We are delighted to have been awarded full reaccreditation as a British Council International School in June 2020. This is thanks to the commitment of staff, children and parents alike. The award highlights our continued dedication to ensuring our curriculum is enriched by an embedded global approach to learning.
At Greenleaf, we hold international activities at the core of everything we do. We pride ourselves on being a multi-cultural school where we celebrate diversity. Our curriculum embeds a global approach throughout the school and our children are challenged to think carefully about the planet that they will inhabit. This is made possible by having a team who are motivated to ensure that the children have an enriching experience which empowers them to be global citizens, ready for the future.
Global learning is fully integrated into our school. In Year 1, children read Barnaby Bear, a text which looks at the world through the travels of a bear. In Year 3, children read Gregory Cool, a story about a boy who experiences the cultural differences between the UK and Tobago. This is then used as a stimulus to open debate about culture and identity. In Year 4, one of the main topics is water. We use this as a means to discuss water consumption and human impact on the planet. In Year 5, we look at racism and discrimination through our Africa topic. These are just some of the many examples where we value and embed a global approach.
This year, we have undertaken an Erasmus project with a group of five other partner schools. The title of the project is, ‘Tell Me More’ and its main aim is to understand how schools in England, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, Turkey and Italy teach reading.
The project involves the children taking part in joint sessions to understand more about each other’s cultures. One such activity we took part in was the European Day of Languages on Thursday 26th September. To celebrate, we firstly introduced our partner schools through a slide presentation. The children then made flags and wrote: ‘Hello my name is …’ in the language of the country. These were then shared between the children to encourage an understanding of how language diversity affects how we see the world.
In the coming months, we will undertake more activities based around global themes and teacher exchanges to Portugal and Turkey will take place. During this time, teachers will learn more about the systems of reading in other European nations which, in turn, will develop our pedagogy and practice in the classroom. We are hoping to be brimming with ideas on how to develop our approach to reading based on the experiences with our European partner schools.
Greenleaf also undertakes a student exchange programme each year which allows us to benefit from extra hands in the classroom from Spain and Germany. These students arrive at different points throughout the year and soon become a very valuable help to the teachers!
As well as the Erasmus project, this year we have set up a Connecting Classrooms project with a cluster of Waltham Forest schools. This will involve comparing water consumption between our schools and those of our link schools in Kenya. Furthermore, we are now involved in pen pals project with a school in McKinney, Texas, U.S.A, thanks to our local links with Leyton Orient Football Club and their Texan owner, Kent Teague. Add that to our annual Journey Day, International Evening, Global Citizen Club, Black History Day and Human Rights Day and we are sure to have another busy and successful international year at Greenleaf.