Broadening horizons with a
truly international education
Institutions that embrace the global
                                                 village give their pupils a head sta...
Beyond borders

The internet has opened doors for schools all over the
world to collaborate on projects, exchange valuable skills
and info...
Be inspired by a brainstorming
study visit overseas and
give your teaching new impetus
An exciting range of initiatives are helping
schools overcome barriers to improving multicultural
skills by linking with t...
reap benefits at home

‘It has exposed children                                                                             Resources
to wider co...
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TES British Council Supplement 13 November 2009


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A sponsored supplement produced for the British Council on teaching the international dimension in schools. Published by TES on 13 November 2009

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TES British Council Supplement 13 November 2009

  1. 1. WORLD CLASS Broadening horizons with a truly international education
  2. 2. Institutions that embrace the global village give their pupils a head start in an increasingly competitive world Worldly wisdom for all Globalisation is here to stay. Britain is no longer a remote island, one step removed from world events. No teacher or pupil has been unaffected by recent world events such as the bad mortgage lending in the US that created a financial shockwave felt in every household in the UK. Today’s schoolchildren are growing up in a global community, and must be prepared for the opportunities and challenges this offers. Education plays a fundamental role in this preparation, but an international educational experience should not be reserved for the academically elite or socially mobile. All of our children will feel the impact of this global shrinkage, whether it be through contact with pupils who have To boldly go come to the UK from abroad, or after their school career when they compete for jobs in a more complex marketplace. As the 2012 London Olympics approaches, the UK comes into focus for the world’s where few attention. This presents the perfect opportunity for us to look outwards to the world and for pupils to explore an international dimension through all aspects schools have of the curriculum. Size, location or subject should not hinder an international dimension within a curriculum, as the schools on the been before following pages can testify. Commitment, imagination and curiosity are what is needed to open the school doors and embrace the world at large. Travel is said to broaden the mind, and that deprivation is rife among the Bangladeshi TES editor: Gerard Kelly was certainly true for 19-year-old Kawsar population, who are often very narrow in Supplement editor: Fiona Salvage Zaman from London, who spent a life- seeking to learn about different cultures and Produced by TSL Education Limited to a brief changing six weeks in India over the summer making the most of education,” he says. agreed with the British Council and the DCSF. as a Prime Minister’s Global Fellow. “After returning [from India], I am even more Paid for by the DCSF. Every year, the scheme sends 100 young determined to make a difference for students All editorial content commissioned by TSL people to live and work in India, China or in the UK to work hard and dream big.” Education Limited. Brazil. Kawsar, who achieved three A-grade Kawsar’s trip began in New Delhi with an To give us your feedback or to suggest ideas, A-Levels from City and Islington College, had introduction to the language, politics and contact only ever traveled to Bangladesh before July. economy, and trips to historic landmarks. For sponsorship or advertising opportunities, “I come from a community in Tower This was followed by a stay with a host family, contact Hamlets in east London where economic where Kawsar researched the differences
  3. 3. Beyond borders STR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES ‘Some people ask whether it’s science or cultural exchange. It’s both, and they work well together’ A ll too often, the international dimension in the curriculum is confused with an emphasis on modern languages. But there are plenty of ways to incorporate it into non- obvious subjects such as science and ICT. Dr Eric Albone, director of the charity Clifton Scientific Trust, has organised science workshops since 2001 that bring together over-16s from Japan and the UK to live and work together (in either country). Past projects include sleep patterns, invertebrates, immunology and lasers. “It gives meaning to what they’re doing,” Dr Albone says. “They get to know each other and share an understanding of each other’s culture. Some people ask whether it is science or a cultural exchange? It’s both, and they work well together.” Funded by the EC, eTwinning is a free online collaboration tool for schools, run by the British Council in the UK. Over 60,000 teachers have registered so far. Burnham Market Primary School in Norfolk used the site to run a project on Vikings