Stockport School cements its status as a leader in international education
Stockport School has been successful in its application for the British Council’s International School Full Award. The award runs from 2020 to 2023 and recognises the hard work that goes into the global dimension of the school’s curriculum, and the positive impact this has on pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the world.
A number of staff from departments including MFL, Art, Geography, English and Performing Arts have spent hours preparing schemes of work and events with an international flavour. The assessors were particularly impressed with The Rainbow International Project, a Spanish artistic project run with a school in Barcelona during lockdown, Visions in Motion, a whole-school art installation based on a similar project in Berlin, and European Languages Week, our annual celebration of languages full of in-class and extra-curricular activities.
Some of the other international activity highlights in 2019-2020 included:
- MFL Singing Competition: Each Year 7 Languages class learned a song in the language they were studying and performed it front of the rest of the year group, competing with their peers to be the champions! Last year, Mr Kelly’s Spanish class won the competition singing Un poco loco from the film Coco. This has been cancelled in 2020, but we hope to bring it back in 2021.
- Evening of Languages and the Arts: Pupils from across the school perform pieces of drama, music and dance from different cultures in languages other than English where applicable. Pieces in 2019 included an extract from Matilda in Spanish, a piece from Sarah Kane’s 4:48 Psychosis in Italian, an extract from Metamorphosis in German, an improvised piece based on the Spanish Civil War, a multilingual poem, a Russian poem and numerous other pieces in French, German and Spanish. We had planned to run this in 2020, but had to cancel it due to the school closure. We hope to run it again in 2021 or 2022.
- Art projects: The art department looks and Mexican and Japanese art in-depth during Key Stage 3, analysing the culture of these two countries, looking at how this is reflected in the artwork produced in these countries and encouraging pupils to create their own artwork based on traditions such as Día de muertos. This is continuing in 2020-2021.
- Geography curriculum: The geography curriculum naturally lends itself to broadening pupils’ international understanding, and pupils research skills are developed in projects relating to the Middle East in Year 7, and with Year 10’s synthesis and analysis skills being put to the test later this year by taking what they have learnt about Ethiopia and refining it for a Year 8 audience. This is continuing in 2020-2021.
- Poems from other cultures: Every Year 9 pupil studies poems from other cultures in their English lessons to ensure they are exposed to a variety of literature from beyond their own culture. This raises cultural awareness, encourages open-mindedness, provides interesting discussion points and develops pupils’ literary analysis skills. This is continuing in 2020-2021.
- Languages Futures: Mrs Robinson runs a weekly after-school club in which pupils can teach themselves whatever language they choose, with the support of a Languages teacher to guide them in the language learning process. Languages that pupils have chosen to study in the past include Korean, Japanese, Swedish, Finnish, Greek and many, many more! This club has been postponed until year group bubbles are allowed to mix again.
- Mexico Pen Pal Project: This year we have set up a new partnership with a school in Mexico. Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 who study Spanish will all be taking part in pen pal projects with Mexican pupils to practise their Spanish and learn more about Mexican daily life and culture. We hope to continue this in 2020-2021, but it depends on the ongoing coronavirus situation in Mexico and the UK.
- eTwinning projects: eTwinning is an online platform that allows classrooms in the UK to team up with classrooms in other European countries to take part in projects about different languages and cultures. Find out about how we use eTwinning at Stockport School here.
The International School Award is just one of many successes at Stockport School. In 2020 we were one of just 23 schools in the UK to be awarded the prestigious eTwinning School label, recognising us as a leader in the fields of e-safety and international collaboration. Pupils from Stockport School have worked on collaborative projects with 36 different schools around the world. We have also recently been awarded Erasmus+ funding from the European Union to support our international activities.
Stockport School is committed to continuing our focus on global education and we look forward to developing pupils’ understanding of the world even further during the 2022-2023 academic year.