20/11/2013

Promoting CCCP!

I haven't gone mad! I'm not about to proclaim a Peaple's Republic of Park House!

CCCP emblem

I appreciate that anyone born after 1990 may be struggling with my reference to the CCCP!

For those that weren't born - or don't remember - CCCP is the Cyrillic spelling of the USSR, the old Communist Soviet Union.  I was a History teacher once upon a time, and had the challenge of teaching A Level students about its collapse in the early 1990s. That hadn't been planned when the syllabus was written!

But for me last week those four letters have taken on a new meaning and resonance.

I used them to describe milestones the journey that we have been on with our colleagues in partner schools in Baghdad over the last three years: Core, Creativity, Community, Partnership.

Many of you may have seen the widespread  coverage of last week's visit from 23 Iraqi Headteachers and education officials across the media: BBC Radio Berkshire, BBC World Service and an interview with Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio 5 Live. The BBC TV coverage can be accessed via the following link:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-24961250

It gives a great overview of what has been a truly unique international learning programme, moving though each of the 'CCCP' stages.

Core

It all started with a core focus. Building on the popularity of sport in Iraqi, as any, society we were one of five schools given a brief by The British Council and Youth Sport Trust to work with two schools in Baghdad to develop more student-centred approaches to PE teaching.  In particular the aim was to develop direct student involvement in their learning as sports leaders - very much as our own students train to lead PE lessons in our partner primary schools. 

Creativity

The incredibly positive response of the wonderful PE staff in our link schools was such that we we soon able to harness their creativity to apply the approaches initially developed in PE to other curriculum areas, most notably Maths and Science. 

Community

Having successfully established creative curriculum links across a range of curriculum areas, the next stage of the programme has involved supporting schools in relation to the wider community role. This was of course the focus of my Blog from Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq on 6 October, where I spoke to over 50 Headteachers and officials about the educational benefits of community club and business links.

Partnership

The culmination of the programme was last week's extended delegation visit, representing not only the strength of our international partnership but also that now established between the family of schools in Baghdad who have now worked on similar approaches to the enhancement of teaching and learning through as cascading of the original 'core' focus.

The CCCP a started with may be an anachronistic expression of one county's past; the one I've just described is very much much a vision of another's future.

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