The Kindskools Project

Developing global citizens for a kinder world

We are currently accepting expressions of interest from high schools across Australian to participate in a trial of The Kindskools Project. The Kindskools Project has been developed by 40K to give students in Australia the opportunity to connect with and support their peers in rural Cambodia.

Participating schools will be linked with a lower-secondary school in rural Cambodia, providing a range of opportunities for the partnered schools to interact, share and learn from each other.

Interested schools are encouraged to contact our Head of Foundation, Lisa Colquhoun, at lisa@40k.com.au.

The benefits of participation

Research suggests that intercultural school partnerships have a profoundly positive impact on students, teachers and the school community at large. By brokering and sustaining effective, mutually-beneficial school partnerships, The Kindskools Project ensures that participating schools get the most out of the experience.

For students, benefits include:

  • development of intercultural understanding, global citizenship and an appreciation of different perspectives;
  • development of 21st century skills to enable critical thinking, cross-cultural communication and collaboration, empathy and philanthropy, and a positive attitude to diversity;
  • development of international friendships and networks.

For teachers, benefits include:

  • opportunities to benchmark practice against other school systems;
  • increased awareness of different education systems and of the challenges facing educators in low-resource settings;
  • development of leadership and cross-cultural communication skills.

For the wider school community, benefits include:

  • development of global networks and perspectives, globalising the outlook of the entire school community;
  • enhanced school image and reputation.

What’s involved?

We first work with schools to understand their objectives, expectations and capacity. Based on this understanding, we nominate a suitable partner school and a program of activities that will best meet the requirements of each school.

Core activities

INTRODUCTION TO SCHOOL & CULTURE

At the start of the program, each school is tasked with creating a short video or presentation (e.g. PowerPoint or Canva) about their school, locality and culture. This is then shared with the partner school.

VIDEO ASSEMBLIES

Joint school assemblies are conducted 2-4 times each year (depending on the preferences of each school) via videoconferencing. These assemblies provide opportunities for students to interact and showcase their school and culture through creative performances. We’ll help you out with some examples of conversation topics and performance ideas.

COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS

Each quarter or semester (depending on the preferences of the school), students in grades 7-9 will work together in groups on a small project designed to build knowledge of their partner school’s culture and way of life. These collaborative projects span multiple learning areas, incl. creative arts, HSIE and English. They will be developed in consultation with teachers to align with the learning outcomes for each grade. Students are able to present the projects they worked on during the video assemblies.

CULTURAL GIFT EXCHANGE

Each April, in the lead-up to Khmer New Year and Easter, partner schools exchange small cultural gifts and handwritten cards from students.

Optional activities

ONLINE DISCUSSION FORUMS

Throughout the year, teachers and students in grades 7-9 can interact with their partner school peers through restricted-access online discussion forums. Grade-based student forums provide opportunities for students to participate in threaded discussions about a range of topics, with the goal of growing and sharing knowledge about each others’ lives and culture. Teacher-only forums provide opportunities for teachers from each school to share ideas, expertise and resources.

ESSAY COMPETITION

Students in grades 7-9 are invited to submit a 1-2 page essay to our annual Kindskools Essay Competition, which will take place at the end of each year. This gives students the opportunity to reflect on their experience of the program and what they learned from their partner school over the course of the year. The author of the best essay in each grade, as judged by a jury of teachers and representatives of 40K, receives a medallion.

FUNDRAISING FOR CAMBODIA

To develop students’ philanthropic mindset and leadership, students are encouraged to actively fundraise to support the education of their peers in the partnered school, and in other low-resource schools across rural Cambodia. A fundraising kit will be provided to schools to assist students in their fundraising efforts. Medallions are awarded to the highest fundraiser and most creative fundraiser in each school.

CAMBODIA HUMANITARIAN & CULTURAL TOURS

Participating schools may opt to participate in a humanitarian and cultural tour to Cambodia, deepening students’ understanding of Cambodia and the lives of their new Cambodian friends. Learning really takes on a whole new meaning when students can experience first-hand the places, culture and people they have learned about over the course of The Kindskools Project! Tour schedules are to be developed in consultation with schools to align with the school’s objectives and budget, and will be organised through a reputable Cambodian tour operator.

For more information about The Kindskools Project, please contact our Head of Foundation, Lisa Colquhoun, at lisa@40k.com.au.