The Twyford Church of England High School and Maciene School link
When I started my post as Chaplain in Twyford C of E High School, one of my first tasks was to initiate a link with a partner school in Mozambique. I couldn’t have known how fortunate I was to be introduced by ALMA to Maciene school, and never imagined how much the relationship with Maciene would enrich my ministry or contribute to the life and identity of Twyford.
The most powerful element of the link comes with the relationships formed and the possibility of seeing our life and experience in the UK through others’ eyes. Staff and students have a lively enthusiasm for their partner school and find joy in the contact we have with each other. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been times of anxiety: sometimes, there is a fear of cultural differences leading to misunderstanding; or uncertainty that comes with stepping into the unknown (like arriving at Maputo airport!) But these are overcome; and with that resolution, the relationship deepens.
Having embedded elements of the relationship between Twyford C of E High School and Maciene in the life of Twyford through the schemes of work in Music, Citizenship – RE, Science and Modern Foreign Languages, it has been possible to build on that learning through whole school events: our Mozambique enrichment day and end of term assemblies.
The link has enabled the highest level of learning, best illustrated by the UN model debate held at the Houses of Parliament, in which students from China and Mozambique spoke alongside UK counterparts. More importantly though, we know we have a partner in education, one with very different experiences – our life is fuller and more satisfying as a result.
It is a delight to produce these resources with the hope and expectation that others will share in such an experience.
Rev John Seymour
Chaplain to Twyford Academies Trust