During February 2019, Michelle Dewsall and I (Sydney Rutherford) participated in The British Council’s Connecting Classrooms project. We developed a project on Peace, Justice and Strong institutions. We collaborated with our partner school in Rwanda called Regina Pacis. Prior to leaving the country, we exchanged ideas, information and lesson planning with The Principal at the time (teacher of Religious Studies) and Deputy Head Teacher (teacher of English). Our consistent contact with these teachers helped us to develop our own bespoke project.

Pupils of Muntham House School researched Rwandan values and compared them with British values. They were encouraged to find messages of Peace and Justice through lyrics in songs. The pupils then created their own compositions and filmed them to create a video presentation. Upon arriving in Rwanda we used the video presentation to explain our message and our learning objective. The video assisted the pupils of Regina Pacis in returning a message to England. Myself, Father Jean, Michelle Dewsall, Evariste and Egide (Regina Pacis’s music teacher) collaborated and used team teach to adjust our curriculum. The pupils of Regina Pacis then created their own talent show to present to the British Council and community of Muntham House School. The talent show was a complete success and was a testament to the collaborative work from both partnering schools.

I personally found that the project helped me to develop my teaching practice. Having only taught in an English school, I was used to relying on resources and technical equipment to assist my teaching. Upon arriving at Regina Pacis I taught using only a blackboard, chalk and my own voice. I found the experience liberating, and will use multiple elements of this practice upon returning to the UK.

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