There can be few better examples of global citizenship in action than the international response to the Asian tsunami disaster on Boxing Day. It was heart-warming to see Britain's schools and colleges play a leading role in the aid effort, raising millions and in many cases offering personal help and support to schools devastated by the floods.
In our increasingly wired-up world a catastrophe in a far-away ocean can become a spark that fires a whole generation of children and young people into action, tapping into their natural sense of justice and compassion for human suffering. At a time when they show little interest in party politics, our young generation is more concerned about the people of the world and global issues than ever before.
With this in mind The TES - in partnership with the British Council and sponsors HSBC - today launches our Make the Link awards, which we hope will encourage pupils and students to become active global citizens by developing links with schools in other countries. That link might be with the emerging world - in Africa, for example, or the Indian Ocean - or with a school or college in the rich countries of Europe, America or the Far East. The awards, we hope, will help the new subject of citizenship take root and flourish in our schools. This is your chance to show how, with a partner school or college in another country, children can work together to support each other, promoting mutual understanding and a knowledge of human rights.
We would also like to hear how schools have used overseas links to create a positive ethos and strengthen ties with their local communities, particularly those with cultural links to other countries. In addition, the awards will focus on the rich potential for innovative teaching and learning projects right across the curriculum. So, whether yours is a state-of-the-art technology college using the superhighway to communicate with students in Japan, for example, or a rural primary engaged in a joint farming project with children in Uganda, we would like to hear from you.