with a between English and Indian schooling, which from an international perspective. At Tollgate Swedish school. he will use to lobby for change in Tower Primary in Plaistow, east London, 80 per cent is a similar site to Hamlets (he’d like every school to have free of children are from minority backgrounds. eTwinning, though most of the 33 projects newspapers, as they do in India). His last two But rather than using its diversity as an listed have been devised by charities, so weeks were spent working at Shell. excuse for differences, the school has the resources are useful for raising pupils’ “I don’t think I see things the way I used embraced it through an international-based awareness of global issues. It’s free for to,” he says. “Everything is now in the context curriculum “that reflects our diversity, so teachers but they have to pay for pupils. of the UK in the wider world and our new kids are better motivated to learn”, head eLanguages is a free web platform, competition – the likes of India and China.” Tom Canning explains. It’s an approach that funded by DCSF, for schools to It’s not just secondary pupils that benefit has gained the school accreditation twice communicate globally and is available in with the Department for Children, Schools 23 languages. For key stage specific work, The fellowship of learning and Families International School Award. the east Asia strand of the British Council Applications are now open for the 2010 In geography, pupils have looked at programme Connecting Classrooms links Prime Minister’s Global Fellowship scheme. contrasting localities in Somalia and India, KS3 teachers and students with partners The deadline for submissions is December two of the communities represented in the in eastern Asia to develop joint projects 18, 2009. school. In RE, they’ve focused on religious and explore curriculum similarities. To be eligible for a place on the project, tolerance across faiths. The school also has Helen Trilling is international links co- candidates need to be: close ties with Green Village School in ordinator for Leicestershire County Council. Bangladesh and links with schools in France, She set up relationships between 12 local l 18 or 19 years old on July 1, 2010 Germany, Sweden and Turkey. schools with partners in Thailand and l Resident in England Mr Canning disputes the notion it is Malaysia. At Limehurst High School in l In full-time education at a state- easier to offer an international dimension in a Loughborough, pupils have been using the maintained school or college, in training or school where more than 40 languages are Connecting Classrooms IT platform to apprenticeship, active in the youth sector in spoken than in an all-white rural school. “It’s connect with their partner schools in England or currently on a gap year. really important we reflect modern Britain,” English, citizenship and science. he says. “Attainment has gone through the “It’s a textbook example of how the l For more details go to: roof, and the international dimension has projects make something you’re studying been a real contributor to our success.” in the curriculum real and exciting.” Victoria Furness
  4. 4. The internet has opened doors for schools all over the world to collaborate on projects, exchange valuable skills and information, and broaden their pupils’ horizons Partner up for smart net gains and webbed feats Adding an international dimension doesn't link school is a real motivation. As part of the joint arts and sports projects, and caught an just make learning more exciting. It can also Transatlantic School Innovation Alliance, a overnight train to Beijing’s National Stadium broaden horizons, open minds and turn group of Year 10s have been collaborating with to study its disabled access. young people into global citizens. a high school in Brooklyn, New York. They “Many of our pupils had never been abroad For children who are getting to grips with regularly use email and video conferencing to before,” says Ms Briggs. “Yet suddenly they a foreign language, overseas links give a real exchange work and deliver presentations. were travelling on planes and trains, visiting sense of relevance and purpose. At Cronton “If something is going to be seen on another the homes of Chinese families and eating CofE Primary School in Cheshire, lessons in continent, our students invest more time in with chopsticks. It was an unbelievable boost a range of subjects are sometimes conducted it. It’s also made them appreciate the value to their confidence, and that’s had a positive entirely in Spanish or German – then shared of standard English, because if they speak impact back at school.” with partner schools in Seville and Berlin, as Bermondsey slang and the New Yorkers As well as helping pupils feel good about part of an EU-funded Comenius project. speak Brooklyn slang, no one understands a themselves, the trip also changed the way “In PE, for example, our pupils devised a word! They’ve become confident dealing with they see others. “Stubbin Wood isn’t very warm-up exercise,” explains teacher Ian people from outside their circle.” multicultural and going to China gave pupils Thomas. “They