Lessons from Latvia with Love; Top Class

Article excerpt

Byline: NICOLA JUNCAR

A TASTE of Eastern Europe came to a Tyneside special school when a teacher from Latvia arrived to learn about the North East way of life.

As part of the Comenius Project, which links schools in Latvia, Germany and the UK, teacher Dagnija Rubick spent a week learning about British culture and sharing her knowledge of her home country with the pupils of Sir Charles Parsons School and Science College in Walker, Newcastle.

The Comenius Project, backed by the British Council and funded by the EEC, seeks to link schools, students and staff to break down cultural and historical barriers, in this case through music and drama. Over the past few months, students from Sir Charles Parsons have exchanged emails, photographs and gifts from Dagnija and her class. A reciprocal visit is now being planned for the near future.

Dagnija's week-long stay on Tyneside was spent researching British teaching methods and learning about modern school room technology, which British teachers now take for granted.

"I was particularly interested in the classroom white boards as this technology is hard to find back home in Latvia," said Dagnija, 33, who is from the Eastern European's capital city Riga. …