BBC Home
Explore the BBC


Teachers: Citizenship: Globalisation Social

Last Updated: Monday November 13 2006 17:41 GMT

School twinning

Citizenship 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Globalisation - social implications

African children
International Education Week 2006 runs from 13-17 November.

It is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of an international dimension at all levels of education.

Students swap virtual school bags with pupils in another country and look at the cultural similarities and differences.

Teachers can also find a twin for their school.

Learning aims

By the end of the lesson students should understand:

  • The aims of school twinning
  • Some of the similarities between pupils in different parts of the world
  • Some of the differences between schools in different parts of the world

School in Ghana

Case study

Brainstorm the term school twinning. Make a class list of students' suggestions.

Ask students: Why do you think some schools form partnerships with schools from other countries?

Read out this Press Pack report to the class.

The Press Pack and the following questions are available as a printable worksheet.

Ask students:

1. How do pupils at both schools communicate with each other? By letter. They are pen-pals.

2. What do you think Lizzie means by becoming a "global citizen?"

    Prompt: How does being a global citizen differ from being a local citizen?

    Suggestions: We are all global citizens because we live in the world. A global citizen is someone who is aware of what is happening in the world. A global citizen is active in trying to make the world better for her/himself and all other citizens.

3. Why are the pupils in Africa and England swapping work projects? To learn the same skills as African children and see what life in Africa is like.

4a. Describe the uniform worn by pupils at St Peter's International School in Ghana. Thin, brown and orange uniform.
4b. Describe what you wear to school?
4c. Describe the similarities and differences.

5a. How old are the children when they leave St Peter's? About 14-years old (Year 9).
5b. How old will you be you leave school?
5c. Describe the similarities and differences.

6a. What prevents some children from going to St Peter's? Heavy rain.
6b. What prevents some children from going to your school?
6c. Describe the similarities and differences.

Main activity

School uniforms in Ghana
All children in Ghana wear the same school uniform
School bag swap

Students imagine they are going to swap school bags with a pupil from St Peter's International School in Ghana.

Ask them: What would expect to find inside Lizzie's pen-pal's school bag?

Make a class list of the items.

Ask students: What do each of these items tell you about school in Ghana?

Each student makes a list of the contents of THEIR school bag or draws a picture of the items.

    E.g. Five exercise books, dinner money, PE kit, scoubidous etc.
Students annotate their list or picture, explaining why they have a particular item in their bag.

Their notes should give a flavour of schooling in the UK and their individual likes and dislikes.

    E.g. Five exercise books - There is one for each lesson of the day. Each lesson is on a different subject and lasts for an hour. I have covered my Maths book in plastic because it's my favourite subject.

    Dinner money - I use this to buy my lunch from the school canteen. I usually get a sandwich, an apple and a carton of orange juice.

Extension activity

'Cecilia's' school was built from money raised from fair trade chocolate

Students create a virtual school bag for Lizzie's pen pal (from the Press Pack report).

They could begin by including an item of brown and orange uniform (which Lizzie mentions) and add anything else they think children in Ghana would bring to school.

Students could use Cecilia's report for inspiration.

They compare this bag with their own and make a list of:

  • similarities
  • differences

Students present the contents of their school bags and ones from Ghana, explaining why particular items are in each bag.

Students examine the similarities and differences between children schooled in Ghana and the UK.

These questions might serve as prompts:

  • Which of your items would Lizzie's pen-pal be likely to have in her school bag?
  • Which of your items would Lizzie's pen-pal be UNlikely to have in her school bag?
  • What does this tell you about school children in different parts of the world?
Teachers' background

If you are looking to find a twin for your school or would like to know more about school twinning, click on the World Class link in the top right-hand dark blue box, or visit

For hundreds more news-based lessons, click on Teachers on the left-hand side.

Related Lessons

BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy