About the Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN)

The Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN) is the community of schools that offer an international curriculum from the UK leading to exams such as GCSE and A level, administered by the British Council on behalf of the UK awarding bodies (Cambridge International, Pearson International and Oxford AQA). 

The PSGN also allows us to go beyond offering exams services. We offer support to over 4,000 leaders, 50,000 teachers and over 1 million students in 2000 partner schools across 34 countries around the world through access to professional development, access to educational resources and networking opportunities. 

As part of British Council’s commitment to providing continuous professional development opportunities for teachers and leaders, it launched the PSGN Online Support for School platform, which offers 50 training modules on topics like lesson management, child protection, and professional development. Over 150,000 modules have been completed by over 40,000 registered teachers. 

In Egypt, we support over 140 partner schools and 130,000 students. The British Council recently launched the Science Stars competition and Code Club, which attracted almost 1000 students in the first few months.

Egypt recently hosted the annual Schools Now! Conference which built on the successes of previous conferences in Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka, Jordan and last years’ online conference.

PSGN Schools Now! Conference 2020

Schools Now is a global conference that fosters pedagogical innovation across partner schools within British Council’s Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN). It is a networking opportunity where school leaders from around the globe get to share experiences and knowledge.

The fifth Schools Now! conference took place in Cairo, Egypt in March 2020 and was inaugurated by Elizabeth White, Country Director of the British Council in Egypt; Geoffrey Adams, British ambassador to Egypt and the Egyptian Deputy Minister of Education, Reda Higazy.

Over 300 delegates from 20 countries came to learn about the crucial role that leaders play in internationalising schools, the importance of core 21st century skills alongside intercultural understanding, and the significant role technology plays in creating opportunities for the school community to make connections with the wider world. 

In opening the conference, Elizabeth White, Country Director of British Council in Egypt talked about how PSGN creates opportunities for working together and develops young people to be globally minded. 

The Deputy Minister of Education, Mr. Rega Hegazy, spoke about how education is the goal of life, and in light of today’s digital transformation, the goal is not to spoon-feed students with information, but to create global thinkers who are capable of critical thinking, of reflecting on the wider world around them, and of working collaboratively, to be able participate in current global conversations.

Delegates were encouraged to explore how we can develop a vision and culture for schools through international education, compelling learning, wider community involvement and effective communication, to ultimately prepare students for the challenges of a global society. They did this through keynote sessions, interactive workshops and panel discussions.

The conference also explored how we can utilise STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) as a means to achieving the 2030 sustainable development goals. In such educational settings, students work together to solve problems related to their society, helping them establish a sense of ownership and global citizenship where everyone is accountable for their actions as change agents.

In addition to the 300 delegates who attended the conference, a further 24,000 school leaders and teachers were able to attend via livestreamed sessions. Feedback from conference delegates has been incredibly positive.

Your World Competition Regional and Global Winners 

The regional and global winners of the Your World video making competition were also announced at Schools Now!

Congratulations to the team of students from Al Iman International School in Sri Lanka on being the global winners of the PSGN Your World video making competition for students aged 14-17 years old. The theme of this competition was ‘Waters of the world’. Students were asked to identify a community and make a short video that looks at an issue related to water, the impact on a community and put forward a solution.

The winning team demonstrated a high level of collaboration, creativity and problem solving in making their video. The students were also able to draw on their cross-curricular knowledge and consult with experts on their idea. The production work was excellent, and the message was clearly communicated throughout.

You can watch the winning video here

Here are some of the presentations shared during the conference:

Rob Ford- Heritage International School in Chisinau, Moldova

Rob launched the conference with an engaging keynote presentation on the importance of a ‘Positive School Culture’

He illustrated how a belief in people is the basis on all achievements in school.

He took us through his journey at Wyedean school where he decided to focus on being ‘outward facing’, developing networks, partnerships and collaborations as the key to the school’s improvement and approach to 21st century holistic education

 

Joanna Speak- Head of a leading primary school, UK

Joanna spoke about her experience as a school leader to internationalise her school today to develop the citizens of tomorrow.

She described how her vision for internationalising her school was structured around developing a school culture, to focus on the impact on learning, to enrich the curriculum and to prioritise professional development.

 

Professor Heba Eldeghaidy- American University, Cairo, Egypt.

With a focus on STEAM, Professor Heba looked at the role of universities to encourage students to think creatively in lesson design.

She gave some examples of inquiry based learning and cross curricular integrated learning to enrich the curriculum.  She talked about the importance of the mantra ‘Learn, Think Act’ to ensure that our learners apply their learning to contribute to improving our planet and our world.

 

Sharon Tonner Saunders- University of Dundee, UK

 Sharon led an interactive keynote where she balanced personal reflections with examples of collaborative learning activities.

She began by asking the conference to think about identities and to explore how these different identities affect how we teach, how we learn and how we understand ourselves and each other. She introduced us to inclusive practice that allowed the delegates to participate in sign language as an alternative form of effective communication.

 

David Wright- Director, UK Safer Internet Centre at SWGfL

David led a very interactive workshop which focussed on practical ideas to develop an effective and inclusive e-safety policy and the practice schools should have to help protect and prepare their children when using the Internet and online services.  He asked delegates to reflect on what happens in their schools while also feeding in useful ideas, strategies and resources to use to help protect children in their online world.

 

Global Winner

Al Iman International School from Sri Lanka

 

Regional Winners

We would also like to congratulate the regional winning teams on their fantastic efforts.

Regional Winners

  • Europe - The Grammar School from Cyprus
  • The Americas - ASPAEN Colegio El Rosario from Colombia
  • Middle East and North Africa -   Islamic Educational College from Jordan
  • East Asia - NIEC International School from Myanmar
  • Sub-Saharan Africa - Mzuzu International Academy from Malawi

Finally, we would like to commend all 3000+ students from 21 countries around the world who participated in the competition and made it such as success. We hope to see you again in the next Your World competition.

 

Globally, British Council serves 1,900 private schools, supports over 40,000 teachers and touches the lives of about one million students. In Egypt, it serves over 140 schools and 130,000 students across 13 governorates. Its recently launched engagement programmes, such as the Science Stars competition and Code Club, which attracted almost 1000 students in a few months.

If you have any questions please contact the Schools Now! team SchoolsNow!2020@britishcouncil.org