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Upton-by-Chester High School

British Council International School Award success

We have been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award for the fourth time 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.

The British Council praised the school and stated that “Upton-by-Chester High School is clearly a High School where the International Dimension is flourishing, it is clearly embedded deeply into the school structure and the ongoing ethos. The school works hard to collaborate with its partner schools and it is commendable that it has such active and long-standing partnerships. It is interesting to note the positive strategy to involve pupils right from the start of their life within the school. Introducing them immediately to this way of thinking and behaving really gives them a chance of becoming global citizens and to relate well to all the other thought-provoking opportunities provided. International work has clearly engaged pupils, teachers and the whole school community and using students to support primary schools gives a strong approach to Upton-by-Chester High School’s ambassadorial role.”

Our international work includes a PSHE project with schools in Sri Lanka and Russia to find out students’ top 10 concerns in different parts of the world. In addition, a “Family and Home” project led by the Religious Studies department was shared with The Shostakoviches' School in St Petersburg, Russia together with a film shot by Year 8 students. Students and staff were also involved in a whole school “Send my friend to school campaign” with some students travelling to Parliament to deliver their views on keeping students safe at schools around the world.

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 fourth consecutive 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: “after sending our video to schools in Sri Lanka and Russia, it was a great privilege to get a response from them. We really enjoyed sharing our school values and discovering cultural similarities and differences.” Another said:” the project made me feel more socially connected with other schools and the Global community."