World approach improves schools

Cayman Brac High School has a new approach to teaching Year Seven students with low literacy levels and John Gray High School is raising the quality of teaching by introducing a classroom observation policy.

These changes, and others, are positive results of international videoconference sessions between Cayman’s schools and the UK’s Ercall Wood Technology College, states a GIS press release.

The aim of these overseas linkages is, ‘To enable Cayman’s high school principals to discuss professional issues and development opportunities with Ercall Wood’s leadership’, said the Ministry of Education’s Schools Development Advisor, Gareth Long. He noted also that students will be videoconferencing to explore ideas for joint projects and school work.

The college, recognised by the UK Government as an outstanding school, is known for its effective systems management, which has led to improved teaching and student learning. It is particularly well-known for its focus on curriculum innovation.

Besides improving literacy and the quality of teaching, discussions with Cayman’s educators have included implementing management systems for middle managers, and creating a visionary culture in schools.

Participating in the hour-long sessions are Cayman Brac High School Principal Shirley Wahler; John Gray’s Principal Debbie McLaughlin; George Hicks’ Deputy Principal June Elliott; and Ercall Wood’s Principal Kathryn Owen-Reece.

To further develop the overseas relationship, videoconference participants will meet face-to-face during a one-week visit to Cayman in April.

The Minister of Education Alden McLaughlin remarked, ‘This partnership supports strategy 10 of the National Consensus on the Future of Education in the Cayman Islands, which calls for the development of school leadership and management’. He added, ‘This is an exciting opportunity for our schools to benefit from shared experiences’.

The international videoconference project, which started in January, gathered momentum after the Education Minister and ministry staff attended the UK’s Moving Young Minds education conference, and visited UK schools to learn more about their use of information and communication technology.

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