PUPILS from Foxdale School are continuing to forge friendships with children across the world.
The school has been developing bonds with other schools since 2004.
During ths time, pupils have been educating children from across the world about Manx culture and vice versa.
As part of the project the children got to know each other by sending letters, pictures, music and information to each other.
Strong links have been made with Good Hope School in Uganda and Ho Shun Primary School in Hong Kong, while their most recent link has been established with Knaftens Skola in Swedish Lapland.
A number of Manx gifts have been sent to the different schools – after the children sent a teddy bear dressed in Manx national costume to Hong Kong, they received a panda bun bun bear in exchange.
Teacher Elizabeth Bankes-Jones, said: ‘The bears share photo diaries and exchange cultural details this way.
‘We have also Skyped the children who are our penpals there, which was great fun and we hope to do it again soon.’
At present the children are preparing to send a soft toy to the school in Lappland and the school there will send a culturally significant animal to Foxdale School, added Mrs Bankes-Jones.
‘I think that in this age of the internet, particularly Skype, it is so important to reach out and share cultures across the world,’ she said. ‘We have engaged with friends across the world project for many years and it enriches the children’s learning. Not least in being able to write for a real purpose – writing to a real person, in a real place which has similarities and differences to our own culture. Above all, it is exciting and fun.’
Once a guest toy arrives, each class plays host. Pupils get to take the toy home, take photos and document their activities with the toy before sending it back to the home country.
One pupil Daniella, 10, said: ‘We get to talk to new friends and learn about traditions, cultures, what their homes are like, how they learn, what the temperature is like there and what their school is like.’
Mrs Bankes-Jones describes it as ‘a super way in which to share a real experience with real children in real places across the world’.
The school is the first and only school in the island to achieve the International Schools Award from the British Council.