Bishop Challoner School uses Skype to jump 5,000 miles to a classroom in Zambia

Children at Lusaka's Ng’ombe School in Skype link with pupils at East London's Bishop Challoner Seco

Children at Lusaka's Ngombe School in Skype link with pupils at East London's Bishop Challoner Secondary [photos: James Johnson] - Credit: Bishop Challoner Sch

Pupils at an east London school have liked up with a community school in Zambia 5,000 miles away using Skype and Twitter as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme. Staff members Ciara Tidy and communications chief James Johnston from Stepney’s Bishop Challoner Secondary visited Ng’ombe Community School in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, to set up a dialogue between both sets of students.

Children at Lusaka's Ng’ombe School in Skype link with pupils at East London's Bishop Challoner Seco

Children at Lusaka's Ngombe School in Skype link with pupils at East London's Bishop Challoner Secondary [photos: James Johnson] - Credit: Bishop Challoner Sch

“This was a successful trip, with both schools talking to each other,” James explained on their return this week.

“Showing two schools communicates a window to each other which really makes the world a little smaller.”

Pupils in both schools have been emailing each other and have completed a joint art project about their local communities. The finished artworks now hang in both schools.

A song was recorded by Bishop Challoner Jazz band and drummers from Ng’ombe. A prayer was written as joint collaboration which was recited simultaneously—after calculating the different international time zones!


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Students talked to each other through Skype, giving tours of their schools.

Year 11 girls danced via a video link to drummers from Ng’ombe.

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The Zambian children were taught to use Twitter on an iPad, so that both schools could communicate directly on a joint account.

N’gombe head-teacher Catherine Changai said: “We’re grateful for what our friends in Britain are doing, thinking of us. Bishop Challoner has brought happiness to these children and made them into leaders.”

The Connecting Classrooms week follows a visit that Zambian teachers Carly Ciake and Leah Dixon made to Bishop Challoner in London last year.

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