2015 - 2016

The link between Bishop Lonsdale and Union Chapel School in Kolkata, India began in September 2015.

In September 2015, the principals from all the link schools in Kolkata visited Derby for one week.  Mrs Ghose was the Principal of Union Chapel School.

When Mrs Ghose visited our school she met and worked with all the children in our school, teaching them about Kolkata and answering the children’s questions. The children thoroughly enjoyed meeting Mrs Ghose. 


In November 2015, Mrs Bladon visited Kolkata and Union Chapel for the first time.


Union Chapel 


In June 2016 at Ashgate Primary School we had our first Kolkata link celebration. 

At the celebration eight children from each school set up a presentation display celebrating our links and all the children learnt a welcoming song.  The event was attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

At the event Mrs Bladon spoke to everybody about the importance of this link for all the schools in Derbyshire and Kolkata and showed a short presentation

At the heart of this project are the children in Derbyshire and in our link schools in Kolkata. Although we are from different cultures our goals are all the same, to enrich and improve the lives of the children that we work with. 

When we first went to Kolkata and when the head teachers came over to visit our schools it took us all a few days to adjust to the different cultures in the two countries, the physical environments and the weather. Kolkata is a city that never sleeps and Derbyshire is extremely quite in comparison. In Kolkata the noise from the car horns rings in your ears and when crossing the road you really do take your life into your own hands. 

They call Kolkata the city of Joy and from the first day of being there you could see why. Although the children may not have the material things that a lot of the children have in England they smile all of the time. All the people we met were eager to help us and very welcoming. 

When Angela Ghose came to our school she was able to talk to the children about her school and the children in Kolkata. They loved listening to the stories and learning to write in Bengali. The sharing of the Going for Green, Rivers and Folktales projects gave their work a real purpose and they thoroughly enjoyed her visit 

In November we had the opportunity to teach in our link schools where the children were eager to learn. Our teaching styles were very different and this was partly due to the availability of resources within the schools. The classes were large and there was a lack of space making interactive learning more challenging, but the children were all very creative, excelling in art, music and dance. 

In the CRS schools very few of the adults are trained teachers or have had any formal training. The children are often first generation learners and have no resources of their own. All that they have is donated. Despite all these barriers we were all overwhelmed by how enthused the children were to learn and how the adults wanted to help and support the children. 

The trip was very humbling and inspiring. 

Anita and Alison have been the driving force of this whole project. Their vision is giving us the opportunity to help develop the education for all children. On our second visit to Kolkata in partnership with our link schools we are hoping to provide the adults with continual professional development opportunities (CPD). Sharing ideas and strategies about how the resources in their local areas and the spaces they have can be used to enhance the children’s learning, helping the children become more independent thinkers and learners. Providing the teachers with resources and showing them how they can be used within a lesson and enhance all children’s learning. 

Through the CPD we want to work collectively to improve the education for all children (boys and girls) 

We all hope that the links between our schools will continue to strengthen. Enriching and bringing to life the children’s learning 

Through this project we hope the children will become active citizens of the world and will learn to respect and care for all people. Partnerships like these show children that they can make a difference and when working with others they can help change other people’s lives for the better. 

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.' Nelson Mandela 

'Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.' Mother Teresa. 

We all hope that these school links will continue to grow and strengthen for years to come and through the continual professional development we can help support and develop the education of all children in Kolkata.

Mrs Bladon’s Reflections

Through the linking classrooms project I have been inspired personally and professionally. The union between our school and Union Chapel School in Kolkata has enriched the children’s topic work in Year 4. It has also helped us teach the children at Bishop Lonsdale about being responsible global citizens of the world, showing them how they can make a positive difference in their own and the lives of others. 

Visiting Kolkata was a humbling experience and one I will never forget. Union Chapel made me feel very welcome. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all the staff and pupils and having the opportunity to teach in the school. The children were keen to learn and adapted well to my different teaching styles. It was interesting to compare our different education systems and although they are very different they have the same goal, to inspire the next generation.  

I hope our partnership continues to develop and grow and we can use this opportunity to help enrich and improve the education for all children in both schools.


Contact the School

Bishop Lonsdale Primary School

186 St Alban's Road
DE22 3HH

For Safeguarding concerns please e-mail safeguarding@bishoplonsdale.derby.sch.uk

Main Contact: Mrs C O'Rafferty (Head of School)

Tel: 01332344795

SEN Contact: Mrs C Bladon (Inclusion Manager)

SEN Email: senco@bishoplonsdale.derby.sch.uk