What can Twins mean for your school?
Your school can twin with an overseas school, both for mutual cultural exchange and to help that school in practical ways. Interaction might range from art competitions and pen-friendships, to exchanges of information relating to language, food, climate, environment and the arts. Some programmes are designed to form part of UK educational curricula. While building a direct relationship with your twin school, its teachers and its pupils, you can also help them to develop their facilities and resources. Over the long-term, you will be able to follow the development of projects that you have helped to make possible. This might include a new classroom or drinking water well. It might relate to a piece of educational or sports equipment. It might just be a case of seeing smiles on the faces of those whom you have helped.
How will interaction work?
You will be asked to nominate a member of teaching staff as the point of contact and you will be notified of a key point of contact at your overseas twin school. Other teachers may become involved through various interactive programmes. If you wish, your pupils can also elect a ‘Twins Committee’ with responsibility for maintaining communication with your twinned school and organising fundraising activities. Your Twins Committee could consist of a small number of senior pupils, a representative of each class or year, or any other formula that you consider to be most appropriate for your school. Most interaction will be carried out by email and on Google Drive. You will have access to an online resources area containing various files relating programmes for interaction with the children at your twin school.
What sort of fundraising might your school do?
A little goes a long way, so fundraising at all levels will help and any money that your school raises will go directly to helping your twinned school and its immediate community. The way in which you raise funds will depend on your own imagination and initiative. Some suggestions might include sponsored walking, running, cycling, dress down days, private hire of school facilities, amateur dramatics productions, collections at sports matches and other events, jumble/car boot sales, discos, PTA events and straight-forward appeal funds. Parents should definitely be involved and local businesses can be asked to help too.
How will donations be channelled to the school with which you have twinned?
We will establish dedicated Just Giving facilities for your school’s support of your twin school (Donations can be enhanced with Gift Aid, provided that they are from qualifying UK tax-payers). To be clear, cash is never handed out on the ground; all purchasing is carefully managed locally by Twins project staff according to strict controls. They will liaise with you and your twin school and buy items agreed between you from approved suppliers. Accurate accounting records are maintained at all times. Full details of the process will be made available to you in the online resources area. Financial donations are preferred, as they can be swiftly and easily translated into benefit on the ground (Delivery of non-cash donations, such as books, clothes, equipment etc, can be complicated and expensive).
Do you have to be a school to do this?
No. Most are, but you don’t have to be. You may be a corporate entity, a group of work colleagues, a village committee, a registered charity, a quiz club or any other institution or group of people. Twins is based on the concept of schools twinning with schools and the vast majority of the parties involved are schools, but you don’t have to be one. If you are not a school but still wish to sponsor an overseas school, please apply in the normal manner (as detailed later here). Just point out that you are not a school in an accompanying note and please forgive us for referring to ‘your school’, ‘twinning’, ‘pupils’, ‘teaching staff’ etc in this and other documents. We will know that you are not a school!
How do you twin with a school?
If you are prepared to twin with an overseas school, please download the form at the link below and send it completed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your software version does not allow you to complete the form in type and you have to complete it by hand, please do so in block capitals in order to ensure clarity of spelling. Thank you so much. Twins will anyway try to match schools as closely as possible, with regard to size, pupils’ ages and any particular features or characteristics. However, we will also do our best to accommodate any preferences that you may have. If you have any such preferences, please let us know in the space provided on the form.
Please only apply if your school is firmly committed to becoming actively involved on an ongoing basis. This includes ensuring that there is always a specific member of staff championing the project and efficiently driving the relationship with your twin school overseas. The twinning of schools requires a fair amount of time and effort, happily given voluntarily by those at Twins and its country partners. It would be sad if this were to result only in disappointment for the children and staff of an overseas school with which your school is twinned.
We ask for your patience and understanding with regard to our resources. In the various countries from which we draw our support, this organisation consists of volunteers working from offices provided free of charge by various charities, commercial companies and private individuals. This is specifically in order to avoid administrative costs, thereby ensuring that your donations go directly to where they are needed most. We therefore ask for your understanding with regard to response times and your goodwill in not using the telephone lines on which the charities, businesses and individuals concerned depend. Please send any enquiries by e-mail to the address below and we will respond to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.