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Pupils 'Thai' up link

PUBLISHED: 18:27 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:24 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

WEBCAMS linked a country and classmates 6,000 miles away at a school assembly this week with “sawatdee khrab” replacing the usual morning greeting.

And while the school timetable was just beginning at Lynn Grove High School in Gorleston on Tuesday, six of their fellow pupils were packing away their books at the end of a seven-hour schoolday in Pichit, northern Thailand.

WEBCAMS linked a country and classmates 6,000 miles away at a school assembly this week with “sawatdee khrab” replacing the usual morning greeting.

And while the school timetable was just beginning at Lynn Grove High School in Gorleston on Tuesday, six of their fellow pupils were packing away their books at the end of a seven-hour schoolday in Pichit, northern Thailand.

Video conferencing gave pupils a window on the world and a chance to chat with ambassador pals who flew out on Sunday to find out about culture, food and language.

In front a packed school hall, around 450 Lynn Grove pupils greeted the party by saying hello in Thai.

Teacher Darren Carter spoke to them from their “twin” school in Pichit about the visit and what he, two other teachers and six ambassador pupils had been doing.

Lynn Grove pupils then took turns in asking questions of their friends - including what the weather, food, and Thai people were like.

One ambassador replied: “It's really hot and you need lots of sun cream.”

Another said: “The people in Thailand are very nice and make you feel welcome.”

A group of Buddhist monks were also involved in the live link-up and explained their religion to Lynn Grove pupils and gave a Buddhist prayer.

Lynn Grove has been in partnership with the Thai school for about four years and after the live video link international co-ordinator Sarah Calne explained how it came about.

“I had picked up the idea from a conference a where British school had set up a partnership with a school in Africa. I have personal contacts in Thailand so I was able to find a school that we could go into partnership with.”

The project allows pupils to learn about the country's culture, cuisine and language. And pupils from both schools frequently interact via webcam links in lessons.

“The pupils ask each other questions and share stories about school life. I think a project like is very good for these children as we are fairly isolated. It's very good for them to see other cultures.”

Pupils had to apply to go on the trip and be interviewed.

The six school ambassadors were Melissa Taylor, Martin Shulver, Roseanna Goode, Thomas Allen, Kasia Carnell and Rhys Sadler.

Teachers on the trip are Darren Carter, Suzzie Faul and technician Rob Carroll.

Picture: Laura Bagshaw

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