A group of Shropshire teachers has been to Halle, eastern Germany, to observe 14 to19 and vocational education; another group, from Merton in south-west London, observed primary teaching in Berlin. Teachers go overseas to look at issues such as primary-secondary transition, behaviour management, inclusion and primary modern language teaching.
The British Council organised a recent trip for secondary heads to a Hamburg vocational school. They observed how vocational classes were linked to academic lessons and how vocational teaching avoided duplication. The visit was organised through the International Placements for Headteachers (IPH) scheme, funded by the National College for School Leadership.
Two weeks on the Rhine
The Anglo-German Teacher Fellowships scheme, funded by the DfES, provides grants for primary and secondary teachers to visit a German school for two weeks to investigate areas of common interest. Since 2002, 46 teachers have looked at maths, picture communication in special schools, enterprise education and ways to improve students' motivation. Tess Kaunhoven of St Aldhelm's primary, Somerset, observed cross-curricular history and geography at Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn primary in Wittenberge. "In 10 days you can really get to know the children well," she says. Funding is also available though the British Council for teachers and heads to make short visits to a German partner school to set up a curriculum-based partnership.