WORLDLY pupils at Saint Martin’s School in Solihull are doing their bit to put the school on the global map.
This is the fourth time in succession the school for girls in Brueton Avenue has been bestowed International School Award from the British Council, which 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, ensuring young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need for life work in today’s world.
And the efforts put in over the years by the staff and pupils at Saint Martins have been recognised again.
Among the key international link-ups by Saint Martin’s is the strong relationship and partnership with Annal Jyoti in Nepal, which sees the two schools share curriculum ideas and engage in regular visits by staff and pupils, with some Saint Martin’s gap-year students spending extended time there.
Over the years the partnership has seen water purification projects, the creation of an eco-house, democracy and conflict resolution projects and an art and creative writing scheme.
The school also carried out extensive fundraising following the Nepal Earthquake of 2015.
Saint Martin’s also has long-standing relations with a partner German school – Elisabethen Schule – in Hofheim, which sees regular student exchange visits and working practices shared.
Delighted Head Teacher Nicola Smillie said: “We are so proud to again be the recipients of this prestigious International School Award, which we value so highly.
“This is now our fourth award in a row and highlights the importance we put on global learning here at Saint Martin’s.
“Our relationships with Annal Jyoti and Elisabethen Schule provide wonderful benefits for everyone involved and give our girls a fantastic insight into the world beyond the classroom walls – an awareness of huge importance to us all.”
Head of Modern Foreign Languages and International Co-ordinator, Paul Delaney heads up Saint Martin’s’ international efforts – and was delighted to have again received ISA accreditation for the next three years.
He said: “We are proud and delighted to again be worthy recipients of this fantastic award, which is testimony to the fabulous relationships and projects we enjoy with our partner schools and the international education work we do here at Saint Martin’s.
“Everyone involved benefits so hugely from every aspect of this work, which is reward in itself.
“But to have official recognition of our efforts is fantastic.”
Sir Ciarán Devane, CEO of the British Council, added: “The school’s fantastic international work has rightfully earned it this prestigious award.
“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.”
ISA assessors said they were particularly impressed by the way in which gap year students from Saint Martin’s have been able to teach classes on ‘fundamental values’ in both Nepal and Germany and the ‘immense impact’ on language learning the the long-standing relationship with Elisabethen Schule had enabled.
The International Schools Award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Pakistan.
To achieve such status a school must show 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 and involvement of the wider community.