British Council International School Award success for Hanley Castle High School

We are delighted to announce that the school has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The International School Award celebrates the achievements of schools that do exceptional work in international education. 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 for life work in today’s world.

Hanley Castle High School’s international work includes the following:

1. China Student Exchange 2019 with Jining Confucius International School – this is the third time Hanley has hosted staff and students from Jining Confucius International School during the summer term.


2. German Exchange with Rhon-Gymansium in Bad Neustadt – a long standing partnership with Rhon-Gymansium has allowed reciprocal student exchanges during the summer term


3. Year 8 Café Project – students run several lunchtime cafés for staff where only a foreign language is spoken


4. Year 8 ‘Day of the Dead’ Project – students study the Mexico’s national festival Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, and create artworks based on those traditionally made in Mexico


5. Year 7 Hanley Vision – a competition between year 7 modern foreign language classes on the format of Eurovision and timed to coincide with the European Day of Languages


6. KS4/5 Cultural Tour of China – this will be the fourth time students have travelled to China for a 12-day tour, seeing historical and cultural sites in Beijing, Qufu and Shanghai, participating in Chinese cookery and visiting Jining Confucius International School


7. British Council Collaborating Classrooms Project with Maweni Primary School in Tanzania – a cross curricular project in both UK and Tanzanian schools addressing the question ‘Is climate change real?’, with reciprocal staff visits in June and October this year, Swahili language lessons delivered by Mr Wallace Joseph, Head Teacher at Maweni Primary School, to Year 7 and 8 students at Hanley Castle.


Lily Blakely, a year 7 student at Hanley Castle, said that the Hanley Vision Project helped her with working as a team to get the best outcome and understanding other cultures.

Alice Holden, a year 8 student at Hanley Castle, said that the British Council Connecting Classrooms Project had allowed her to see how people live in Tanzania, the conditions that they live in and the orphans that Maweni Primary School looks after.

Mrs Andrea Popham, a parent at Hanley Castle, said the China Student Exchange Programme 2019 had given her children a ‘hands on’ experience of what a truly different culture China has, from their educational system, to their food and general life.

On hearing the news that Hanley Castle High School had received the award, Lindsey Cooke, Head Teacher, said: 'Hanley Castle High School is delighted to have its International School Award re-accredited. The school is absolutely committed to building strong global links, preparing its students for life in a world of increasing cultural richness and diversity. Our links with a number of European countries, Tanzania and China are hugely valued by both staff and children. It is wonderful to witness the commitment of our young people to learning from others and, where necessary, providing those less fortunate than themselves with sustainable support.’

Sir Ciarán Devane, CEO of the British Council, 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. Embedding an international dimension in children’s education ensures that they are truly global citizens and helps prepare them for successful lives and careers in an increasingly global economy.’

The International School Award encourages and supports schools to develop:
• An international ethos embedded throughout the school
• A whole school approach to international work
• Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
• Year-round international activity
• Involvement of the wider community

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