While every school partnership will grow at its own pace, there are some steps you can take to help get things off to the best possible start. Here are our recommendations to help you navigate the early days of your partnership.
Consider your initial introductions
In your initial exchanges you will want to include information about yourself, your role, your school and where it is located. It’s good to include your hopes for the partnership and ask about your partner school's aspirations. To cement the relationship, the two head teachers might want to exchange greetings.
Plan your communications
Good communication is at the heart of any school partnership. As you move beyond the initial exchanges, you’ll want to get to know your partner's circumstances so you can take a planned approach:
- How much time does your partner school have to dedicate to the partnership?
- What does a typical day look like for your partner, and what is the time difference your countries?
- What level of internet access do staff have in your partner school?
- Are there any language barriers and what strategies can you employ to overcome them?
Take time to consider the communication tools available to you and your partner. Our guide to online platforms (see the downloads section below) gives a quick overview of the main online platforms, their benefits and limitations for use within international partnerships.
Get to know your partner
We have a collection of free, ready-to-go resources to help you get to know your partner and start working together.
Our Getting to know you challenge is designed to help partner schools introduce themselves and develop an understanding of the similarities and differences between their schools and localities. This is a great way to give structure to your early interactions.
We also have a series of challenges themed around the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. These are particularly useful in the early stages of a partnership as they provide some quick activity ideas you can do together to help you get to know each other better.
Develop your skills
In the early days of your partnership we recommend signing up for one of our international collaboration online courses. Free and flexible, these short online learning courses will give you an understanding of the benefits and challenges of working with a partner school in another country to help you prepare for effective international learning.
If you run into any teething troubles in the early days of your partnership, and would benefit from one-to-one advice, we recommend you contact one of our local advisors. They can offer support and guidance to help you keep things on track.