For the second year running Sixth Form Government and Politics students have been able to engage in a transatlantic political and cultural discussion with High School Politics students in Kenston School Ohio. Thanks to the wonders of Skype a really engaging 90 minute interchange spanning 5 time zones allowed students with a shared interest in Government and Politics to inquire and debate with each other on a whole range of issues. Ohio is renowned as bellwether state, a swing state which virtually always votes the way the country swings in presidential elections and in 2016 this was again the case. Indeed, the school’s mock election there a couple of days before the presidential elections resulted in a Trump victory, mirroring the state result.
The political issues were wide-ranging and there were interesting questions posed by students on both sides of the Atlantic regarding some of the differences between our political systems. It is indeed fascinating how two nations which both regard themselves as fine examples of democracy can be so very different in many of the ways in which they believe that democracy can function best. Darrick Wood students were keen to discuss Donald Trump of course and the US students were intrigued by the Monster Raving Looney Party in the UK.
The Transatlantic discussion was not entirely limited to political issues and there was a chance for students to ask about aspects of the everyday life and compare the culture of teenagers in the UK and USA. Some of the students have continued to keep in touch via social media. This event has occurred in the same school year as the fascinating visit by the US ambassador. International inks are something we really encourage at our School as anything which promotes international awareness and understanding is to be welcomed as we teach our students to become well-informed world citizens, in part through personal contact with other nationals. This was also why we were very happy to welcome a large group of Chinese students in to our classrooms for a week earlier this year. As a World Class School, Darrick Wood is keen to span the globe with our international contacts and if any parents or carers have any contacts which we could build on we would love to hear from you.