The winner of the 2016 SMP Member Award
for School impact is....
St Margaret's High School
Please describe your Malawi link.
Although we have several projects in Malawi including our own orphanage, female farming cooperative and the development of health and well being and education in a boys prison, education and female empowerment remain our main focus.
In our partner school, Chisitu CDSS, we have sought to improve teaching and learning through ICT by providing laptops, projectors and pen drives(covering every contemporary subject) along with setting up a Girls go for Health group and Mother group. In addition to this we have built a science lab in the school and provided sports equipment, training and coaches to the school.
The role of the Girls go for Health group is to ensure that female attendance improves and we have set them up in a few small businesses to fund this. This Mother group, who we have also set up in business, tracks down females who have stopped attending and seeks to encourage them to return.
Female attendance and achievement have improved through our partnership. This is also aided by our pupils directly addressing groups of their malawian peers to encourage the benefits of education
How does your partnership advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
We actually are hitting a number of Global Goals including:
Good Health and Wellbeing
Peace Justice and Strong Institutions
It is important that we try to achieve as many goals as possible to consolodate on the work we have done and build a solid base for future development. Gender equality and education are our main focus and we have made significant progress within these areas.
Which of the SMP’s ‘Partnership Principles’ do you think you excel at?
By providing practical resources for education and actively allowing and encouraging females into education, we are building a platform for younger females to attend school to follow on from their older peers.
We have looked at alleviating some of the personal and cultural barriers, preventing female education, while promoting social and sporting.
Our use of ICT in teaching in Malawi allows progression at minimal cost and ensures continual development of resources.
Congratulations to all the runners-up below:
Of course, the SMP isn’t really about competition between members, with winners and losers: we know all our members have an incredible story to tell about how they’re transforming lives through dignified partnership.
We hope the Member Awards are a fun and engaging way to help members tell their story, and of celebrating the impact all the many people-to-people links are having.
Glennifer High School
Gleniffer High School and Dzenza Primary School have a unique friendship, which has existed since 2007. Over the past 9 years we have achieved so many positive goals, from increasing Dzenza’s school roll by 400 learners through our school refurbishment programme; increasing the number of females attending school by building toilets; opening GHS’s young peoples’ eyes to cultural differences through our sustainable expedition programme; to exchanging learning and teaching techniques between staff. People comment that the work that we do to refurbish the classrooms at Dzenza Primary School has a huge impact on the learners at Dzenza, but, what they don’t realise is, the experience changes the learners in Scotland too. By sharing our cultures, being kind to one another, making new friends, and seeing the pupils at Dzenza use and enjoy their new classrooms, our learners bear witness to moments that both sides of the partnership will never forget.
Girls Rising Malawi
Girls Rising Malawi is an organization working to encourage girls education in Malawi through education sponsorship programm. We also work to empower women through small scale grant scheme where women are given small scale grants work $150 per family in Mzimba district for them to start small scale businesses. We train them business management,couching and record keeping before providing them with grants.
Alongside this,we also work to sponsor needy orphans with school fees in secondary schools as well as clothing needs. We also work to reduce school droupouts and absenteeism for girls in primary schools by providing them with sanitary pards and constructing changing rooms in primary schools. We also work to provide school feeding programm in schools to help the poor needy children to be returned in schools.
We work with secondary schools in Blantyre and Liwonde. They research barriers to education in their community and then raise awareness of these barriers. They give talks, write to authorities, put up posters…... Meanwhile, our pupils research barriers to education in Scotland. The two schools swap results and inform their school of the findings . Our pupils then take action by lobbying our government, setting up pupil scholarships, starting petitions…… The following year pupils research another Global Goal which impacts on education.
- improves local opportunities for education
- showcases the importance of education within their community
- gives all students a greater insight into local social issues and a greater commitment to improve their own and each
- other’s communities by working together
It provides a unique perspective on issues in a specific community and provides the opportunity for the Malawian students to be the leaders of change.
Janice Jamieson Memorial Foundation
We have formed links with a Head of Department at a further education college in Lilongwe. Working with Dr Bhanda, local Head teachers, families and community the Foundation is able to identify young people with academic ability, who do not have the means to access secondary and further education. Once we have identified the young person, and with agreement, we are able to provide sponsorship. This sponsorship allows them to access and complete secondary and further education.
Only in existence for a year ; we have successfully found sponsorship for twenty three young people. Our work is driven by the belief that education provides young people opportunity to develop skills, independence, confidence, academic ability and so reach their full potential. Assisting them to change their lives and have a positive impact on their community.
