Victoria Education Centre (VEC) in Poole, Dorset – run by the national charity Livability – 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 is a badge of honour for schools that do outstanding work in international education, such as through links with partner schools overseas. 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 to live and work as global citizens.
VEC’s international work includes a whole school international week designed to raise students’ awareness of the wider world and their own place in it. Students have learnt about different countries exploring and celebrating aspects of other cultures such as festivals, games, food, music, dance and art. They have also been developing their link with Vista Nova School in South Africa and some students have even taken part in video conferencing to find out about each other’s school and share information about themselves and where they live.
On hearing the news that VEC had received the award, Simon Brown Headteacher said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be accredited with the International Schools Award. The students have gained huge enjoyment, interest and enthusiasm from our international work. The development of partnerships and cultural links around the world are helping to extend students’ understanding about life in other countries and develop them as global citizens.’
British Council Chief Executive, Sir Ciarán Devane, 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. Adding an international dimension to children’s education ensures that they are truly global citizens and helps prepare them for successful future careers in an increasingly global economy.’
The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Egypt, Lebanon and Pakistan as part of the Connecting Classrooms programme, which is delivered by the British Council and supported by the Department for International Development (DFID).
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
“Young people must be at the heart of our work to create a safer and more prosperous world for everyone and we need to ensure their voices are heard if we are to win the fight against global poverty. That is why I am delighted to celebrate the international work of [name of school here] and the energy and passion of the young people involved.
“The International School Award is a great way of highlighting how young people have the potential to change things for the better. I’m sure that schools getting involved will be broadening the horizons of their students, which will not only help their careers but benefit their wider lives in the future.”
Around 5,000 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.