TWO West Devon primary schools have been chosen to take part in a national initiative aimed at developing global education, writes Lindsay Turpin.

Meavy Primary School and Lady Modiford's in Walkhampton have been selected to develop international links with Tanzania as part of a major new school twinning project.

'Connecting Classrooms' is an education initiative backed by the UK Government and the British Council.

The West Dartmoor Federation of Meavy and Lady Modiford's schools have been selected, along with Devon's Offwell and Redhills primary schools, in recognition of their commitment to teaching pupils about global issues and awarded £6,000.

They are collectively known as the Rafiki, or friendship, group.

Gavin Hamilton, executive headteacher of the West Dartmoor Federation, said: 'I am delighted that both Lady Modiford's and Meavy primary schools in the West Dartmoor Federation have been awarded the funds to continue our exciting international work.

'There are a lot of things the children of all the link schools can share with and learn from each other.

'We are also very grateful to Plymouth Argyle FC who recently kindly donated a football kit to Kisimatui Primary, one of our partner schools in rural Tanzania.'

The programme has already funded staff from Devon to take part in an exchange visit in Tanzania during August 2014, where they worked on classroom-based projects together, with the aim of giving young people a unique and hands-on international learning experience.

Devon's head of education and learning Sue Clarke said: 'Our children are going to be citizens of a world which is shrinking all the time and competing to make a living in a global economy.

'It is really important for them to understand about life in other countries and this programme is tailored to give practical experience of many of the topics they will cover in a number of subjects in the curriculum.'

Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening said: 'I am very pleased that schools in the Rafiki Group are taking on this excellent opportunity to link with schools in other parts of our world.

'Young people and teachers can make a fantastic contribution by sharing the best of Britain with their peers around the world and at the same time, the great thing is that they can get invaluable knowledge of what life is like in other countries.'

Tanzanian headteachers visited Devon in November 2014 and joined in with environmental work and a variety of craft projects.

Staff from the UK will be returning to Tanzania in August 2015.

They will be taking funds over with them raised by their schools' enterprise groups, pupil-led clubs which have been producing and selling a range of goods, such as loom band bracelets and origami dinosaurs, to raise funds to build new toilet facilities at Tanzanian schools.

Tanzanian staff will return to Devon in October 2015 to join on with Harvest celebrations.

To find out more about the innovative global work visit"> or follow them on twitter @rafikigroup.