St Peter’s Catholic School in Bournemouth has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom. At the heart of their international work is their partnership with Shea O’Connor Combined School in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, where numbers have shot up since the start of the partnership.
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.
St Peter’s Catholic School’s international work includes linking school departments so they can work together, donating sporting goods and school uniform, building a school library and learning Zulu! This was capped off with a visit by St Peter’s Catholic School students in June 2015, when eleven Sixth Form students visited KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and worked with the partner school’s students. Over the last 6 years teachers from both schools have visited each other and the ongoing task of building leadership and learning from each other has been an enjoyable journey.
On hearing the news that St Peter’s Catholic School had received the award, Headteacher, David Todd said: this is a great accolade for the staff and students of St Peter’s School; it is a team effort and testament to our commitment to educating the students to see beyond their own lives and experiences. We aim to teach our students that they are part of one race with one planet to share and therefore have a responsibility to learn from, as well as support, those who are less advantaged.
British Council Chief Executive, Sir Ciarán Devane, 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.’
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