We have established positive links in Malawi. We have dedicated and committed trustees and belief that as an organisation we can make a real difference to young people lives.
Kingussie High School
Kingussie High School has been linked with Muloza CDSS since 2008. The two schools are located in similar landscape (granite massifs) and size of school (c. 400 pupils). The link has become more important than just the schools and over the years we have developed some strong relationships amongst staff and members of both communities. We have worked together on a variety of curricular projects, including HIV, climate change, sporting activities and lifestyle comparisons. Staff exchanges have allowed collaborative working. We have had three very successful trips to Malawi and from Malawi involving young people.
What drives our work are the opportunities that the partnership offers the young people to explore a culture very different to their own. Curricular links help to give pupils a real feel for some of the challenges faced. Visiting the country allows interaction and hence a mutual understanding between young people.
Our partnership with Thawale has existed since 2009 and during that time a great many things have been achieved. Shared learning has taken place on several topics - Global Citizens in the Making ( Values Education), Stories from Around the World ( literacy project) , Why Do We Go To School, Health... to name but a few.
Reciprocal visits have taken place to build trust and mutual respect and a better understanding of our education systems and culture in general.
Here at Lockerbie a staff and pupil committee meet regularly to raise awareness of the link in school and in the wider community. We endeavour to facilitate shared learning regular fundraising event and have successfully avoided the donor-recipient pits falls which can occur.Over the years the focus has always been to improve teaching and learning and money has been raised for example to build a Mary's Meals feeding station, to install a solar powered lap top ( though this project has been plagued with difficulties), to provide basic materials - pencils and jotters and our most recent aim was to provide scholarships for to two learners to attend secondary school.
Our values are one of trust and mutual respect with the emphasis at all times on how to improve the learning experiences of pupils in both school. I think we manage quite well despite obstacles.
Malawi Leaders of Learning
The program trains teachers on leadership skills that enable them to handle their schools efficiently. It is also involved in establishing libraries in partner schools to enable pupils improve their vocabularly and speak English fluently. MLOL partner with Malawian teachers sharing teaching strategies for four weeks. This has proved effective because the methodologies are shared instantly.The fruits of the partnership are are shared to other nearby schools that emulate what Scottish and Malawi teachers practice in order to increase enrolment in the schools.
St Mary's Primary School
Our partnership with Chikuli Primary began in 2014 when one of our class teachers met the head teacher of Chikuli Primary whilst she was teaching in Malawi. Our partnership stands out as it is equal, and both sides contribute and benefit. It is extremely successful as a result of good communication between our team. We have provided smartphones for teachers and set up a ‘What’sApp’ group. This enables all partners to send pictures/videos and provides opportunities to share learning.
We have worked in partnership with Chikuli Primary on a number of interdisciplinary projects including: the Global Goals, Fairtrade and Children’s Rights. For example, whilst learning about their right to play, Chikuli Primary pupils sent us instructions and video clips explaining some of the games that they play in Malawi, and we sent parachutes and a games pack, so that they could play some of our games. These learning opportunities have helped us achieve Fairtrade and Rights Respecting Schools Awards.
St Matthew's Academy
As a Catholic school we promote Gospel values of love, understanding and respect, central to this is our partnership with Saint Peter’s Secondary in Mzuzu. We are in regular communication with our partners and both schools benefit from the partnership.
Some examples of our work follows:
- A number of two way exchange visits , us visiting Mzuzu, the following year St Peter's visiting St Matthew's, an opportunity for sharing good practice and CPD between staff and collaborative learning between the students
- Approximately 90 students each year have their schools fees paid by our scholarship scheme.
- A penpal project between the schools
- Language and culture lessons in both schools with video messages and pictures from each being shared.
- Raised funds to build and equip classrooms, currently a science lab is being built with funds raised by both schools.
- Textbooks and science equipment have been donated.
Stockbridge Primary School
We have developed our link based on mutual respect. We began by mapping our Curriculum to identify where we could explicitly link our learning and teaching. We share our Curriculum Map annually with our Partner school and through discussion determine how children will share their learning. Each class identifies a topic through which to explore and compare life in Scotland and Malawi. We also choose an annual whole school focus. These have so far included a Music Making Workshop, creating instruments from re-cycled materials and holding concerts, which we filmed and shared, and our Edible Hedge project - growing fruits and vegetables in our playgrounds for pupils to taste and sell to raise funds. The impact of our work so far has been that children in both schools have an increased awareness of each other’s life experiences and a better understanding of our similarities as well as our differences.