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International Dimension

It is part of the St. Mary’s vision that pupils will be supported and encouraged to develop as global citizens.

As a school, we recognise our responsibility to ensure that our young people are educated to become global citizens who are fully aware of the world within which they live and in which they will eventually work. We aim to empower pupils to meet the challenges and opportunities of an ever-changing global society. It is important that the young people of today develop an understanding of a range of global issues so that they may be fully prepared for tomorrow’s world.

At St. Mary’s, we understand that the International Dimension is an increasingly important aspect of school education. Over a number of years, we have focused on enhancing this aspect of our provision. As an outward-looking school, we are always keen to develop partnerships, to work with and learn from others beyond the boundaries of our school. This is an attribute that we encourage in our pupils, not least in our efforts to incorporate the International Dimension throughout the school.

So that our young people may develop as global citizens and acquire knowledge of global issues, we embrace the International Dimension in many aspects of our provision. As a school, we:

  • bring the world into the classroom through curriculum initiatives and activities;
  • forge and sustain international school partnerships; and
  • provide pupils with learning experiences beyond the parameters of the classroom through various international educational visits.

In 2012, in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom, St. Mary’s was awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award (ISA). The ISA is a badge of honour for schools which have been identified as doing outstanding work in International Education.

In a letter to St. Mary’s, John Rolfe, British Council ISA Manager, wrote: “Congratulations on achieving the Full International School Award status at your school. Forging and sustaining international school partnerships work takes dedication and commitment from yourselves and the wider school community - from the Head, the teaching staff, the students, the parents and Governors and the wider school community. Through embedding and developing the enriching international dimensions of teaching and learning, you have taken the learning experiences of young people beyond the parameters of the classroom, allowing fluid and exciting exchange of knowledge and ideas across the globe. This deserves recognition and celebration! Educators are doing the most important work in the world to create and support outstanding international teaching and learning and to bring the world into the classrooms across the UK and overseas and we are proud to be working with you.”

In 2013-14, St. Mary's aims to become a ‘Fair Trade' school. With this aim in mind, a Fair Trade Steering Committee has been formed to develop this project. We started with small steps, including an awareness-raising stand at the PTA's Christmas Craft Fair. The Steering Committee encouraged the St. Mary’s community to taste fair trade products and discussed the moral issues involved with Fair Trade. We are excited about expanding our activities during this academic year.

In June 2013, St. Mary's was pleased when an application for a British Council Comenius Assistant was approved. Yvonne Kramer, a German Language Assistant, will be based in school for the academic year. As well as assisting with the teaching of German, Yvonne will work alongside teachers and pupils to extend international work and offer support in the existing areas of excellence.