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Redbridge teacher exchange with Indian school a real hit

PUBLISHED: 13:59 08 October 2015 | UPDATED: 13:59 08 October 2015

From left; Business teacher Agnelo Mendonca, Thaybah Abbas, Sarvan Chudda, Demetris Kyriacou, Esha Ilyas, Salwan headteacher Indu Khetarpal, Nishanthan Sriskandarajah, Loxford learning support assistant Rehana Chitbaha and Salwan teachers Chhavi Sinha and Angela Ameer. Picture Ellie Hoskins

From left; Business teacher Agnelo Mendonca, Thaybah Abbas, Sarvan Chudda, Demetris Kyriacou, Esha Ilyas, Salwan headteacher Indu Khetarpal, Nishanthan Sriskandarajah, Loxford learning support assistant Rehana Chitbaha and Salwan teachers Chhavi Sinha and Angela Ameer. Picture Ellie Hoskins

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Teachers from India visiting an Ilford school this week as part of an exchange project gave pupils an insight into the day in the life of their students.

Salwan Public School's head teacher talking to Loxford pupils. Picture Ellie HoskinsSalwan Public School's head teacher talking to Loxford pupils. Picture Ellie Hoskins

Organised by the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms project, Loxford School of Science and Technology and Salwan Public School, New Delhi, India have collaborated since 2012 involving more than 10 projects. This has led to pupils in each school learning about each other and their different cultures.

Agnelo Mendonca, business teacher at the school in Loxford Lane, Ilford, spoke about the benefits for students. “Some classes such as geography have investigated how climate change and migration affect India,” he said.

“Business studies has looked at ethics and compared shopping habits in the UK to those in India.”

The pupils also learned what a day in the life of a child in each country is like.

Loxford pupils share their learning experiences with teachers. Picture Ellie HoskinsLoxford pupils share their learning experiences with teachers. Picture Ellie Hoskins

Mr Mendonca added: “Activities in this area explored why a pupil enjoyed living in India and why another enjoyed living in London.”

The two visiting teachers explained how some of the projects shared equivalent cultural icons and landmarks.

Chhabi Sinha, Salwan school co-ordinator said: “Our activities have also looked at the River Yamuna [in India] which is similar to the Thames.

“We also looked at the work of Rabindranadh Tagore who is India’s equivalent to Shakespeare.”

The partnership has been so successful the British Council published a benchmark case study on the schools and have designated Loxford as a Global Learning Programme “expert centre”. Mr Mendonca also received the council’s Global Teaching Award.

Indu Khetarpal, headteacher of Salwan said: “There is a lot of diversity to be shared when visiting each other.

“We get to see best practices and gain knowledge of where we can improve.”

It’s the final year for the three-year programme that has made such an impact on pupils.


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