Norwegian connection for Braunton pupils

Some of the Braunton children speak to their new Norwegian friends via Skype.

Some of the Braunton children speak to their new Norwegian friends via Skype. - Credit: Archant

Youngsters at Southmead School make international news after chatting to schoolchildren in Norway.

Teaching assistant Claire Colarusso with the Southmead pupils who chatted over the internet to their

Teaching assistant Claire Colarusso with the Southmead pupils who chatted over the internet to their Norwegian counterparts. - Credit: Archant

CHILDREN at Southmead School in Braunton made the national news in Norway after forging a face to face connection with their counterparts in at a school in the north of the country.

They spent a morning chatting on screen to pupils at Bergseng Skole in Harstad in a Skype session and the innovative approach to international relations was even filmed by Norwegian regional and national news crews.

Several Southmead children have dads based at RMB Chivenor and many of them are currently on winter training in Norway.

The link back home was set up by Royal Marine Captain Baz Colarusso, who is Camp Commandant for the Allied Training Centre at Asegarden for the deployment.


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“The boundaries we thought we may have, such as the language barrier, have been non-existent. I feel this presents an excellent educational opportunity for the pupils of both schools,” he said.

Headteacher Gill Gillett said they were thrilled at the new partnership: “We hope this is just the start of an exciting learning opportunity for both schools and we have pen pals who will be writing their first letters after Easter.”

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Captain Colarusso’s wife Claire helped co-ordinate the Skype session from the UK end and said: “The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and in turn learned a lot about Norway and their students.”

It was set up in the Southmead ICT suite, with a large interactive white board linked to a laptop, allowing the students to have a good view of who they were speaking to.

Isaac Clark was keen to be included as his father currently lives in Norway. He said: “Norway is a wonderful place; I have been there many times to visit my father. We learned the students in the school didn’t have to wear uniform like us. They told us that they also eat reindeer, love to ski and play music all of the time.”

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