Why Partner Schools?
There has been a huge growth in Jewish schools across the UK in recent years. This is having a hugely positive effect on the community.
This does highlight one important challenge – awareness of and engagement with people from different backgrounds with different stories.
This is why parents and teachers asked Tzedek to develop their children’s understanding of others, and their sense of responsibility as global citizens.
Tzedek’s twinning programme is our response to this request. Now in its sixth year, we twin schools in the UK and Ghana through class-based work exchanges.
Aims of the Tzedek Twinning programme:
- To develop a self-awareness as global citizens and explore the big issues of our world;
- To develop a positive attitude to difference by communicating with children who have different cultural and religious perspectives; and
- To put into practice the value of b’zelem Elohim – of respecting all human beings.
Connecting with others
The Tzedek schools twinning programme opens up the opportunity for Year 4 children to build meaningful relationships with children their age at a school in Tamale, Ghana.
The programme matches and enhances the educational curriculum in both the UK and Ghana. All the year 4 students in each country engage in a programme of encounters with their peers through learning and exchanging pieces of written work.
The children complete surveys at the start and the end of the programme and the findings are revealing. We found that the children move from negative general opinions of “Africa” to an greater empathy and ability to see that despite their differences in life, they share experiences and values.
The 2013 evaluation showed:
- 85% of UK children changed their minds to ‘we are very like Ghanaian children’
- 65% of Ghanaian children agreed
What our students say:
“I didn’t know where Ghana was, now I know what it is like to live there!” – Year 4 pupil, Independent Jewish Day School
“I’m very excited to talk to Ghana so we can tell each other what our countries are like!” – Year 4 Pupil, Akiva Primary School
What our teachers say:
“Tzedek’s initiative, vision and progression through the past few years cannot be equalled… Clore Tikva’s students, teachers and parents have certainly been enriched by this project.” – Teacher at Clore Tikva
“My children have been given a gift and I thank you. They know a bigger world and we are so happy for that.” – Teacher at Tamale International School