Working With Others

Working with Others at Firle C of E Primary School (WWO)

‘Working with Others’ is one of our school values, and is part of everything we do at Firle C of E School. The relevant skills are taught discretely within the classroom alongside the PSHE curriculum, and are also supported and promoted by all members of staff throughout the school day. We have regular whole school WWO events, providing opportunities for children to work with others from different classes, often in House Groups, for example ‘Guy’ making (Bonfire Night) and the Easter egg challenge.

We believe that by teaching ‘Working with Others’ skills, the children are better able to communicate, cooperate and work together, with any member of our school community, which results in more effective learning. Key skills include using eye-contact, listening and remembering, sharing and taking turns.


FRIENDS MALAWI-LINKING SCHOOLS

Friends Malawi Project (FMP) aims at building links between schools in UK and schools in Malawi in order to provide an opportunity for teachers, students and communities to collaborate and expand their inter-cultural knowledge, form friendships and become responsible global citizens. FMP’s objectives are to:

  • Raise awareness among children and young people about life in Malawi and in UK Schools and communities and enhance understanding between peoples of the South and the North.
  • Build friendships for promoting learning and action through shared practical support in order to make lives better for all.
  • Provide an opportunity for development education to enhance the understanding of the world and global responsibility.

Origins of the FMP

The project is part of Starfish Malawi’s involvement in Malawi which started in 2003 (see www.starfish-malawi.org.uk). Chris Knott, formerly an Insurance Broker, now International Director of Starfish Malawi, visited Malawi in August 2003 following an invitation by Pastor Bob Mapemba, of Salima, Malawi, to assist in building a church. Pastor Bob Mapemba’s church group was meeting in a dilapidated school building at Kaputu. What started as an invitation to build a church became a much bigger project; to renovate and reconstruct an entire school for 300 pupils; however, the number grew rapidly to a potential roll of 2000.

Upon Chris’s return to the UK, he found that there were many other like-minded people who wanted to be part of the vision. A team was formed and Bob was invited to the UK to share his vision in 2004 with different communities in Kent. The response was excellent as schools, churches, businesses and individuals contributed generously in different ways to the goal of rejuvenating the whole community that had perpetually suffered from underfunding and poverty by starting to rebuild the centre piece of the town, the school and church.

In a period of less than two years, in partnership with the church, community and school authorities a school of 1,500 pupils has been constructed comprising 14 classrooms, three teachers houses, a library, kitchen, store room, four toilets and a head teacher’s house. One meal per day for every child was provided for each school day. All these projects were decided in consultation with the school committee, local chiefs and school teachers.

Chris has, after the initial visit, organized several teams that have visited several schools in Malawi and Pastor Bob Mapemba has often come to the UK to talk to schools. Several schools expressed the idea of being linked to the schools abroad. The idea of Friends Malawi linking schools Project was, therefore, birthed.

On Wednesday 23rd March, the whole school practised their 'Working With Others' skills. Within House Groups, the children worked in mixed age groups to design and make receptacles to effectively carry their fresh eggs across the finishing line of the egg and 'spoon' races.

Core Beliefs

Friends Malawi core beliefs are:

  • We believe in partnerships which facilitate learning about different cultures and ways of life. In so doing, we encourage that the partnerships are of mutual benefit to all involved.
  • We believe that a greater understanding between individuals, worldwide, reveals universal values, aspirations, enhances interdependence and also promotes an understanding of the global dimension.
  • We believe the schools can provide the initial starting point in the links and lead to long term, broad based and self sustaining links with the entire fabric of the communities around the schools involved.
  • We believe in the empowerment of the partners. In all that we do, we facilitate and encourage the use of the existing structures for planning and decision making about the partnerships. Wherever possible and upon request, we believe in providing capacity building support.
  • We believe in collaboration with like minded agencies and organizations to ensure good practice and sharing of ideas. Starfish Malawi is a member of UK One World Linking Association (UKOWLA; www.ukowla.org.uk), a membership organization which supports community based partnerships in the UK with communities in the developing world. UKOWLA is also a lead agency for BUILD (Building Understanding through International Links for Development), a coalition of development organizations and NGOs from the north and the south. Starfish Malawi is a partner of the BBC World Class (www.bbc.co.uk/worldclass). BBC World Class is a special BBC project aimed at encouraging UK schools to get themselves twinned with schools overseas.

FMP benefits to your school
  • We will find suitable schools in Malawi for each school in UK interested to be part of the link scheme.
  • We will provide the support to the links that have been established by employing Co-ordinators to maintain contacts between schools and ensure communication between the schools is open at all times.
  • We will manage the funds raised in the UK to ensure resources are channelled to the intended school or people and are put to proper use.
  • We will provide an educational resource pack relevant to the school curriculum with pictures, CD videos, photographs, maps, background information and activities for children.
  • We will send all the money raised through “growing bulbs for growing children” project to Malawi. No administration costs will be deducted.
  • We will assist in arranging exchange visits for teachers and other interested members from the community either from UK to Malawi or vice versa.

What we expect from your School

  • Maintain the links with your school in Malawi through communication.
  • Develop and sign, with the assistance of Starfish Malawi, a partnership agreement with your linked school in Malawi.
  • From 2007 organise annual fundraising events to raise at least £250 per year to cover the cost of linking.
  • Give feedback on the education resource pack and suggest other areas of the curriculum that would be of interest to your school.
  • Involve others about your link school, for instance, the school governors, the parents, business people, church and the community at large.
  • Make a display in a prominent area of the school using the school profile as a focus. Starfish can help with pictures.
  • Plan to organize a trip to Malawi for pupils, teachers and other interested members of your community.