World champion sprinter Usain Bolt’s relationship with his inspirational teacher Lorna Thorpe is the focus of an international debate – launching a new project giving youngsters across the Commonwealth a worldwide online voice.
Commonwealth Class, a new collaboration between the BBC, the British Council and the Commonwealth Secretariat leading up to the Glasgow 2014 Games, gives 7-14 year-olds the opportunity to hold fortnightly worldwide online debates as well as share educational resources.
Aimed at deepening knowledge of the Commonwealth, and bringing the Commonwealth values into the classroom, the global initiative has already attracted some high-profile backing.
Launching tomorrow, Thursday, June 13, the first online debate on “Who or what inspires you to achieve?” will feature a report on Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and his PE teacher Lorna Thorpe.
Commonwealth Games double medallist and triple Olympian Lee McConnell is also urging youngsters across the country to get behind the project.
Lee said: “I’m delighted to be involved in this exciting new project which gives children the chance to find out more about the Commonwealth and exchange thoughts and ideas throughout the world.”
Commonwealth Class aims to energise young people’s learning by bringing together schools and children from across the Commonwealth to learn how to make the most of their place in the Commonwealth and wider world.
The programme will enable more than 100,000 schools, 300,000 teachers and 17 million young people across the Commonwealth to access themed learning resources, take part in online exchanges and forums, and work on collaborative projects in cross-Commonwealth teams.
Vicky Gough from the British Council’s Schools team said: “Next year’s Commonwealth Games give us the perfect opportunity to connect children from the UK and all over the Commonwealth. Life is very different in some ways for children in the 71 nations and territories taking part in the Games – but they’ll find that they have a lot in common too. Commonwealth Class celebrates the values of the Commonwealth – set out in the new Charter of the Commonwealth - and connects its schools and young people to learn together about how to be active, responsible global citizens as part of the Commonwealth family.”