Smiling Valley Intermediate School, South Africa

Meeting in King Williamstown, South Africa

April 2010

While on a family holiday to South Africa, Mrs Finch met Mr Mncono and his family in King Williamstown, which is 25 kilometres from Smiling Valley School. It is the nearest town to the school. The school is situated in a very quiet rural area, where adults are employed as labourers on the farms.

At this meeting it was planned how the schools could manage to communicate with each other and what activities would take place in each school. Smiling Valley school does not have any telephone lines and it did not have any computers, which is in contrast to all the facilities of Byrchall High School, which is a Maths and Computing College.

The ideas for future work were around the fact that neither school has a diverse population, nor are they situated in diverse communities. The aims were to:

  • Develop awareness of individual, group and societal differences that exist in many communities
  • Share the cultural heritage of our own communities and explore other heritages within our own countries and then exchange this information
  • Help pupils develop self-awareness and respect for others
  • Teach respect and valuing diversity
  • Exchange information that will allow both groups of students to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds
  • Develop communication skills
  • Develop an understanding of cultural diversity and sensitivity to different perspectives
  • Develop confidence to examine their own values and beliefs and those of the communities of which they are part

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