Summertime for many teachers is a time to kick back, relax and recharge before another school year begins. But at least two SSTA members are spending their summer holidays travelling to destinations around the world to share their knowledge and skills with fellow teachers.

Margaret Mackay, a teacher at Lochgelly High School, is currently spending five weeks in a rural community in the Dedza district of Malawi. She will work alongside the Head and staff at the local school where classes have over 100 pupils and minimal resources. She will be helping to develop leadership and management skills and teaching practice in the school. “I have found the ideal opportunity to use my professional skills where it really counts – to help make poverty history,” Maggie said. “”¦ I know I will learn so much which I can share with my pupils in Lochgelly High School on my return.” Following her return from Malawi, Maggie will work with students in her school to raise awareness of global issues such as fair trade, equality, justice, and examine ways to change the world for the better through recycling and sharing of resources. She hopes to forge a long-lasting link between Lochgelly High School, Denend Primary School and her school in Dedza.

Maggie is going to Malawi as part of the Global Teachers Programme, run by the international charity, Link Community Development (LCD), with funding from the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) and a contribution from the SSTA. Fellow teacher Catherine Baker of Kelso High School will also be travelling south to work as a volunteer with LCD for a five-week placement in South Africa in July, funded in part by the SSTA. Catherine also participated in a 48-hour sponsored fast to raise money for her placement. “I am confident that this experience will provide me with a fresh challenge and enable me to further broaden my horizons,” Catherine said. “It will also provide me with a deeper insight into another culture, which I will in turn be able to use to educate my students and broaden their horizons further than the rural community they live in. The experience will take me out of my comfort zone and re-energise and influence my passion for the education of the whole person, and the contrast with my own school and education system will be enlightening.” For more information on Link Community Development's Global Teachers Programme, write to or phone 020 7691 1818.