filmed it with instructions in Email, webcams and Skype have made it a new perspective. They understand how it German and sent the DVD to our partner easy for schools to work together. But when feels to be in a minority and appreciate that school for them to try out. When children pupils actually visit a partner school, the underneath people are pretty much the same. know they’re doing something for an impact can be even greater. Carolyn Briggs, Those lessons will stay with them for life.” audience it gives them a boost. They’ve of Stubbin Wood School in Derbyshire, took Steven Hastings become more engaged and more interested children to visit their partner special school l in what’s going on in other countries.” in Shanghai, thanks to DCSF funding for Beth Humphreys, of City of London China links, accessed through the British Academy - Southwark, agrees working with a Council. During the trip they worked on partnerships-china GETTY
  5. 5. Be inspired by a brainstorming study visit overseas and give your teaching new impetus Exchange is in the air CHRISTOPHER SCOTT/GETTY Want to develop an international dimension and find an international partner? DCSF Global Gateway ( has all you need to know… l School links can focus on one subject or be curriculum-wide, whole-school or year-specific, long-term or short-term. The ‘Getting Started’ section outlines the options. l You should provide contact details, information about your school, and a brief précis of your ideal partner. l Ask the team for suggestions, browse the database yourself, or simply sit tight and wait for schools to get in touch. l As well as finding new partners, you can look into funding opportunities and ideas for projects. l You can also apply for the DCSF International School Award. For more information, email A world of good explore changes in three emerging economic giants – Brazil, China and India – and how they will affect the UK. Away from their everyday lives, they will gain first-hand ideas out there experience of the challenges and opportunities presented by these countries and return full of inspiration, ready to disseminate their learnings across the secondary school system. Steven Hastings l The Australians do great things with gifted real-life situations. After that, he spent a week l pupils. Finland has a unique approach to at a school developing links and gathering in-service-training literacy. South Africa excels at raising resources. “It’s changed the way I teach,” l achievement in its inner cities. For teachers he says. “Now I’m able to conduct whole wanting to develop new skills, studying lessons in German. It’s more enjoyable for The TIPD programme is funded by the alternative practice overseas offers fresh everyone.” DCSF and delivered by the ideas, a change of perspective and a chance to Sixty teachers from the Specialist Schools British Council, the Specialist Schools and reflect. and Academies Trust leadership programmes Academies Trust, HTI/Merganser and the The DCSF Teachers’ International are taking part in a new DCSF-funded scheme League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Professional Development (TIPD) programme with the Global Teacher Project. They will Teachers/CfBT organises study visits to more than 80 countries, including a recent visit to observe Going global how Canadian schools promote thinking S skills. “It was brilliant,” says Michelle ince registering with Global Gateway on. The Georgians noticed we were founded Brayford, of Brunswick House Primary in in April 2008, Gurney Pease Primary in 1874. The Ugandan school liked the fact Kent. “It highlighted what we were doing well School in Darlington has established we were strong on dance and music. but also gave me inspiration. There were five successful links around the world. “Earlier this year a colleague and I visited strategies and games I’ve integrated into “We have a number of Polish children,” our partners in Uganda, thanks to a DFID lessons, and I still share ideas with teachers says teacher Maureen Hobbs, “and that Global School Partnerships grant, and soon in Toronto.” gave me the idea of linking there. I went to two Ugandan teachers are coming here. In Overseas professional development gives a Global Gateway taster session, talked it the future, it might be possible to organise your teaching new impetus and makes you over with the head, then registered online. an exchange involving pupils as well.” more confident in the classroom. At Wilbury “We had a lot in common with one school, “I’m not surprised Gurney have Primary School in north London, Robert and exchanged emails and photos. Other established so many successful links,” says Tweddle found that he didn’t have a sufficient schools saw our profile and got in touch. Liz Hitchcock, editor of Global Gateway. level of German. So he took advantage of a We now have links with France, Uganda, “They posted a great message, and log on Comenius in-service training grant. Georgia and a second school in Poland. regularly, keeping them near the top. We’ve It meant a week’s intensive training in “It’s worth spending time on your profile, helped by suggesting potential partners, Berlin, with language lessons in the mornings, because you never know what people pick up assisting with visas and funding advice.” followed by afternoons speaking German in
