More than half a million people had the chance to find out about innovative ICT projects created by staff from Holy Cross school in New Malden, London borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, at Le Salon de L'Eacute;ducation exhibition in Paris.
The school was invited to present its work by the French ministries of education and research which set up the e-TICE stand at the five-day show to highlight ICT projects in the European Union. During 2000, Holy Cross - a Catholic girls' secondary school - has been involved in a number of projects, including a link-up with National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists and a pilot project to teach drama at the Ikeda junior high school in Japan.
Holy Cross students used email, video, audio tape, fax and video conferencing as well as conventional lessons to introduce a new style of drama teaching to the school. Lawrence Williams, director of studies at Holy Cross, says the project was greeted with great enthusiasm by the partnership school.
"In Japan they don't have creative drama in the way we do. In this country, we use drama for a vehicle for self-expression. In Japan they have talk and chalk and 42 pupils in a class, and the students were very excited at being able to express themselves."
Despite this international recognition, staff at Holy Cross are not resting on their laurels and will continue their quest to find ways of bringing ICT into the curriculum. Next July, students from Ikeda will come to Surrey to take part in a week-long series of experiments with Nasa.
John Lewis, principal at Dixons City Technology College in Bradford, was also invited to the show to demonstrate his college's approach to teaching with electronic whiteboards. Holy Cross and Dixons were joined on the e-TICE stand by 28 other schools, colleges, universities and organisations chosen to spread the word about their work with ICT.
Other projects showcased included the special needs work at the Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin, a new website on 20th-century German history and the use of distance learning for rural schools in Spain.
The majority of educational exhibitions in this country are for professionals only, but the French have taken an enlightened approach by bringing all those with an interest in education under one roof. This year's event attracted 504,700 students, teachers and parents from across France, making it one of the largest educational exhibitions in the world.
The students had their own exhibition areas and were even allowed to get their hands on computers - something that happens in the UK only when they are needed to show off a new product. The salon de l'Eacute;ducation combined Educatec - an exhibition for academic and vocational training, equipment, systems and services, Educ'Mat - an exhibition for nursery and primary resources, and the Salon du Sport - a showcase for sporting opportunities and seminars for parents, students and education professionals.
Sixth formers (and their teachers) wanting to explore beyond the confines of textbook history will find the BBC History Magazine both stimulating and informative. With this last issue of 2000, there's a free CD-Rom, featuring lectures that elucidate Simon Schama's immensely popular "History of Britain" television series.