10-Year-Olds Trade Places with Students from Across the Pond in Dwight Family of Schools New York/London Exchange Program

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For almost 15 years, Fifth Graders at Dwight New York and Year 6 students at Dwight North London spend a week learning what it’s like to be 10 years old in a different country

Dwight New York 5th graders Skype with year 6 Dwight North London students

Giving children a global perspective on life is a huge part of the educational philosophy at The Dwight School in New York, and indeed at every Dwight school,” said Dianne Drew, Principal at Dwight New York.

Fifteen fifth graders at the Dwight School in New York will spend this week at Dwight’s sister school, Dwight North London International School, learning what it’s like to live, study and make friends in a different country.

The exchange marks a rite of passage for Dwight 5th graders, who have been taking part in what is one of the longest exchange programs at Dwight. As part of the program, Dwight NY students will be hosted by families of Dwight North London year 6 students, who will then make a reciprocal trip in May to Dwight New York.

“Giving children a global perspective on life is a huge part of the educational philosophy at The Dwight School in New York, and indeed at every Dwight school,” said Dianne Drew, Principal at Dwight New York. “The London exchange provides a safe, established program that enables kids in 5th grade to have a meaningful cultural experience abroad, and establish friendships and connections that will endure long after they’ve returned home.”

The students will be chaperoned by 5th grade teachers Ron Posner and Rachelle Watson, along with school health care provider Fatmira Purovic. Upon arrival, students and staff will head directly to the North London campus, where they will meet their host families and participate in meet-and-greet activities. After a weekend becoming acquainted with their host families, students will embark on a week of cultural activities, including visits to the London Eye, the Globe Theatre, the Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace, to name a few.

In addition to cultural activities, 5th graders will visit The Science Museum and The British Museum to experience exhibits and workshops that tie in directly to the fifth grade curriculum. For example, students will view the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum as part of their ancient civilization studies.

Communication between Dwight New York 5th grade students and the North London year 6 students began earlier this year. Students in both locations collaborated on math problems, played the online game Roblox, and chatted with one another through Edmodo, a secure social learning network for students and teachers.

When asked what he hopes the children will gain from the trip, Mr. Posner noted “…lasting relationships with a diverse group of children that will build upon the global vision ideology at the heart of Dwight’s philosophy.” Both Ron and Rachelle also see future possibilities with regards to technology’s involvement in the communication process between the students.

Dwight’s commitment to developing and enhancing each student’s global vision is only one example of the many exchanges and cross cultural experiences offered by the Family of Schools, which also included trips by both the New York and London schools to Beijing China during the current school year. Dwight’s commitment to global vision is also evidenced by its historic commitment to the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, which is the only curriculum that is measured against international and universal benchmarks.

Students return on Saturday, April 28th, with journals and blog entries documenting their experiences. They will not have much time to miss their new London friends, as the North London students arrive on May 12th.

About The Dwight Family of Schools

With more than 500 faculty and staff from over 40 countries, the Dwight Family of Schools educates 2,000 students around the world. It is led by Chancellor Stephen Spahn, the longest-serving head of school in New York City, long-standing board member of the IB organization and recipient of the national Lewis Hine Award in 2011 for his commitment and service to youth. For more information, visit http://www.dwight.edu.

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