KING’S Ely has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award (ISA) in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The ISA is a badge of honour for schools that do outstanding work to foster an international dimension within many areas of the curriculum to provide young people with the cultural understanding and skills they need to live and work as global citizens.

Since September 2011, pupils from all sections of King’s Ely have been involved in international competitions, celebrations and online projects through links with overseas schools. Highlights include the celebration of Chinese New Year in Reception; International Day in Acremont, where parents were invited to share their culture and language with the children at school; and the Elympics, where Junior and Senior students took part in a variety of Olympic and Paralympic sports and international cultural activities.

Connecting with overseas schools has also been an integral part of the international programme. Children as young as seven have enjoyed a taster of Mandarin while exchanging information with a primary school in China, learning first-hand about daily life and comparing traditions and festivals, and in Year Five, pupils are able to choose two languages – from French, German and Spanish – and enjoy regular correspondence with peers in the relative country.

Last year, pupils linked up with schools in Kuwait and Japan as well as meeting a group of Japanese students who visited the school while studying English in Cambridge.

Teacher Lorraine Oldham said: “During this visit, it was wonderful to see the children conversing, practising their newly found language skills and finding other ways to communicate through smiles and gestures. This year we are embarking on a new project, collaborating with nine schools from as far north as Norway and as far south as Turkey.

“The school has really embraced the opportunity to incorporate an international dimension into the curriculum. By forging friendships between pupils of different countries, we can help build international understanding, which in turn will help motivate global citizens to act for peace and justice in the world.”

King’s Ely Senior’s International Coordinator, Esmeralda Salgado added: “Lots of work and adventurous teaching has taken place throughout the year, and everyone involved is delighted that the school has received the accreditation. This fantastic work is not only giving the young people a better understanding of the world around them, it’s also making a real difference to their future prospects.”

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