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National/International Activities

International School Award

Barwell Church of England Academy is committed to developing and maintaining links beyond the boundaries of our village.

We are pleased to be actively linked with a Junior School on the border of Leicester City with whom we share events and celebrations.

Many staff have travelled overseas in their own time to promote intercultural understanding of educational and social issues and to forge links with children and teachers in schools throughout the world.

National Links

We enjoy links with Church Hill Church of England Junior School in Thurmaston, on the outskirts of Leicester City. This is a school of around 300 pupils situated in the heart of an ethnically and culturally diverse area of our county.

It is easy for us to transport children and staff between the schools which are within approximately 30 minutes travelling distance of one another.

We have taken Year 6 pupils to Church Hill to take part in a Diwali Day in which we were able to see traditional Indian dance and drama, join in with a variety of traditional Diwali crafts and sample traditional Indian food.

We have been able to entertain staff and pupils from Church Hill with our drama productions. The children have been able to spend time together socially and in the classrooms, sharing their work.

We hope that the children in Year 3 at both schools will continue to stay in contact with each other in the future through e-mail and through sharing their activities.

International Links

Teachers have had the opportunity in recent years to use some of their breaks to take part in educational visits to schools in other countries. Funding for these projects has come from British Council and DfE grants.


Miss Derrick (now Mrs Ruane) and Mrs Davies travelled with a group of teachers from Leicestershire to find out about how schools in Colombia deal with the challenges they face due to difficult social and economic conditions. Teachers visited a number of schools in Bogota and had the chance to meet with teachers, pupils, families and officials from the Colombian Education Authority. Teachers brought back new ideas to share with staff in school and in the Local Authority.


Mrs Foulkes and Miss Haughey (now Mrs Bishop) travelled as part of a group of teachers from Leicestershire to Los Angeles to find out how activities beyond the school day improved pupils motivation and achievement in school. They visited a number of schools in socially deprived areas of the city and were able to use the ideas gained to support developments in our school and beyond.

2008 – ongoing – STRASBOURG – FRENCH LINK

We have an official link with the Chateau School in Strasbourg. Miss Harris has been out to Strasbourg twice in recent years to visit the school and to observe teaching and learning. We have shown hospitality to staff from the school. We have contact with staff and pupils from time to time and have sent and received small gifts and examples of work from the pupils.


Miss Harris and Miss Peace, together with other Primary and Secondary teachers from Leicestershire, visited schools in and around Kiev to find out more about how maths is taught in a country that is rapidly developing an excellent reputation in this area. They saw different styles of teaching and learning which gave them much food for thought and has caused us to adjust some of the ways in which we teach maths in school.


Mrs Davies travelled with teachers from Barwell Infant School and other schools in the Hinckley Area to Almaty City to investigate how the schools there managed transition between age groups. The teaching and leadership styles we saw were far different from those in the UK, however we brought ideas back with us, which have again caused us to make improvements to the way we manage transition in our schools.


Mrs Davies had the opportunity to travel to Nepal with another Leicestershire Headteacher and the Local Authority Officer responsible for International Links, in order to set up a Global School Partnership link between fourteen Leicestershire schools and fourteen schools in Nepal. We visited many of the schools which we aim to link with, most of which are in extremely remote rural locations, requiring off-road travel in jeeps. We saw some excellent teaching in very under-resourced and basic conditions. We have since welcomed a delegation of official visitors from Nepal into our schools to continue to build the links. Miss Harris and Mrs Davies, together with staff from the other thirteen Leicester schools bid for further funding to allow Nepalese teachers to visit us and for some of our teachers to visit Nepal. Children have received gifts, photographs and postcards from pupils in our link school in Nepal. Our links school is called Janakalyan Lower Secondary School. It is based in the hills in Kavre District, about 30 miles from Kathmandu,in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is a small school of about 150 pupils aged 5 – 14 years. It is housed in very simple buildings, and is in a very poor area. The children have to walk to school – sometimes the journey make take them two hours. When the rains come the schools close for two months! Mrs Foulkes and Mrs Bishopy were able to visit Janakalyan School in 2012 to meet the teachers and to teach in the school. We were all very happy to host six headteachers from Nepal in Summer 2012 when they came to visit us. It was the first time they had left their country, and they were overawed by our school facilities, the politeness and good behaviour of our children, and the level of their learning.


Mrs Davies and Mrs Bishop were invited to be part of a National research programme to investigate how Maths and Science are taught in China, aiming to use the outcomes of the visit to further develop teaching methods in the UK. We spent one week in January in Chinese schools, working with a group of Headteachers and specialist Maths and Science teachers from around the UK. This was a very exciting opportunity which we werepleased and proud to have been selected to be part of. following the visit were were able to develop some new ways of working with our pupils that hve further enhanced the effectiveness of our teaching.

In June 2013 we were pleased to welcome a party of 20 Headteachers and Maths Specialists from Shanghai to our school. They meet with teachers and children and observed teaching and learning in classrooms, and were impressed with what they saw. However there are vast differences in practice and culture to bridge and their teachers seemed very bemused by some of our ways of working – thy were shocked at the amount of hours our teachers spend in the classroom and the breadth of subjects we teach.

Our Chinese links continue through Specialist Leaders and other Headteachers from Affinity TSA ho have also now benefitted from visits to Shanghai and have brought further learning back to share.[/mls_onehalf]

Future Plans – OCTOBER 2014 – NEW YORK, USA!

Mrs Davies and Miss Newman will travel with a group of 20 Headteachers and senior Leaders from Affinity TSA to New York to look at the range of different types of schools that exist and how they meet the needs of very different communities in Manhatten, Harlem, The Bronx and New Jersey. This visit will take place within the October Half Term break.