Outwood Grange Academy 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 celebrates the achievements of schools that do exceptional work in international education. 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 for life work in today’s world.
Outwood Grange Academy’s international work includes working with KS3 students on the important of what it is to be an international citizen and the importance of understanding changes in our community and how this can affect the global community. Donating over 100 Science textbooks to Africa through the book aid scheme to help improve the resources for education around the world. CPD with other academies in our trust about the importance of being an international schools and the impact that this can have on the student’s development and chances in the future.
We have also been developing links with French students to allow our GCSE French class to practice their spoken and written French. As an academy we have also facilitated the development of our students cultural knowledge and experiences with trips to Peru and Ecuador to build toilets and buildings for the local communities and schools. As well as trips to Australia on a Rugby League sports tour, allowing our Rugby team to experience an international match as well as what it is like to live in different countries.
Sir Ciarán Devane, CEO of 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. Embedding an international dimension in children’s education ensures that they are truly global citizens and helps prepare them for successful lives and careers in an increasingly global economy.’
The International School Award encourages and supports schools to develop:
• An international ethos embedded throughout the school
• A whole school approach to international work
• Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
• Year-round international activity
• Involvement of the wider community
Receiving the International School Award (ISA) involved the staff and students at OGA leading on several international educational projects during 2013-2014.
Musical culture exchange with MinSheng Junior High School, China - videos of musical performances were exchanged and musical compassions made between the playing of traditional musical instruments within the two countries.
‘Culture in a box’ with Al Sulh School, Oman - this involved students and staff from both schools voting for the 10 things which they believed best represented Yorkshire and Oman. The items were placed in a box and sent to Oman, in return OGA received a culture box from them. Once the items were received in Oman, a video exchange took place ‘Eating is believing’, students in Oman were videoed ‘making Toad in the Hole’ and ‘Shepherd’s Pie’, in return OGA created a video showing how to make ‘Beef Kabouli’ a local Omani dish.
‘Global Energy Saver’ involved OGA students investigating the different ways countries around the globe view and promote energy conservation. This initiative will be used to promote environmental awareness through various OGA science departmental fairs scheduled for 2014-2015.
International Pen Pals, this involved students from OGA writing to other students across the globe and striking up friendships with those with mutual interests. This proved to be a valuable method for students to participate in language, culture and educational themes.
Since 2011 Outwood Grange Academy are proud of the accreditation Investors in Pupils. Across all Key Stages the programme offers Outwood a framework for involving pupils in decision making, and developing responsibility and leadership in relation to their learning, behaviour, attendance, school management, classroom management and induction. We believe it is powerful in developing a positive ethos where pupils learn about how the Academy is run, and, in turn, understand how they themselves can contribute to the running of the school. Pupils commit to common goals and teamwork – together with each other and with staff.
Investors in Pupils, along with all the hard work from students and staff at Outwood Grange, has seen an increase in empowering pupils to make a meaningful contribution to school, increase motivation and altruistic attitudes, raise attendance and it also contributes to continue to raise achievement for all our students.
We hope to maintain this accreditation maintaining a clear focus on ‘Students First’.