Our Partners Abroad
Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form has maintained links with schools in Europe and Asia for many years. The purpose of these links is to develop cultural awareness through shared lesson activities and exchange visits.
The school has achieved a Silver International Schools Award for helping to instil a global dimension into the learning experience of all children and young people.
The International Schools Award supports schools to develop the following:
- An international ethos throughout the school
- A majority of students within the school impacted by and involved in international work
- Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
- Curriculum-based work across a range of subjects
Activities such as exchanges with partner schools, whole day single-issue conferences and references to global issues in lessons are all ways that the school helps to meet the these targets and enhance the understanding of global issues for students at the school.
EU: Germany and Italy
Over many years, the school has been very fortunate to receive European Union/ British Council (Comenius) funding that has enabled students to participate in creative and dynamic Performing Arts and Language Exchanges, as well as undertake a variety of thought-provoking lesson activities, producing work that has been shared with our partner schools in Europe: Gesamtschule Konradsdorf in Germany and ITC Bramante in Italy. Some of the past achievements can be viewed at www.com1315mobileman.eu.
To find out more information about the support the British Council can give to schools, please take a look at the Erasmus+ programme at erasmusplus.org.uk.
Over the coming six months, the school will be joining its German partner once again to work collaboratively on a themed project co-funded by the UK-German Connection. Students and staff from Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form and Gesamtschule Konradsdorf will be exploring the European migration crisis. We will be researching and evaluating how each of our nations is tackling the crisis both in terms its national response, and how people locally are actively engaged in supporting new arrivals. We shall be visiting each other’s schools in February and July to explore first-hand how communities are responding, sharing findings through assemblies and newsletter articles, and creating active learning opportunities in both schools.
For more information about the opportunities that the UK-German Connection can support, please take a look at www.ukgermanconnection.org.
Europe and the Far East
Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form has always placed a very high priority on developing students’ awareness of other cultures, both through the curriculum and extra-curricular activities, such as visits and exchanges. However, we are all too aware that in recent years many families have found it more and more difficult to afford to participate in these opportunities.
Then in January 2013, the school was invited to work with The English Experience School of English in Norwich (accredited by the British Council), to host visiting students during the school day. Without leaving Norwich, our students have been able to gain a genuine understanding of the lives and values of students from other countries and cultures.
During their stay, usually one to two weeks, the visiting international students are each assigned a volunteer ‘buddy’ to shadow. They usually attend every lesson with their buddy and become a part of every class, participating in lessons and activities with enthusiasm. The visitors come well prepared to blend in and integrate by wearing blue sweatshirts and black trousers to match the Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form uniform. Since the programme of visits began, over fifty Taiwanese students have come to Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, along with fifteen Spanish and some Austrian and Italian students.
These visits have been an eye-opener on both sides! A Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form student worked out that with school hours of 7.30 am – 5 pm and after school classes until 9 pm, Taiwanese students spend twice as many hours studying every day than we do here! The Taiwanese students (visiting in January) were amazed and excited by the snow – something they had never seen before!