St James Hatcham is a school that reaches out on a truly global scale.
Pen Pal Project
Global Scholars Programme
In 2020-21, the Global Scholars Programme connected more than 13,000 students in 47 cities. Through Global Scholars, students ages 10 to 13 communicate directly in e-classrooms with peers across the globe. This educational environment, enhanced by multimedia communication, creates opportunities for students to build important global and general learning competencies. Together, groups of pupils work in hubs on a project to promote sustainable cities. Our Year 5 and 6 pupils are thrilled be one of the few British schools to work with pupils from cities that include:
- New York
I loved Global Scholars. It was so interesting talking to, and finding out about, pupils from other countries. Sometimes we were really surprised by how similar we all were. Working on projects that help create more sustainable cities made me feel empowered.
Alex - Year 6 Pupil
St James Hatcham are the longest serving British pen-pals in the Fukushima Friends project. For over 9 years, pupils have written to their peers in Fukushima, Japan. The project was set up initially to give a window into the world for children unable to attend school or have outdoor play due to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster and subsequent radiation. Once children in Fukushima returned to school, our pupils continued writing to them and receiving letters in return - all translated through the Fukushima Friends volunteers. During this time, pen-pals have also taken part in poetry competitions for all pupils involved in the project with our pupils winning both years that it has run. Pupils love reading their Japanese friend's letters and finding out what differences they have but also shared hobbies that bind them despite the distance. Year 4 and 5 pen-pals stay with the same pen-pal through to them leaving for secondary school.
Writing to my pen-pal in England was the best memory of my school days.
Pen-pal pupil, Fukushima, Japan.
As part of the British Council's Connecting Classrooms, St James Hatcham is part of a special group of Lewisham schools that are partnered with schools in South Africa. In 2019, headteachers from 3 different South African schools came to visit St James Hatcham to learn from us but also to share their experiences and knowledge. Later that year, Ms McFarlane and Ms Omoboni joined other teachers in a visit to the South African schools. Much was learnt and shared and friendships made. We can't wait to see what happens next for the school programme.