Our window to the world

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COST-CUTTING in classrooms has given pupils a taste of cultures from around the world.

With budgets for trips to far off lands running dry, Collegiate High School turned to the virtual opportunities of the internet to discover children living very different lives to their own.

Year Seven children used Skype – the video messaging service – to swap stories and learn about their peers living in poverty in Kenya and thousands of miles away in the USA.

With only a computer to link the two classrooms together, the youngsters were told to ask questions about the people looking back at them to discover which part of the world they were speaking to.

Lewis Hall, Year Seven pastoral manager, organised the video calls. He told The Gazette: “A lot of the pupils here don’t get out of Blackpool and we really wanted to open their eyes to other places in the world.

“We thought it would be great to let them speak to other people like themselves instead of showing them a picture.

“They didn’t realise children were exactly like them, so we are trying to go around the world and teach them cultures.”

Each class nominated three people to speak to the schools online, but all the pupils put forward questions.

Morgan Reid, 11, said: “This was a really good experience because we found out they all have a completely different culture to us.

“They were really interesting to speak to and really
different from what I expected.”

Classmate Liam Whipday, 11, added: “I enjoyed speaking to the class in Kenya the most.

“I wanted to know about how their school day was different from mine and thought doing this was a really good idea because we got to speak to them.”