Adrian Evans, Director Thames Festival Trust and Tevinda Thempana, Programmes Officer British Council with the students from Asoka College Colombo

Connecting Classrooms 3 (CC3) is a global education programme conducted by the British Council for schools, designed to help young people become globally aware and globally competitive in the 21st century. The new CC3 programme will build the capacity of teachers and principals in integrating a range of core skills into their teaching such as critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and imagination, digital literacy, citizenship, student leadership, communication and collaboration.

‘Rivers of the world’, which is part of the Connecting Classrooms programme, is the flagship arts and education project of the Thames Festival Trust delivered in partnership with the British Council. Sri Lanka has been involved in this project for two years and six schools have been engaged. The project enables young people to explore, celebrate and share their local environment, learn about other cultures and engage with global issues. It also provides fantastic opportunities for pupils to work with talented professional artists to create amazing pieces of art work for public display on the bank of the River Thames for six weeks.

As a part of the ‘Rivers of the World’ project, the British Council Schools team in Sri Lanka together with Adrian Evans, Director from the Thames Festival Trust held a week- long programme to recognise the efforts of the schools that have been part of this project. Six schools that have completed artwork on rivers in the UK were visited throughout the week. The schools were from different areas in Sri Lanka. Each school was given a certificate of participation and the previous years’ catalog which also included artworks done by them.

Commenting on the project, Keith Davies, Country Director British Council said, “Art and creativity is a valuable part of life. The British Council is delighted to be a part of this project and we hope this helps and inspires young people to value their local environment.”

Positive feedback was given by the teachers, and students from all the schools conducted a presentation on their learning outcomes which included sharing of knowledge and internationalism. By request of the students, British Council Sri Lanka hopes to organise an exhibition showcasing the artworks done by these six schools.