Our Lebanon Project
Westrop School’s Lebanon adventure
During the last academic year, Mrs Christopherson successfully linked Westrop School with Loubiah Public School in South Lebanon. This was achieved through the British Council’s Connecting Classroom Programme. Connecting Classrooms is a global initiative to explore a number of social, environmental and cultural themes with the link school. Once contact was made, Mrs Christopherson managed to secure funding through the British Council to enable the Lebanese link teacher, Miss Farhat, to come and visit Westrop School. Miss Farhat will be spending the first week of term 4 visiting Westrop, observing lessons and telling the children in each class what school and life is like in Lebanon.
As part of the preparations for Miss Farhat’s visit, each teacher with their class completed a mind map of questions they’d like to find out about Lebanon. Mrs Christopherson also shared a power point about Lebanon, teaching the children where in the world the country is, what languages are spoken and what Loubiah School looks like.
To make further links between the schools, children in Shell, Octopus, Dolphin and Seahorse classes drew a picture of a view from their bedroom window to send to the children in Lebanon. Children in Jaguar and Panther class created a half complete leaflet about themselves to be sent to similar ages children in Lebanon to complete and also made a video of Westrop School. Kestrel and Osprey classes created leaflets about the United Kingdom. Miss Farhat will take the children’s work back to Lebanon and share it with the children in her school.
We will continue to post updates as this new partnership develops.
Our Lebanon Project Part 2
During week 1, Miss Taghread Farhat from Loubiah Public School Lebanon, spent the week at Westrop School. During her visit, Miss Farhat spent time with every class. She observed and took part in many lessons including English, Maths and Science across the different key stages. She also took part in phonics lessons and attended assemblies. Loubiah School does not offer the same range of curriculum subjects as Westrop School. There are no music or PE lessons and the school does not have a hall, so there are no assemblies. The school library was much admired, as were the interactive whiteboards.
As well as observing lessons, Miss Farhat spent time chatting with each class, answering their many questions about Lebanon and showing the children the bag of Lebanese artefacts she had brought with her. The children were shown Lebanese money, tasted Lebanese food and learnt that the first alphabet came from the Phoenicians of Lebanon.
Some classes were able to try some Lebanese cooking and Panther class had fun trying out a Lebanese dance.
Miss Farhat commented many times about how enquiring the children of Westrop are. She enjoyed looking at the children’s work and took many photos of the school to share with her own school.
The next step of the partnership is for Mrs Christopherson to travel to Jordan with a group of UK teachers and to meet up with teachers from Jordan and Lebanon to discuss future projects and learn about the Middle Eastern education system.
Lebanese school receives our gifts
Mrs Christopherson’s visit to Jordan
Bottle Top Collage
Last year, the children at Westrop School were fantastic at collecting thousands of bottle tops. We were collecting these bottle tops for a joint project with our Lebanese school using the theme of reuse and recycle. At the beginning of this school year, all the children created a design for the bottle top collage. Two designs by Rosie and Gemma were chosen and merged to make one design of a large collage of rolling hills, trees and sheep with hot air balloons floating overhead. Sticking on the bottle tops took a long time, but the children preserved and we are all very pleased with the end result.
British Council Connecting Classrooms
During half term (February 2017), Mrs Christopherson and Mrs Greening went on a British Council Connecting Classrooms visit to Amman in Jordan. The purpose of the visit was to provide an opportunity to compare approaches to teaching in the UK with teaching in the Middle East, the main focus being how to deliver core skills to young people e.g. through deeper questioning and critical thinking.
We were part of a group of about 25 teachers from the UK and we were joined by teachers from Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq. Of the four days in Amman, three were spent in the hotel conference centre where we were able to share our expertise and discuss the work we do in our schools. Having had an active partnership with Loubiah Public School in Lebanon for the past three years, we were able to share lots of the amazing projects we have done at Westrop School. Miss Farhat, from our partner school in Lebanon, was very pleased to receive a copy of the bunting that Koala Class made about ‘Rights of the child’ that we have displayed in our school foyer.
The second day of our visit included a visit to a boy’s school in Amman which was set up for Palestinian refugees and built by the American government. The English lesson that we watched was amazing, especially as apart from the text books, there were no resources in the classroom. The teacher impressed us with his level of questioning and how he got his students to think.
It was a really interesting week and it was also fantastic to share ideas with teachers from around the world.