Sri Lankan teacher exchange at Ribble Valley high school

Sri Lankan visitors come to St Augustine RC High School, Billington
Sri Lankan visitors come to St Augustine RC High School, Billington

Special guests from Sri Lanka were welcomed by St Augustine’s High School, Billington, for a week at the beginning of the month.

Three Sri Lankan teachers, who were part of the Connecting Classrooms Project, visited classrooms and gave demonstrations to pupils in textiles, food technology, geography and religious education, giving a flavour of life in Sri Lanka to pupils.

The visit follows a trip to the Badulla Girls’ School in Sri Lanka, earlier this year by a number of staff from East Lancashire schools, including, Mr John O’Ryan, head of ICT at St Augustine’s. While in the Sri Lankan schools, Mr O’Ryan was very aware of the lack of facilities and on his return to the Billington school, he organised a fund-raising effort, which allowed him to present the visitors with an Apple iPad in the school assembly. The Sri Lankan teacher, Mrs Chitra Gunawardana, was delighted with the presentation and thanked all of the pupils for their generosity.

“Seeing the differences between Sri Lankan schools and British schools was amazing.” said Mr O’Ryan, “The iPad will make a huge difference to the teachers at the Badulla School and we hope that the links we have made with the staff and students continue to develop over time.”

Connecting Classrooms is a global education programme, which offers funding and resources for school partnerships, professional development for teachers and the opportunity to share best practice with colleagues in the UK and more than 50 countries throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americans. Already, pupils in both schools have exchanged letters through the pen-pal scheme.

Mr John O’Ryan presenting the iPad (and an apple!) to Chitra Gunawardana from the Badulla Girls’ School in Sri Lanka. (s)