Connecting Classrooms - Skype Day

 On Tuesday 14 May, approximately 100 Arthur Mellows students were able to take part in a Skype event with our partner school in Kenya, Mianzini Mixed Secondary School.  This event was part of the Connecting Classrooms project which was launched earlier this year, when Miss Banks and Mrs Gray went to visit Kenya. The Connecting Classrooms project is sponsored by the British Council who have been able to partner hundreds of schools worldwide. As we continue to strengthen our international links as a school, we hope our link with the school in Kenya continues to grow; this was a wonderful opportunity to stay in touch. 

Students from Mianzini Secondary travelled by bus to a local school called Mary Mount where they were able to connect to Skype. They had 4 laptops each connected with a webcam; in Arthur Mellows the Skype took place in the Library. Students from Years 7 to 11 were involved in the day and 3 students from each Tutor Group prepared 10 questions. Questions were based on different topics including school, home life, entertainment, lifestyle, politics, law and health.  From the wide range of questions, we now know a lot of new and interesting facts about what life is really like for students in Kenya. 
 The Skype worked well and students were very patient throughout the day. The connection was not always good, and sometimes it was hard to hear what the Kenyans were saying. Occasionally it was hard to understand them, however the students were fantastic; being prepared helped them in this situation. The students learnt so much about the way of life in Kenya and they were surprised by the lifestyle that the Kenyan students have.  Many students found that they had a lot in common in terms of hobbies and entertainment. However, the school day was one area where contrast could be seen, in Kenya the school day is 7.00 am until 5.00 pm with extra-curricular dance, music and drama classes after school.
At many points throughout the day students did not want to stop skyping; they now have many more questions that they want to ask and they are already looking forward to the next event.
 Some comments from students:
  • 'They have watched, Iron Man 3, I haven’t watched Iron Man 3 and I’m always going to the cinema!’
  • 'We got to actually speak to them, we got to learn things we would not learn on Google’
  • 'It was interesting, new and different. I really enjoyed talking to someone in a different country’
  • 'They like playing basketball, ping pong, and lots of other sports. They do drums and some like watching TV and all of them like playing outside and love school’ 
  • 'They generally like and do the same things that we do’
  • 'They support Man City!’
  • 'They don’t have MacDonald’s’
  • 'They are more focused around school and country life rather than media and friends’
  • 'It was interesting and worth the wait’
  • 'They help their family more’
  • 'They have twice as many people in their classes’
  • 'In Kenya if you don’t get good grades there is no second chance, you will not get a good job’
  • 'The experience was exciting because we were talking to someone all the way from the other side of the world’
  • 'They all enjoy school’
  • 'We felt nervous but excited. But we were glad we did it’
  • 'A bit guilty because we take life for granted’
  • 'They are similar to us in their hobbies and what they do in their spare time.’
By Mrs Gray, Music Teacher