language learning across the community.