  6. 6. An exciting range of initiatives are helping schools overcome barriers to improving multicultural skills by linking with their counterparts abroad Why hands across the water Now we live in a global society, students Get international need to improve their skills and cultural British Council Connecting Classrooms understanding to equip them for the world of links clusters of UK schools with schools in work and life. But bringing an international over 60 countries around the world. dimension to lessons can seem daunting when Schools taking part are coordinated by a faced with time constraints, funding concerns local authority or similar body. and an already crowded curriculum. Partnerships last two to three years Several initiatives have been established initially, there is no joining fee and to help schools overcome these barriers so participating schools and coordinating students and teachers can share knowledge bodies receive grants to support activities. and gain a greater understanding of how children in other countries live and learn. meeting inspection standards. They are living By fostering an appreciation of languages, parallel lives where ultimately the goal is the lifestyles and cultures, these schemes help to same: to get the best education for everyone.” break down barriers within local communities. He says the partnership is also helping Schools can have an impact on community schools “win the hearts and minds” of local cohesion by exploring multicultural and parents who have links to Pakistan by international issues in the classroom. The encouraging a greater understanding of their British Council’s Connecting Classrooms culture and heritage. programme helps schools foster intercultural Lincolnshire County Council is one of 39 understanding within their own communities local authorities taking part in the new and between different societies. Through Comenius Regio scheme. Schools, education these partnerships, the scheme aims to create authorities and local organisations such as “a safer and more connected world for the universities, the police and youth groups are future”, says Olga Stanojlovic, director teaming up with counterparts in Europe to schools in education at the British Council. tackle social problems and raise standards. Since 2006, a cluster of schools in Bradford Launched last year by the European have been partnered with schools in Commission and managed by the British Peshawar, Pakistan. The partnership focuses Council, the programme funds partnerships on improving community cohesion, as well as between local authorities in the UK and other developing leadership and raising standards. European nations so they can address Three schools in Bradford and five in common issues such as bullying and Peshawar, including one faith-based school, underachievement of immigrant pupils. share information about life in the two Lincolnshire has a large number of countries, dispelling stereotypes “such as all migrants from Eastern Europe and needs to people in the UK have blonde hair and wear help children from these countries settle in to suits”, says Rizwan Rehman, cohesion and schools in the area. In contrast, Poland has inclusion lead cluster co-ordinator for been affected by the number of people leaving Bradford Metropolitan District Council. the country and needs to support those “Teachers from Bradford who saw the children who return after spending time in challenging conditions in Pakistan were the UK education system. moved to tears,” says Mr Rehman. “Teachers This August, Lincolnshire council formed a who visited the UK saw the effort involved in partnership under the Regio scheme with its hopes it will “give us a better understanding counterpart in Lincoln’s twin city of of issues facing people as they migrate and Take your partner by the hand Radomsko, Poland, collaborating on migration how communities adapt to those challenges”. Schools can get their international work and education issues. The partnership Arabic is a recent addition to the language recognised through the framework provided comprises three schools in Lincolnshire, the assistant programme. This year St Peter’s by the DCSF International School Award. council, voluntary youth services and family Church of England Aided School in Exeter They must send a portfolio compiled across support organisation Home-Start, along with was one of the first in the UK to have an the academic year that highlights their seven schools in Radomsko, the city’s Arabic British Council foreign language commitment to encouraging students to governing body and similar support groups. assistant. These assistants can bring a fresh become global citizens and show evidence During reciprocal visits the partnership will cultural perspective to language learning, as they are doing collaborative work with a discuss issues, then pool findings through web well as providing access to authentic partner school overseas. Schools receive links and personnel exchanges. Towards the teaching materials and improving student accreditation for three years, become end of the two years there will be conferences confidence in communication. ambassadors of the scheme and help in each authority to publicise the project, Exploring languages can help schools work support others in their international work. display findings and highlight good practice. more closely with their local communities. Chris Williams, special projects consultant This initiative, funded by the Department for at Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School, says he Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), allows
