International School Award
Greenfield & Pulloxhill Academy continually strives to sustain and develop its international dimension and provision. Although re-accreditation with the International School Award most definitely wasn't the raison d’être for our international activities, it is immensely pleasing that we have recently had news that our achievements have been recognised and that the British Council has again approved the Academy’s application for re-accreditation with the Award.
The Academy’s staff are dedicated and take personal responsibility for providing an international dimension to our children’s learning and to ensuring that this is shared with the wider community. Our international ethos, which is detailed in our (linked) international policy, is embedded in everything we do across our schools and is also reflected in our (linked) International Coordinator job description. Mrs Alison Wolfe is our International Coordinator. So important is the international dimension to the Academy that our Chair of Governors, Mr Alan Euinton, is our ‘International School’ Governor. He recently accompanied some of our children on an exchange visit to one of our partner schools in Germany. The Academy’s international policy and activities are regularly revisited in staff meetings and staff training to ensure that existing and new members of staff are fully aware of and contributing to our international values, aims and vision. The international dimension is fully integrated into our whole-school ethos, as a consequence of which there has been a significant impact on our children and their personal development.
Our international activities are delivered across the curriculum and are very much focussed on cross-curricular teaching. Relatively few of our children are from minority ethnic communities and our children therefore benefit greatly from learning about other cultures. The children embed their many experiences and it is very evident that this is beneficial to them in the classroom and that it is clear that these are reflected in their learning. Some of the many examples of opportunities that are offered to the children in our schools include: international exchange visits, information exchanges with schools abroad, dancing, music, singing and art from ‘around the world’, languages learning, celebrating festivals from many cultures, for example Diwali and Chinese New Year, international food activities, including South Africa and the Middle East, learning about specific countries, for example Ecuador and Madagascar, investigating and reflecting on the impact of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, and ‘values’-based multicultural assemblies.
The Academy’s languages provision is regularly reviewed and this year children have experienced language learning in a variety of languages including: German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Norwegian and Mandarin.
Although our schools are small, we have been fortunate enough to establish links with two schools in Germany (Gemeinschaftsgrundschule Am Steimel, Uckerath and Evangelischen GrundSchule, Troisdorf ) and one in Norway (Ness Oppvekstsenter, Lysthaugen, Nord-Trøndelag). As well as exchanges, visits and many in-school experiences, the whole Academy comes together to help children from our partner schools in Germany, have a wonderful experience in this country, an experience which is replicated when our children travel to Germany. The children from Germany benefit from joining our school and local community and they provide us with an insight into their lives and experiences, which is invaluable. The reciprocal partnerships we have established create unique and memorable experiences for our children. Through our children having the opportunity to give their own identity importance and meaning, it is our experience that they are better able to celebrate diversity. We have expanded our international learning to the wider community. Parents, wider family and members of the local community have been invited into school to share in our international work and we have gone out into our local community. Our international news is published in our termly newsletter.
The international opportunities provided to our children enhance our multicultural spirit, which is fundamental to the Academy. Our involvement with local schools, the local community and our international partner schools brings new ideas and dimensions to our schools.