Global Opportunities

Global Opportunities

The British Council funds a number of international partnership projects and professional development programmes for teachers and school leaders. To strengthen NICIE’s links with the Council, we’ve become the coordinating body for a range of these and are delighted to share these opportunities with our Integrated Schools and teachers.

One such programme is the Connecting Classrooms project, which aims to give young people the cultural understanding and skills they need to live and work as global citizens. It’s hoped that long-term change is possible if teachers, school leaders and policy makers work together to embed an international dimension in education systems.

As Deborah Gadd of the British Council Belfast had this to say about the project:

“The Connecting Classrooms programme is extremely beneficial for teachers, giving them a forum for sharing professional expertise and comparison of teaching approaches. Most importantly there is recognition for their work through the International Schools Award.”

Integrated Schools Taking Part

Integrated Colleges in Coleraine and L/Derry are in their third year of the project, partnering with schools in Baghdad and the Kurdish part of Northern Iraq. NICIE Professional Development Officer Paula McIlwaine spoke about the first partnership to visit Northern Iraq:

“This link with Connecting Classrooms enhances the global connections between integrated education and education in other cultures, bringing an international dimension to the school curriculum. This visit to Iraq has provided further context to the link between the schools by providing an opportunity for face-to-face meetings and planning between the teachers, as well as an opportunity to meet the pupils involved in the project in Iraq.  It has helped to break down stereotypes and given an insight into day-to-day life beyond the television headlines.”

Interested in learning more:

For more about Connecting Classrooms or the range of other programmes offered by the British Council, visit or email  Paula McIlwaine at NICIE at