  7. 7. reap benefits at home RUSSEL SACHS foreign language assistants from 20 countries French and German”. So in 2008, when the them to find accommodation and making sure worldwide to work in English schools, offering British Council asked if the school would like they don’t feel homesick”, Ms Sykes says. French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, to employ the first Arabic-speaking assistant Schools that contact the British Council to Chinese, Urdu, Arabic, Irish and Japanese. for a year, it was keen to take up the offer. take part in the scheme will find the benefits The scheme also enables English language With funding from the British Council and are “immeasurable”, Ms Sykes says. “Having assistants to teach overseas, with 2,100 Exeter University, Aisha Al Badawi from an Arabic language assistant at the school people visiting countries all over the world in Oman was appointed as a language assistant, the last academic year alone. helping to run Year 7 introductory classes in Other useful organisations As a specialist language college, St Peter’s Arabic and a 10-week module focusing on an l SSAT had previously benefited from having understanding of the Arabic-speaking world l UK-German Connection assistants from France, Germany and Spain. as part of Year 10’s citizenship lessons. But Alison Sykes, its assistant head, says it Students produced a brochure to help Islamic l Development Education Association was “crucial” to introduce Arabic to the families settle in the area, and the school ran curriculum, not only because Exeter has an Arabic classes for residents, which has l Plan International www.plan- Islamic community, but also working in a strengthened links with the local community. global village means “people need to be Staff need to be prepared to support a l LECT trained in languages other than the usual language assistant by, for example, “helping
  8. 8. ‘It has exposed children Resources to wider communities and cultures’ has been a life-changing experience. It gives months to find an overseas school to link l DCSF Global Gateway – the one-stop students an insight into other people’s culture with. A letter to Gambia’s Tanjeh Lower Basic shop for the international dimension and is a great motivating influence. It also School led to teacher visits and joint work, helps break down prejudices.” funded by the DFID Global School l Collaboration through ICT This year marks the 10th anniversary of Partnerships scheme, managed by a the DCSF International School Award (ISA), consortium including the British Council. an accreditation scheme run for DCSF by the The school has no electricity, which makes British Council that celebrates excellence in communication difficult but possible, with l Funding for collaborative curriculum embedding an international dimension in the children sharing pen pal letters and school projects school curriculum. The scheme helps schools newspapers, staff sharing teaching methods, support the idea of young global citizens and and the three schools working together on also aims to encourage community cohesion. such projects as “how we use waste”. connectingclassrooms “The award is a fantastic way of celebrating, “The partnership has enriched the recognising and embedding the international curriculum, exposing children to wider dimensions of teaching and learning across communities and cultures,” says Ms Phillips. l Language assistants schools,” says John Rolfe, ISA manager. Receiving ISA accreditation has spurred All schools are eligible for the award, Stogumber and Crowcombe to do even more. l Accreditation whether multicultural or monocultural, They have created a DVD to show the life of a urban or rural, primary or secondary. Size is family in Tanjeh, the sales of which will help l Community cohesion no obstacle, as Stogumber and Crowcombe fund future projects, and hope to form a primary schools in Somerset have proved. charity to support their work. communitycohesion Stogumber has just 24 pupils and is federated Ms Phillips believes it is possible to forge l BBC World Class to Crowcombe, which has 49. But their work links with other countries, whatever a during the past four years on joint projects school’s size. “Don’t be put off if you’re a l London 2012 with a school in the Gambia earned them ISA small school – that doesn’t matter. Making accreditation in 2008. these partnerships work is about effort, It took Penny Phillips, a part-time primary passion and a shared commitment.” teacher and multicultural coordinator, six Kathy Oxtoby