Sri Lanka Twin Project
Diklkumbura Sri Siddhartha twin school link
We began our link project in 2007 with Dikkumbura Sri Siddhartha in southern Sri Lanka initially as a response to the tsunami disaster, after a visit there by our headmaster, but the link quickly went beyond aid and became more of an academic link.
Both schools are supported most effectively by the charity 'Serendipity Trust' and we set up a thrice yearly project exchange. Some of these have been interesting cultural exchanges, such as sharing art work done by the younger pupils on festivals and videos of cultural dance. Other projects have looked at the causes and effects of conflict, with older pupils able to focus on aspects of the civil war in Sri Lanka, exchanging essays and artwork. We then won funding from the Department for International Development (DFID) which was really useful for planning and strengthening the link and it enabled nine teachers from the two schools to undertake reciprocal visits. In addition, we have started to send two teachers from King’s each year to work in our twin school on a specific project to benefit both schools.
Each year we fundraise for our twin school and the effects of our donations have been considerable in that we have been able to totally rebuild and refurbish a room in Dikkumbura which is now a dedicated English Activity Room. This has enabled language teaching to be more interactive. We have also provided instruments and sports equipment. The wider school community has been involved in our link too. We hosted a ‘Global Food Afternoon’, with parents and pupils dropping in to see stalls and entertainment. Both PTAs have supported us by holding events such as a ‘Sri Lankan curry and quiz night’ with the proceeds supporting the creation of gardening facilities in both of our schools which we envisage being used for many years to come. We have also worked with the charity SoundAffects. This charity enabled our children, from quite different cultures, to listen to each other and to learn about each other’s lives with the help of a BBC journalist. All the material recorded was produced to high quality broadcast standards and is now available for any interested school to use in their teaching of global citizenship.
Our most recent project is funding part of a teacher training programme, organised by the Serendipity Trust. The teachers in our twin school benefit from the range of activities organised for staff alongside other teachers in the Galle area. We have been delighted that some staff and recently a pupil from King’s have been able to visit our twin school as part of their family holidays! The school link is now well embedded into our life at King's and we look forward to the many learning opportunities it offers for the future.Helen Barker (Twins Coordinator)