To qualify for the award, we had to evidence the volume of international work we carry out in school throughout the year.
Western is a large school with over 400 children, so we had to plan the topics very carefully to facilitate a holistic presentation at the end of the academic year.
Over the last 12 months, our curriculum-based global learning has ranged from climate change in the Antarctica through to scuba diving in Australia.
As well as being highly educational, it’s been a great way to bring year groups, parents and teachers together to work as a unit.
Year 2 children Oliver Thompson, Anna Morris, Lucy Dresner, Luke Harrison, Gabriel Roche with Mrs Thomas
Western has collaborated with its partner school in Kenya and with individuals, organisations and schools locally to learn about issues, cultures, religions and views from around the world. In addition to academic work, children have enjoyed a wide range experiential learning, in drama and dance workshops, music, art and crafts, in international food and in fund-raising activities.
Mrs Thomas said:
The population of Western is diverse, and we are very lucky that the families of some of our pupils were able to work with us on various topics.
Many of the classes chose to focus on countries and cultures that were pertinent to children in their groups, which made the learning all the more interesting and relevant.
Displays around the school have been very creative and colourful over the year, and highlights have included receiving letters from African pen-friends, turning the nursery snack table into a Chinese restaurant, making origami cranes during the Japanese Earthquake Appeal and dressing up with a wonderful world theme to fund-raise for Comic Relief.
The International School Award is not only a great accolade for the children, parents and staff who have worked hard over the last year, it enables us to act as an ambassador for the scheme, so that other schools can benefit from our experience.