A groundbreaking global collaboration project between two schools three thousand miles apart took place in Newton Aycliffe last week.
Collaboration between schools has recently been said to be the key to raising standards, with experts sharing good practice whilst learning from one another.
Using Woodham Academy’s global contacts, Assistant Head Teacher Jon Tait established a link with Merton Intermediate School in Wisconsin, America.
Merton School in Wisconsin and after having an initial chat about wanting to collaborate on a dance project, it developed into a live ‘dance off’ over Skype where students from each school would dance for each other and then judge each school’s performance.
Lead dance teacher and Wooodham Sports Academy dance coach, Angela Minervini, led the development of the dance routines with the dance academy girls.
After four weeks of hard work practising routines, the ‘dance off’ was done in front of the live Skype feed.
Each group of students came forward to the camera, introduced themselves with a big hello that stretched a few thousand miles and then performed their routine.
All of the dancers on both sides of the Atlantic were then able to instantly judge the performance of the dance using modern technology on their phones and internet enabled devices.
“It was quite amazing to think that the work that these girls had been doing at Woodham was being beamed across the globe to another school hall in America with lots of excited students watching on their big screen!” said Mr Tait.
“The dances from both schools were fantastic and a joy to watch. The respect the students had for each other was superb.
“They all sat silently whilst each school danced and then clapped and cheered once their performance was over.”
Although they had never met before, there was a clear mutual respect between the young students – they were young, they loved dancing and they were super excited about breaking down the barriers and working globally with each other.
Mr Tait added: “The excitement, enthusiasm, commitment and dedication showed by all of the dancers and staff in both schools was incredible.
“To be able to connect and collaborate so easily with students on the other side of the world really shows how technology is changing the way we work and the way we live our lives.
“This is certainly a project that both schools are already talking about continuing and developing further.”