Blewbury Church of England Primary School is the first school in the world to be awarded the prestigious British Council International Award six times in a row. This is a remarkable achievement for a small village primary school in rural Oxfordshire, and it is having a big impact on a wide range of school activities.
The news has already travelled far and wide, and we are currently receiving requests from schools around Europe to visit and set up partnership arrangements. From February 29th – March 3rd, for example, nine teachers and twenty four pupils from Finland, Germany and Spain, will spend the week in the School as part of an Erasmus Plus Programme. The programme for the week will, on Wednesday 1st March, include the School’s third Global Partnership Network Event, where UK teachers can visit Blewbury to learn about developing a global emphasis in their own schools. (Teachers interested in this programme can see more at http://www.blewbury.oxon.sch.u
The full programme for this special international week will allow the visitors to take part in a range of workshops. Much of the time they will be working together with Blewbury School teachers and pupils to create art, music, drama, dance and film, all with the purpose of exploring the international project theme – ‘Communication, Cooperation and Collaboration for All Together’. A major aim of these workshops is to allow them to develop ideas that they can go on to use in the future in their own schools throughout Europe.
Head Teacher Marion Mills, who is working to secure a seventh British Council International award for the school in 2018 is passionate about the need to expose children to global issues and for them to experience cultures other than their own. Ms Mills says: “Young people today live in a global village and we want to offer them a rich experience to help them understand the challenges that face them in their future lives. Our children and teachers gain a great deal from receiving visiting teachers and pupils. They can also travel themselves, so that they can explore other cultures more deeply. We are very proud that this work has received recognition, and even prouder of the children and families in our community who support us year on year with these highly successful programmes” Head teacher Marion Mills has been recognised for her outstanding contribution by the British Council.
School Governor Roger Murphy, a former Professor of Education at Nottingham University commented, “It is a great honour for a small village school like ours to be attracting such international acclaim. The governors are delighted that Blewbury Primary School has received such high commendation. We are keen to share this innovative work with the many visitors who want to come to see it in action, so they can understand the truly positive impact this work has on the children, not just in school but in their lives and their approach to the community they live within.”