Reach South Africa with its partners in Africa is working to develop school-based twinning projects. We aim to develop extending learning communities that build partnerships between schools and the communities in which they operate. Our long-term vision is to create equal friendships where both sides of any link support, cooperate and share best practice, benefiting a generation of people.
- UK based school contacts Mida International to request an overseas school partnership. (See Form for information of the details we require.)
- Mida International sends possible schools that match the request.
- Mida International and both schools, using a school based coordinator, work with each other to test the viability of any partnership.
- If both schools decide that a partnership is viable ‘partnership’ will be established.
- Reach South Africa will support both sides of the partnership in collaborating in joint projects.
Reach South Africa is currently looking at the viability of a web-based portal to aid collaboration.
We do not charge for supporting or establishing partnerships. However, as a charity we rely on donations to continue funding our work.
School twinning is all about building a partnership: you can expect ups and downs, challenges and surprises, so here are some guidelines:
Prioritise communication: It helps to have two named contacts in each school in case the link coordinator is unwell, or changes job. Decide how you will contact your partner school - post, phone, text, email, fax. Plan how often.
Set objectives: What do you each want out of the partnership? Agree objectives for each school - they may, of course be different - twinning works when both schools benefit.
Set yourselves a target for success: Again, these may be different for each partner but need to be discussed and understood. Don't commit to something unrealistic. Where big distances are involved, you will probably need at least a year to work together. Why not commit to a year and take the chance to explore a longer partnership?
Share information: Don't overlook the basics including term times, school year plans, school development priorities and available resources within the school. The more you share up front, the better your mutual understanding, and the easier the partnership.
Share a project: Kick-start the relationship in a positive and practical way, work together involving the pupils, and raise the profile of what you are doing by telling the rest of your school about the partnership.
Evaluate resources: There are bound to be differences in the resources available. Find out whether costs such as stamps or phone calls can be met. Don't assume anything. NB you may find yourself in deep water if you muddle school-twinning with charity-based work. Make sure you share school development two ways - always look for an equal partnership.
Coping strategies: Be prepared for misunderstandings or delays, and discuss how you will deal with them. There may be big differences in experience and culture. Be accepting, and if things aren't going well, try and find out what's behind it.
Sustain the link: Once you've started the partnership, it will need fuel to keep going. If you make it work for your school's core needs (ie get it into the curriculum), if you get support from the whole school ( ie tell everyone what you are doing, encourage them to get involved) then you'll find it easier to feed the fire!
Evaluate the project: Plan how you and your partner school give each other regular feedback. Celebrate your successes.Reach South Africa with its partners in Africa is working to develop school-based twinning projects. We aim to develop extending learning communities that build partnerships between schools and the communities in which they operate. Our long-term vision is to create equal friendships where both sides of any link support, cooperate and share best practice, benefiting a generation of people.