WOODSIDE Academy in Grays 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 award was presented at a ceremony hosted in the British Council offices in London by Jo Beall, Director of Education & Society. In giving the award, she said “The International School Award promotes shared understanding between different cultures, particularly important in the modern world… This is a great achievement for your school and I know that it reflects a lot of hard work from you and your staff”.
Woodside’s international work includes links with schools in Nepal, Beijing and Ghana including a teacher exchange and letters and emails between pupils, special activities around International Day, Chinese New Year and other events as well as learning Spanish and Mandarin, supported by foreign language assistants for both languages.
On hearing the news that Woodside had received the award, Edward Caines, principal of Woodside said: “This has been a fantastic accolade for the work of children and staff. Since becoming an academy we have been able to develop our own curriculum, much of which centres of local history and the immediate environment, where children can have first-hand experience; but we also wanted to equip children as citizens of a world where communication and trade with many nations are going to be vital. We are particularly grateful to year 2 teacher Charlotte Barr who has steered the project throughout.”
The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and Pakistan as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme. Around 5,000 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.
The International School Award 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