"Virtual platforms offer so many opportunities to forge new links and make new connections all around the world—this is essential in pupils learning, to help raise awareness of different cultures, values, and perspectives, as well as help them grow into global citizens." - Chloe Farrant, International Coordinator and Art Teacher for Cornerstone Academy Trust
Every year, pupils from all four schools in The Cornerstone Academy Trust participatein the Microsoft Global Learning Connection. The event brings together students from all over the world in a variety of online activities designed to build as many global links, and accumulate as many virtual miles, as possible in just 48 hours.
In 2020, over the course of 25 calls using Microsoft’s Skype, Flipgrid, and Teams, the childrencovered five continents, virtually travelling over 93,000 miles to countries including Malaysia, Spain, Austria, Japan, and Indonesia. Students also made presentations about Remembrance Day and practised using geographical language to guess the location of mystery Skype calls.
The event has been a demonstration of online learning, for most students, their entire school career. Although primarily an educational experience, the two days included much more than PowerPoints and a video call; Year 5’s 2020 virtual trip to Zambia included a safari and making traditional sweet cornbread. The students in Reception participated in a Japanese friendship project and observed traditional Indian dance, and Year 4 got an inside look into Hans Christian Andersen’s home culture through a virtual all-day trip to Denmark.
The Global Learning Connection reinforces the trust’s mission to encourage curiosity and appreciation of diversity.