Making connections with other schools is very much at the forefront of government education policy at the moment. At Heathcote, in addition to links within the local community, we are very lucky to be able to build connections with schools overseas. Studying languages has enabled our children to reap the benefits and today we are very fortunate to be connecting with a school in the south west of France, a link which has come about because of our new website. The children worked hard to practise their lines before their performance to their French counterparts this afternoon via Skype. Next week they will be practising their French again when they visit the Europa Centre in Romford.
Such connections also allow us to be responsible, to ensure that others less fortunate than us can benefit. Last week I was privileged to attend the Independent Schools Association national conference in York with head teachers from across the country. During the conference we learned of the great work of Tim Howarth and United World Schools. Their vision is to teach the unreached, ensuring every child has the opportunity to learn how to read, write and count. They provide a free education to out-of-school children living in rural, post-conflict communities, building basic schools, training local people to be teachers and providing the first step in education for communities who can’t access any other alternative. To date they have educated around 14,000 children by building 80 UWS Schools across Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal. Together with United World Schools, ISA have pledged to raise funds in order to establish a new school for Pong Tek – a remote part of Cambodia. Needless to say I didn’t hesitate to sign us up.