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BBC and British Council launch Olympic Dreams School Search 2012


The BBC and British Council have today launched Olympic Dreams – School Search, a search for dozens of primary and secondary schools across the UK to twin with schools all over the world and take part in a special project in the run-up to the London Olympics in 2012.

The project is looking for UK schools that are excited about 2012 and want the chance to link with schools in other countries, or elsewhere in the UK.

Over the next two years it will support teachers to develop school-to-school partnerships and encourage pupils to share creative work inspired by the London Olympics with the organisations’ global audiences.

Winning schools will be partnered with schools attended by athletes from around the world who are part of the BBC’s World Olympic Dreams project. They might be matched with a school in Kosovo or Kenya, Ulan Bator or Belgium, Bradford or Brazil, middle America or the Middle East.

World Class is a sister project to the BBC’s World Olympic Dreams, which is following 26 stories about 46 athletes (some of whom are in teams) for the next two years as they strive for glory at London 2012.

Amanda Farnsworth, BBC London 2012 Project Executive, said: “We want to put young people right at the heart of our coverage of London 2012 and this is a great way for schools to get involved and make an inspirational connection to other schools overseas.”

Olga Stanojlovic, Head of Schools at the British Council, said: "We are delighted to be working with the BBC to connect schools in partnerships inspired by the biggest international event the UK has ever hosted.

“School twinning builds cultural understanding and trust between young people in different societies and develops in them the skills they will need for life and work as global citizens. With this project we hope both to engage schools in the values, energy and excitement of the London 2012 Olympics and to leave a legacy of lasting partnerships between schools around the globe and friendships between the many pupils and teachers involved.”

How can schools take part?

Together, teachers and pupils respond to the following requests:

World – We want teachers to tell us why their school wants to twin and to send us questions from the pupils that they would like another school to answer.

Olympic – We want teachers to tell us what the Olympic Games mean to their school and to send us questions that their pupils would like to ask Olympic athletes.

Dreams – We want teachers to tell us about the aspirations of their pupils, and to send us creative work from pupils sharing their hopes and dreams.

Twin for 2012

Every winning school will be invited to send a teacher to a special conference in London where they will meet teachers from the athletes’ schools to start their twinning journey.

Secondary schools will also be invited to send one pupil aged sixteen plus to this event.

Winning schools will follow the stories of Olympic athletes with their twin schools. Working with the BBC World Class team, schools will be able to share and compare ideas and experiences online and, on occasion, in the BBC’s World Olympic Dreams broadcasts.

The British Council – which connects classrooms in the UK with schools around the world – will support them to work with their twin schools and develop their partnerships throughout the lifetime of the project.

All the athletes featured can be found on the World Olympic Dreams website and the schools they attended can be found here (not every school featured on this website will take part in the twinning).

How do you get involved?

Schools can register their interest at The BBC World Class team will then get in touch with more information. All competition entries will be uploaded to a special section of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Online Community.

Everyone’s a winner

For those who don’t “win” there will still be the opportunity to twin, as a 2012 twin school will be offered to every school that enters the competition.

The BBC will send its School Search 2012 poster to 1,000 runners-up.
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