Four Wolverhampton schools are celebrating after receiving a prestigious award from the British Council. Warstones, Wodensfield, Woodfield and St Michael’s CE primary schools have all been awarded the Intermediate or Foundation level of the British Council’s International School Award in recognition of their work to bring the wider world into the classroom through linking with partner schools in Zambia.
Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: “The International School Award celebrates the achievements of schools that take part in exceptional work in international education. 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, Woodfield and St Michael’s CE primary schools have provided for their children.”
The schools, part of the Wolverhampton Zambian Cluster group, took part in the British Council’s recent Connecting Classrooms project. Even though they faced extreme difficulties throughout the Covid pandemic, they worked hard to maintain links with their partner schools in Africa, enabling children across two continents to learn about, and from, each other. Teachers from all four schools along with City of Wolverhampton Council School Improvement Officer Louise Mututa had planned to visit Zambia last year, but travel restrictions prevented this.
Instead, the schools stayed in touch with their African counterparts via the internet, working together on mutual issues of climate change, sustainability and the need to recycle. The four schools also developed their curriculum to reflect the wider learning, incorporating Zambia Days where pupils learned about Zambian culture, language and arts and developed their geography skills.
Warstones Primary School Headteacher Fiona Feeney said: “We are delighted that the work put in by all of the schools has been celebrated by the British Council in this way.
“We were so disappointed not to go out to Zambia and experience teaching there. However, we continue to work closely with our link schools in Africa and hope to visit them next year, and to welcome teachers from there to Wolverhampton in the future.”