Collaboration with Thailand
The Faculty of Education hosted a visit by the senior management team of Prasarnmit School, Bangkok, Thailand. The school is a Thai public school and is 60 years old. During the last 12 months they have been working with Srinakharinwirot University to set up an international school to run alongside the traditional Thai school and curriculum. The international arm is being developed to model best practice and will allow children from age 4 – 19 to gain an international education whilst still being immersed in their Thai culture.
The School approached Manchester Met because of its reputation in training outstanding teachers and for the quality of educational research. They hope to collaborate around student experience by offering short term exchanges that are part funded, and accredited and non-accredited professional development programmes for existing staff.
Trainee Secondary Teachers Go International
Students studying for a PGCE in Secondary Education were given an opportunity to spend four weeks overseas as a part of the enrichment phase of their training. Students from across the Secondary PGCE programme applied to go to British International Schools in Kazakhstan, Norway and Cyprus, and public schools in Orleans France. As places were limited, competition was fierce.
This is only the second year that the Faculty of Education has offered an international experience to secondary teacher trainees, beyond those studying to teach languages. The students spend their enrichment phase focusing on educational issues that are of a personal interest, or gathering more evidence to ensure that they meet the Government’s standards for teachers. All of those going overseas had expressed an interest in developing an international perspective of education and wanted to gain some experience of teaching in international schools, with a view to future employment. On their return, they each made a short presentation about their experiences to peers and staff.
Their experiences were very different depending on the country and school they visited. James Riley, representing three students who were hosted by Haileybury Almaty, Kazakhstan commented: “We received a very warm welcome…it was an unbelievable experience that provided an excellent introduction to teaching.”
Three students also went to the British International School Stavanger (BISS), Norway. The three were all trainee geography teachers who welcomed the opportunity to experience the Norwegian culture and the physical geography of the region. They certainly experienced the physical geography as they accompanied school pupils on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions across what they described as ‘challenging terrain’. Despite the challenges, Alistair Hill representing the students who here hosted by BISS commented: “The international enrichment was a fantastic finish to my MMU course. The BISS was a fantastic school and the staff were fantastic too!”
PGCE courses traditionally have no opportunity for students to spend time overseas as a part of their programme, so this experience could be considered unique to Manchester Met. Therefore the Faculty and the students would like to extend its thanks to the principals and staff at : The British International School Stavanger, Norway; Haileybury Almaty, Kazakhstan; The Junior and Senior School, Nicosia, Cyprus; and the University of Orleans for the French public school experiences.