Awards & Partnerships
International Schools Award 2011-2014
We were delighted to be awarded the prestigious full International Schools Award from the British Council in recognition of our commitment to the Global Dimension of education. The award, assessed over a 12 month period, was very rigorous and staff and pupils have all worked hard to ensure it was achieved. The award recognises that an international ethos is embedded throughout the school and that the majority of pupils within the school have been impacted by and involved in international work. The curriculum based projects were run across a range of subjects over the full 12 month period and included Multi-Faith work, world music, Aboriginal art, visits to Berlin and Namibia, science and geography projects, citizenship work and charity work.
The International School Award aims to promote a celebration of diversity and to create a framework for anti racist and equal opportunities strategies. When a school has partner schools in other countries, this can have the effect of bringing the school together and increasing its sense of ethos and identity. That is because the staff and pupils of the school think much more about how others see them, and wish to be seen in a positive light (welcoming, open-minded, ready to collaborate and share!)
The International School Award promotes partnerships both within the UK and with other countries which can give a real focus to discussions in the school about who we are and how others see us), what it is to be British (and how other countries see us) and what it means to be a global citizen.
A Global Dimension approach to the curriculum can add relevance and real life to topics and really engage students. It incorporates news items and current affairs –crucially bringing in the different viewpoints and opinions from the people affected.
It makes creative and ‘real’ use of ICT and puts languages into an exciting context, and it opens up global issues through history, geography, and science. It also strongly support work on rights, sustainability, and the future. The award allowed also allowed us develop a number of successful international partnerships with schools in 5 countries:
- The languages department have developed excellent links with a French partner school and run successful pen-pal schemes and blogs which have allowed interaction with pupils and staff.
- The Geography department developed a link with a Marvin Ridge School in North Carolina and shared local projects and letters.
- Through Mr Redmond we have developed a link with Mavuluma school in Namibia which a number of our pupils and staff visited this summer to undertake voluntary work.
- Addtionally we have a successful link with Ntabenkonyana school in South Africa and Mrs Harbottle visited at Easter to do some teaching.
- Mr Mensah has also developed a link with the Mystical Rose Academy in Ghana and we have been pleased to support them in their work.
Secondary Geography Quality Mark Centre of Excellence
The Geography Association says this about the award,
“The CoE award recognises the contribution of those schools in disseminating quality approaches to the teaching of geography to colleagues. In these schools geography is led by enthusiastic curriculum leaders who are able to inspire their colleagues. They endorse the views expressed in the Geographical Association’s manifesto, A Different View, and value the important contribution that geography makes to the curriculum throughout the school.”
We are delighted that the department has again been recognised by the Geographical Association for its hard work and commitment to delivering an up to date and relevant curriculum at Key Stage 3. The Centre of Excellence award is especially pleasing as there are so few schools across the country that hold the award. It really is a testament to the extra curricular work that the department does within the local community and with our local partner primary and secondary schools.
Secondary Geography Quality Mark
The Key Stage 3 Secondary Geography Quality Mark is a framework which has been developed by the Geographical Association to enable subject leaders to raise the standards of geography in school, supporting the teaching of quality geography and promoting department leadership and management.
The overarching strength of the Quality Mark is its capacity to act as an effective ‘lever of change’ for the development of geography in the schools that take part.
Undertaking the Quality Mark engages all staff in the department in a process of reflection about how well the department is achieving its aims and where its priorities lie. The template is based on the whole school Self-Evaluation Form (SEF), well-honed by Ofsted, thus matching the generic SEF which each head teacher goes through annually in reviewing the school’s work. Nothing could be more relevant to a subject leader’s consideration of how to act next, to improve his or her department.
The whole team takes part in an ongoing process of curriculum review, identifying priorities for departmental CPD, sharing good practice around a framework for encouraging creative and critical thinking about curriculum making and developing a dynamic, relevant KS3.