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Upton-by-Chester High School

Celebrating the International School Award again

We have been re-accredited with the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of our work to bring the world into the classroom.

We have been re-accredited with the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of our work to bring the world into the classroom.

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.

Our international work includes an environmental project with schools in Yemen, Sri Lanka and Russia. A Food technology link with Sri Lanka, a World War 1 poetry link with European schools, a “Family and Home” project led by the Religious Studies department and shared with our partner schools in St Petersburg, Russia as well as Sri Lanka. In addition, students and staff were involved in a whole school Amnesty International “Write for Rights campaign.” with some students writing to prisoners of conscience in Spanish.

On hearing the news that we had received the award, Mrs Paula Dixon, Headteacher said: “We are delighted to receive the international award; this is our third International school award since 2009. The British council’s feedback on our “impressive” application is a significant accolade to the international learning that goes on at our school and one we are very proud of. Staff have shown their continued commitment to understanding and applying the principles of international education in a creative, innovative and imaginative way.  International learning activities are embedded in the curriculum and provide students with a real audience which in turn motivates learners to achieve. The impact of the projects has been high on students and it has provided enhanced learning opportunities. International work has promoted intercultural dialogue, exchange of ideas, joint educational focuses, increased knowledge and understanding of each other’s societies and last but not least enjoyment through relevant learning. In evaluations, students’ sense of pride is evident and they tell us that they “feel honoured to be part of the school’s global community.” A student wrote: “Having my work sent to Sri Lanka made me feel proud and privileged to be at Upton-by-Chester High School. I was excited to hear back from our new friends and I am extremely thankful.” Another said:” It has helped me understand other people's religion and ways of living...the project made me feel part of something, it made me feel more socially connected with other schools and the Global community." In Geography, the activity encouraged students to think about action and consequences in terms of the environment at a local and global level and the Eco-Schools Student Leader made the following point:” We are putting a survey out to the entire school community and our partner schools. This will help us protect the local environment and act to make a difference internationally.”

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.’

The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Egypt, Lebanon and Pakistan as part of the Connecting Classrooms programme, which is delivered by the British Council and supported by the Department for International Development (DFID).

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “Young people must be at the heart of our work to create a safer and more prosperous world for everyone and we need to ensure their voices are heard if we are to win the fight against global poverty. That is why I am delighted to celebrate the international work of Upton-by-Chester High School and the energy and passion of the young people involved. “The International School Award is a great way of highlighting how young people have the potential to change things for the better. I’m sure that schools getting involved will be broadening the horizons of their students, which will not only help their careers but benefit their wider lives in the future.”

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