November 2011 saw the beginning of a P4C partnership with a large group of schools in China through DECSY Trustee Trevor Higginbottom. Helen Griffin was invited to Shanghai to run P4C training for teachers working with pupils aged 3 to 16. The success of this work is reflected in the fact that DECSY was invited back in November 2012 and teachers will be coming over to Sheffield to experience training courses here in June 2013 with a hope that this will be an annual event.
During the same term Rob Unwin was invited to Norway and then Portugal to run training workshops on cultural pluralism by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). A joint European funding bid has since been obtained with the Portuguese partners and AKDN in the UK.
The new themed resources for curriculum partnerships between schools in the UK and African countries developed by DECSY with Symbio and Link Community Development are now available to download at: www.linkschools.org/curriculumprojects
Drawing on the perspectives of international Masters students on placement with us, as well as a wide range of literature, DECSY worked with the British Council and Jackie Zammit (formerly of TIDE) to develop a new set of learning outcomes for global citizenship education. These have been incorporated into a new British Council on-line course, written by the same team, for teachers across the world interested in international school partnerships. The course can be found at: http://connectingclassrooms-learning.britishcouncil.org/
Teachers in China said of Helen:
'Her style is kind and natural, full of inspiration and motivation'
'This course was amazing...Helen was an excellent presenter: extremely knowledgeable'
'Very knowledgeable, open-minded and gentle trainer'
'useful - the class demonstration by Helen, which was very impressive especially as many of the children were EFL students'
'Exceptionally professional, supportive and knowledgeable. I gained a lot from watching her and her watching me'
Other comments on DECSY's international consultancy work include:
'DECSY were an integral part of the consultancy team that developed a suite of global teaching and learning resources on the MDG themes for Link Community Development. The staff at DECSY contributed to the overall resource design and led on the development of lesson plans and materials for the environment, gender and global poverty themes. Their knowledge and expertise in effective participatory learning approaches and methods shone through. DECSY provided a professional, responsive, flexible and high quality service and I would definitely use them again for future projects.' - Andy Egan, Director, Symbio Consultancy
'We live in an interconnected world and will increasingly meet people with divergent world-views or experiences to our own. Equipping children with the understanding to develop a respectful attitude towards people who are different to themselves, and the skills to engage in a productive dialogue, is one of the most important challenges we face. DECSY has nearly 30 years experience of undertaking such work and has an excellent reputation locally, regionally and nationally.' - Anne Harrop, Director of Social Inclusion.