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British Council International School Award Success

The Weald School has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The Weald School has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The International School Award is a badge of honour for schools that do outstanding work in international education, such as through links with partner schools overseas. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need to live and work as global citizens.

The Weald School’s international work includes taking part in a European-wide Comenius project which involved linking with schools in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Austria.  Students took part in a range of common projects over two years, which allowed students in a number of year groups to gain an understanding of issues from a European perspective.  The school has also built classrooms in Kenya since 2006. This year, for example, around 50 Year 12 students travelled to the Kitale region in Kenya to build 4 double classrooms using money raised by students at The Weald.  The school has now raised around £160,000 since the project began.  The school also operates student trips and exchanges to China and Uganda. 

On hearing the news that The Weald School had received the Award, Headteacher Peter Woodman commented “The award is a real confirmation of the continuing work we do on an international basis.  In order to achieve the award schools must show that they have integrated projects into the school curriculum.  Our international work is not just a matter of sending students on overseas trips, it’s about ensuring that all students at The Weald School are exposed to curricular projects with an international dimension.  Our Year 7 students, for example, complete a Maths project that uses data collected from our partner schools in Ethiopia and Kenya.  Our students get a real sense of the distances walked by young people attending school in Africa, and how this compares with their own experience”.

John Rolfe, from the British Council, said: ‘The school’s fantastic international work has rightfully earned it this prestigious award. The International School Award is a great chance for schools to demonstrate the important work they’re doing to bring the world into their classrooms. Adding an international dimension to children’s education ensures that they are truly global citizens and helps prepare them for successful future careers in an increasingly global economy.’

2013/14 saw more than 500 schools receive International School Award accreditation. This includes a wide range of schools from a variety of different backgrounds and areas across the UK. The British Council hopes to build on this success throughout 2014.  

The Award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, Pakistan and Nigeria as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme. Around 5000 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.

The ISA encourages and supports schools to develop:

  • An international ethos embedded throughout the school
  • A majority of pupils within the school impacted by and involved in international work
  • Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
  • Curriculum-based work across a range of subjects
  • Year-round international activity
  • Involvement of the wider community