Aprender is linked with a number of schools and other education institutions in the UK
We offer a different type of school partnership compared to traditional international links.
Our link schools are called BRIL schools (BRazilian International Link) – and they are BRILliant!!
BRIL schools are better able to:
- Embed global dimensions into the curriculum
- Improve awareness of global issues
- Enhance learning experiences
- Engage students
- Contribute to whole school ethos and school improvement
- Contribute towards teachers’ CPD.
Poor schools in Brazil often lack the technology and organisation to communicate effectively with the UK. Aprender effectively bridges the gap and facilitates understanding of culture, language and every-day life. We offer a different approach that we know will benefit your school community.
What partnership involves.
Firstly, partnership is a two-way relationship. It is about the mutual exchange of ideas to benefit both school communities.Secondly, partnership involves increasing understanding of different cultures. Thirdly, it also involves helping us reach our objectives – transformation of learning so students can move out of poverty, and us helping you reach your cross-curricular objectives too.
So what could you do?
The ideas of what you could do are really only limited by imagination and practicalities. Aprender is not about introducing more work for teachers but augmenting and supporting things that staff would do anyway. We feel this approach is more liberating, motivating and ultimately satisfying. Because we are happy to go at your pace, there is simply no pressure on you to do ‘another activity’ or fill in more paperwork. We’re ready for more when you are.
Ideas for school activities
Both schools agree a theme. It could be:
- My environment
- A view from my window
- My life
- When I think of your country…
- Olympics and beyond
Students, for example one class, in both schools then paint pictures based on the theme. It could be drawings, collages, photos. The key is to keep it flat!
Both schools then send their paintings to each other. Schools are expected to pay for the postage.
When the package arrives in your school, the class involved set up an Art display in their school of the other schools’ work.
Both schools open their display to the rest of the school and maybe to parents too. Both take photos of people viewing the art, maybe some video too. Both schools electronically send their photos/images and maybe some reflections to each other.
Both classes in both countries see their own work on display in another country, feel proud and inspired and this provides a stimulus for discussions about similarities and differences.
Aprender acts as the ‘middleman’ in all of this, helping communication, keeping both parties up to date and trouble shooting where necessary.
You use the link you have with Aprender to generate information in the form of statistics for a project or theme. You use these ‘real figures’ to help students understand other cultures. Your students are more engaged because the information has been specifically generated by students in another country just for them. It then provides more opportunity for discussion and dialogue.
Examples could be:
- How do you travel to school?
- Weather data
- A questionnaire about community needs
- After school activities
- Questionnaire about favourite TV shows
Generally, you, or even better, your students generate the questionnaire or survey sheet. You can even show them how to use Google Translate and have both languages on the sheet (we can correct any mistakes this end). The best questionnaires are where there is a numeric response rather than lots of writing (less translation too!)
Students operate in a strongly visual world. You could choose a topic such as ‘Transport’ . We would contact one of our schools and ask them to arrange for a group of students to take photos (digital) of what this word means to them, from their perspective and environment. Your students could do the same and then swap. This again provides a great stimulus for projects and discussions. For example, it would be really interesting for you to ask your students to write down what images they think they will see when the results come through and then compare preconceptions with realities.
Key things to consider.
- Be open.
Generally we don’t link you with one particular school. This is mainly because the schools in Brazil lack the infrastructure and effective communication to facilitate what you would consider a classic school link. We build a confederation of linked schools and can easily facilitate spreading work across it depending on the nature of the project, age, stage etc.
- Be aware.
The schools with whom you will be sharing information are public schools. Private schools are better placed to form links but our charity works with poor students. We also feel that this will give your students a greater insight into the reality of the majority of children, not just the privileged minority. Many of the young people will come from extremely challenging backgrounds.
- Be simple.
When producing materials for the Brazilian school to complete, keep the amount of writing to a minimum. Use pictures where possible and simple English.
- Be patient.
Even with Aprender’s help, sometimes the information will take a while to get to you. We recommend that you plan well in advance. Send us what you want to do. We’ll act as the main liaison point and send you the information as soon as we have it. Large file sizes are usually transmitted by a virtual storage device such as ‘dropbox’.
- Be happy!
Just the fact that there is another school in another country that is interested in them is hugely motivating for Brazilian schools. Public schools are normally at the bottom of the pecking order. You’ll be giving them something that the vast majority of private schools won’t have. They will be so encouraged by you and your school. You’ll send smiles across the miles!!
Please click here to see our School Link leaflet in pdf form.
If you would like to become a BRIL School click here