Weaving global connections: the importance of inter-school collaboration
Andy Perryer, Head of Digital Learning in Europe, offers a compelling perspective on a recent inter-school visit involving teachers from Long Close School in England and ELIS Villamartín in Southern Spain. Andy emphasises the significance of cultivating global connections and highlights the advantages that educators and students gain from being part of our global community.
Imagine a tapestry (no, not the Bayeux), each thread representing a school in our diverse group, each stitch an interaction or connection between them. When viewed from afar, the sheer number of these connections creates a pattern – a network of collaboration that enhances the educational experiences for our students globally. This is what transpired recently when a small team from the UK embarked on a learning expedition to ELIS Villamartín, a Cognita school just south of Alicante, Spain.
In this cross-border endeavour, Alex Lopez and Alice Bluck from Long Close School were welcomed by Toñi Legidos and Ciara Ryan from ELIS Villamartín. Their goal was clear: to explore digital learning in action, observe its impact on students’ experiences, and seek ways to foster international collaboration.
Guided by curiosity and enthusiasm, the visiting team was immersed in the school’s ethos, watching students utilise digital tools to amplify their learning. As they stepped into a Year 10 geography class, they saw first-hand how Digital Learning was leveraged to unravel complex concepts like renewable energy.
In the backdrop of this visit, Alex Lopez, Digital Strategy Lead at Long Close School, acknowledged, “I am grateful for the opportunity to visit fellow Cognita schools all around the world and build connections such as this one to help make a positive impact on the pupils’ learning, offering experiences and opportunities that they would not be able to get elsewhere.”
Equally thrilled, Alice Bluck, Wellbeing Lead & Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead at Long Close School, said, “It was such an honour to tour ELIS Villamartín. I am very excited to work with their wonderful staff and pupils in the future. It was lovely to have a direct experience of the global links provided by Cognita, not only to us as staff but to our pupils too.”
Their sentiments echoed Ciara Ryan, Lower School Teaching and Learning Lead at ELIS Villamartín, “The opportunity really enabled us to reflect on how we can work together for the benefit of our students. We are looking forward to some new projects together next academic year.”
As this successful collaboration between Long Close School and ELIS Villamartín demonstrates, inter-school partnerships within the Cognita family open doors to a myriad of exciting, practical possibilities.
Educators can benefit immensely from this networked approach. Sharing best practices, exchanging pedagogical strategies, and mentoring each other across borders can lead to improved teaching methodologies and ultimately, enhanced student outcomes. After all, the success of a school is not merely the sum of its parts, but the product of its connections, internally and externally.
Thus, the promise of inter-school collaboration goes far beyond a single visit or shared project. It is about building a dynamic, interconnected ecosystem of learners, educators, and institutions that harnesses collective wisdom and interweave it for the benefit of all students within the Cognita community. In this system, every interaction, every shared lesson, every joint initiative, is a step towards an enriching and inclusive education experience that prepares our students to be truly global citizens.