Bolton Council has won a national award in recognition of quality of international links it has supported with schools across the globe.
The British Council, supported by HSBC Global Education Trust, bestow the annual Link2Learn Award to one local authority that has shown excellence and innovation in international school partnerships.
Bolton Council won this year’s award by showing a strong commitment to community cohesion and valuing diversity. As a result the council has been given £3,000 to host an event to share with other local authorities the excellent work that the council does in its international partnerships, and encourage more schools to get involved.
In the past 12 months the council has been successful in no less than seven applications for British Council funding. Through this funding 48 Bolton schools have developed partnerships with other schools around the world.
As a result, Bolton’s schools have links with counterparts in countries such as Pakistan, China, Brazil, Zambia, Tunisia and France. Through these partnerships, trust and understanding is developed between young people in different societies, creating a safer and more connected world.
Links usually involve a group of schools from Bolton working jointly with a group of schools in their partner country on curriculum priorities. This can include anything from learning the language of a partner school to video link-ups or even international visits to Bolton for the international pupils.
For instance, St William of York RC Primary School has links with a school in Brazil, and as a result teachers have set up a breakfast club for pupils to learn Portuguese.
The international links have been carefully designed to enable schools to use their international partnerships to achieve goals within core educational strategies as well as national strategies and these can be effectively integrated into the curriculum.
Councillor Ebrahim Adia, Executive Member for Children’s Services at Bolton Council, said: “It is really good to see the hard work that went into setting up these international partnerships rewarded with national recognition. The staff, schools and pupils involved should be very proud of themselves.
“International linking helps develop children’s understanding of being a global citizen, cultural diversity, human rights, sustainable development, languages and guards against prejudice and discrimination.”