Pupils from special schools in Nottinghamshire are celebrating the launch of a project to expand their platform on the international stage.
‘Global Voices — Approaches for International Education in Special Schools’, shatters the boundaries of the classroom and opens up the world to the children, helping them to understand and express their individuality through a three year long programme.
‘Global Voices’ is a MUNDI Global Education project, based at The University of Nottingham and is funded by the Department for International Development.
It involves 14 special schools in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and is based in the School of Education at the University’s Jubilee Campus.
The pupils will focus on three key themes:
• Year 1: ‘me and my world’ —identity — what it is like to be me. This project will see the children creating identity boxes to express themselves. The boxes will include digital images and videos they will create themselves.
• Year 2: ‘my school/community and my world’ — a programme to link clusters of schools, which will include school visits and a joint student council.
• Year 3: ‘sharing my world with others’, which will help the children disseminate the successes in the project with mainstream schools, universities and the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
Project Manager Anna Bourke said: “Our main aim here is to give the children as broad an experience of the world as possible.
“We are working with pupils who have profound and complex learning difficulties.
“Our project is about increasing their confidence and getting them to interact with others on a much larger scale. This will hopefully inspire them and make them aware of the opportunities out there for them.”
The pupils will use art, music, drama, dialogue and literature to develop voice and self-expression. They will also take part in workshops in their schools looking at cultural traditions from the Global South. They will also participate in art therapy projects and the creation of an ‘Expression Box’ that says who they are and what they think (this work will be shared internationally using an E-learning centre.)
Since 2000 Mundi has been linking schools in Nottinghamshire with schools in foreign countries. One of these links was with a school in Harare, Zimbabwe as part of the Linking Lives Project. The centre ran the programme for five years.
Mundi is currently co-ordinating links with Nottinghamshire schools and schools in Saltillo, Mexico as part of the Hablame (Speak to Me) project.
The centre’s mission is to promote, through education, a critical awareness, understanding and knowledge of global development, citizenship and sustainability issues in order to enact change towards a more equitable world.
A ‘Global Voices’ celebration will be held on Friday 3 July 2009, at the Top Valley Engineering Centre to mark the school launch of the programme.
Visit www.mundi.nottingham.ac.uk for more information.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.
The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.