At Forest of Teesdale Primary School we understand the importance of children learning about places and people from all around the world in order to gain an understanding of the rich and varied world we live in. We want our children to understand that difference is something to be celebrated and that learning about other people and the countries they live in is an exciting thing to do. It is vital that we prepare our children to live in a diverse and multi-cultural community.
Full International Award 2018-2021
In Summer 2018 Forest of Teesdale Primary School applied for and were successful in achieving their Full International Schools Award!
Staff and children have worked hard to achieve this status and the feedback from the British Council assessors was fantastic:
“This enthralling application from Forest of Teesdale Primary School meets the criteria for International School Award Accreditation, and so it is approved. Well done! There are informative opening sections, more than seven appropriate activities including three with overseas collaboration, a modern languages focus and a number of other activities. Between them these have collectively engaged not only the whole school, but frequently two others and parts of the wider Teesdale community during 2017-2018. The impact evaluations and other concluding statements reflect what has been achieved such as this comment: “Project development through the year has meant we have spoken to several schools via skype for example Italy, Ukraine, France allowing direct questioning, developing confidence; contrasting our rural location, providing a country and urban comparative (and) the resources the children have, eg no grass/playground and the children they have in school e.g. refugees”. The assessor was particularly impressed by the range of activities. If ever there was a competition for very small schools making their mark in ‘the village’ from аn isolated mainland position, Forest in Teesdale would surely be a frontrunner.”
Intermediate International Award
In summer 2017 Forest of Teesdale Primary School were awarded their Intermediate International Schools Award.
To achieve this we:
- Made links with other schools overseas and have worked on collaborative projects demonstrating evidence of curriculum-based international activities
- Have shared educational practice with partners overseas and are implementing changes across the school
- Are raising awareness of global issues amongst students
Our journey so far …
As part of our international journey the children have been taking part in a range of activities to embed global dimensions into the curriculum, widening the way we learn and the audience who view our work, bringing others into this rural and unique school. The school has previously held an international schools award and we have now been working on engaging pupils in more international work since we restarted our journey, beginning with the foundation award two years ago and now our intermediate award. We have taken part in a number of British council projects like, “Through a window,” and “Culture in a box”. The school is also involved in e-twinning projects and has several partner schools on here. We applied for and were granted the 2015 Erasmus+ project with schools from Greece, Sicily, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria. A member of staff spent a week in France in October 2016, developing professionally, up skilling their knowledge of the French language and exploring new ways of teaching the subject. This directly links to our school French lessons and in turn the children we teach.
Write, Post and Learn
Wow! What a project. The children have learned so much through writing letters to children in many different European countries. Not only has this given the children a purpose for developing their writing skills but allowed them to ask questions and develop an understanding of cultural similarities and differences in other European countries. The vast array of handwriting styles that arrived at school really astonished the children and inspired them to develop their own.
Write, Post, Learn Project Map of Collaborating Schools
Singing Christmas Around Europe
The children thoroughly enjoyed choosing their favourite English Christmas song to share with our partner schools around Europe. As the project was so well supported our song didn’t make it into the 24 day advent calendar but featured on the ‘added extras!’ We all enjoyed listening to the varied songs sung in many different languages. Christmas cards were then sent between all the participating schools.
The staff love working with international colleagues on projects learning new skills and finding great ideas for classroom displays and activities.
- The children continue to have weekly French lessons, developing simple language skills in the modern foreign language. They also learn all about the culture in France and about the country itself. Talking to our partner school in Northern France allows the children to not only practise using their developing language skills but to listen to native speakers. The children also get to find out about the country from the people who live there!
Spanish Dancing Workshop
The children learned all about and listened to live Spanish music, attempted some traditional Spanish dancing and saw a range of traditional costumes.
Skype Schools – France, Italy and Ukraine
Sharing songs, asking questions, finding out about food, school life, hobbies, their country, climate and much more! We skyped the Ukraine for well over an hour – both sets of children had so many questions for each other!
On two Skype occasions the children had a great time talking to both children in France and the Ukraine. When France rang the children sang traditional carols to each other in their own language. They then all joined together in a chorus of Jingle Bells singing together but in our own languages. An opportunity was then given to share their Christmas traditions with each other and learn about how each one celebrates.
It was a secondary school who rang from the Ukraine and they had brilliant English. They asked so many questions about our country, school and Christmas traditions and we asked questions back to them. The Ukraine sounds so different to here from the city location of the school, the size of the school (1000 pupils) and the weather they get (they are enjoying lots of skiing at the moment). The children celebrate Christmas but have duck for lunch and not turkey!
Teaching through eTwinning
Much of our computing has been taught using the eTwinning platform as a purpose. Class 2 especially have created welcoming videos using iMovie, interactive PowerPoints about our school and local area using website design ideas – using the use of hyperlinks. They have worked on individual iPads creating collaborative documents on Padlet; for a range of purposes. The children have loved having a purpose and audience for their work.
- What Flowers are in my School Garden?
- Seeing Animals from a Child’s Perspective
- The Jigsaw Project
- Skype – Schools in Italy and France
- Christmas Card Exchange
- International Day of Languages – Collaboratively with St Johns Chapel and Rookhope Primary School
- Staff Training – Transformative Change
- French Lessons
- British Council Ambassador Support – Marilyn Tinkler
- Teacher development – France October 2016