Tuesday 02 July 2019


Ten schools in Northern Ireland wrapped up for summer last week by welcoming delegates from Nepal.

The schools are taking part in the British Council and DFID (Department for International Development) funded ‘Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning’ programme (CCGL), which see them link with schools across Nepal in a bid to equip their pupils with the skills, knowledge and values to make a positive contribution to society.

Led by St Mary’s PS in Mullaghbawn, the ten schools welcomed their visitors through a week-long programme, including a very special showcase event at Killeavy Castle in Co Armagh. The event, filled with traditional music, dancing and song, was a chance to celebrate the achievements of all 20 schools, with each demonstrating how their joint-projects focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals - including gender equality, life on land and clean water and sanitation.

During the event, St Mary’s demonstrated how, over the last few years, they have been partnering with Jhapa Model English School in Demak, Nepal and aim to promote Gender Equality through digital literacy and coding.

Using technology, the pupils create a virtual classroom to communicate and share work with each other, and together use coding for a problem-solving project which focuses on raising the profile of girls.

Speaking about the project was Ciara Crawley, St Mary’s International Co-ordinator.

She said: “We’re delighted to welcome our Nepalese guests to Northern Ireland who we were lucky enough to visit last year.  Today’s event is a great way to share and celebrate what we have achieved together so far on this Connecting Classrooms project and we hope this is a springboard for future collaboration.

“The pupils love to see international visitors – and through project like this, not only do they learn about their own country, but also about others and it’s so important - especially now - to give them that international outlook.”

The Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme has been designed to build long-term partnerships between schools and communities in the UK and countries around the world. It runs in 29 countries, as well as in schools in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, and aims to equip pupils with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to live and work in a global economy. 

The Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme is part of an initiative that introduces the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals, to students and teachers in the UK and around the world.  The goals are designed to deliver a more sustainable future for all and include tackling hunger, providing clean water and supplying affordable, clean energy.

It provides teachers with the resources and training to teach internationally and, as part of this, partnered schools work together on a project focusing on one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and receive funding for reciprocal visits.

Also speaking about the programme Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, said: 

“Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning provides our young people with an opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to thrive in an increasingly global society.

 “The partnership between Northern Ireland schools and those in Nepal shows the huge impact these connections can have on pupils, teachers and the local community. We hope schools across Northern Ireland continue to sign up to take part.”

Schools interested in being part of the Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning (CCGL) programme can sign up and find a partner school by going to: www.britishcouncil.org/connectingclassrooms and selecting the part of the programme they are interested in, or by emailing schools@britishcouncil.org.

The next deadline for applications is 7 October 2019.

Notes to Editor

For further information please contact: 

Claire McAuley, Communications Manager: T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0) 7856524504 Claire.McAuley@britishcouncil.org Twitter: @BCouncil_NI, Facebook – www.facebook.com/britishcouncilnorthernireland 

About The Department for International Development

DFID leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. We are tackling the global challenges of our time including poverty and disease, mass migration, insecurity and conflict. Our work is building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for people in developing countries and in the UK too.  

Find out more at www.dfid.gov.uk    

Schools involved in the St Mary’s Cluster:

  • St Mary’s Primary School, Mullaghbawn
  • Holy Rosary Primary School, Belfast
  • Asssumption Grammar, Ballynahinch
  • St Patrick’s Primary School, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh
  • St Patrick’s Primary School, Enniskillen
  • Loowood Primary School, Belfast
  • St Mary’s High School, Newry
  • Saint Teresa’s Primary School Belfast
  • St Oliver Plunkett Nursery and Primary School (Beragh, Armagh, Tyrone)

About Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning (CCGL)

  • The CCGL programme is a £38 million, three-year, joint DFID-British Council programme (2018-21) which provides opportunities for pupils in the UK and in developing countries to learn about, and take action on, global issues, while at the same time developing key transferable skills.
  • The programme is co-designed, co-funded and delivered by the British Council, who will contribute £17m. DFID will contribute £21m.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. britishcouncil.org