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City schools scoop international award from British Council

Three schools in Wolverhampton have been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of their 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 and work in today’s world.


Warstones, St Michael’s C of E and Wodensfield primary schools have all been successful in securing the award after linking up with partner schools in Zambia.


The schools, part of the Wolverhampton Zambian Cluster group, took part in joint projects with their Zambian partners including exchanging ‘Views from their Window’, songs and dances, eco-challenges, community events, Zambian Days looking at culture and celebrations, and even learning a common language through sign. All this is now embedded into their school curriculums for years to come.


The schools were encouraged throughout by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s School Improvement Advisor, Louise Mututa, who instigated the project. Following a visit she made to Zambia, she was inspired to encourage partnerships between Wolverhampton schools and the rural and city schools in Zambia she had visited. The Covid-19 pandemic postponed opportunities to visit the schools in person, but the three Wolverhampton schools have still been able to build relationships with their Zambian counterparts, supported each other’s learning experiences and built sustainable relationships across the two continents.


Speaking on behalf of the cluster, Warstones Primary School Headteacher Fiona Feeney said: "All the schools in the project are grateful to the British Council for its support, Louise Mututa for her inspiration and all the staff and children in our schools and our partners in Zambia for their dedication, passion and enthusiasm for learning that has made this whole project a joy to be part of."


Councillor Jacqui Coogan, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: “Despite the challenges they have faced, these schools have continued to link with their Zambian schools throughout ensuring an international perspective to their curriculum and I am really proud of their achievements.


“By fostering an international dimension in the curriculum, pupils can gain the all-important cultural understanding and skills they need for life and work in the modern world, and that is what Warstones, Wodensfield and St Michael’s C of E primary schools are providing for their children.”


Scott McDonald, Chief Executive of the British Council, said: ‘The Wolverhampton Zambian Cluster group have earned this prestigious award through their inspirational international work and links with schools abroad.


“The International School Award is a chance for schools to be recognised for their important work bringing the world into their classrooms. This is especially commendable when schools have been deeply affected by the global pandemic. The desire to build on their international work shines through and it is with upmost pride that we celebrate their achievements.


“By embedding an international dimension in children’s education, these schools are preparing their students for successful lives in the UK or further afield, empowering them to be global citizens, and are creating vital opportunities in an increasingly global economy.”

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