The International School Award at Oakleigh
We are very pleased to have achieved the International School Award.
The International School Award (ISA) is an accreditation scheme for curriculum-based international work in schools. It provides recognition for teachers and their schools working to instil a global dimension into the learning experience of all children and young people.
We are Partners with Choongo Basic School in Zambia.
We were very grateful to have received funding from Global School Partnerships and Multi-Agency International Training and Support to enable us to formalise our partnership with Choongo Basic School in Zambia.
In April, two teachers from Oakleigh travelled to Zambia in order to meet the staff and children, find out about the school and local community and gather resources and ideas. The children at Choongo did a brilliant job of showing all of their skills and talents – such as singing, dancing, poetry reading, and craft. The teachers also had the opportunity to visit other services in the area that cater for children with special educational needs and this was a very valuable experience.
In June, Chimuka Hanalete from Choongo Basic School came to visit Oakleigh. His week began with a 'Partnership Celebration Day' where children took part in a range of activities related to the partnership, and special guests such as the Professor Royson Mukwena (Zambian High Commissioner), Jenny from the British Council, Des from NLSIN, John from Anglican Communion and members of the Zambian community joined us for the afternoon. The children and adults really enjoyed this opportunity to celebrate the partnership, and the richness of experience that our joint curriculum project provides.
Red and Green Classes took Chimuka to the British Museum, where they participated in a sensory story about the Bayeux Tapestry, complete with horse sound effects, sea spray and flashing orbs. This was a brilliant experience for the children and staff and left everyone very inspired for our History Day in July, where we will be finding out all about ‘Invaders and Settlers’.
Chimuka’s week at Oakleigh coincided with our annual ‘Community Languages Week” which enabled him to see a range of diverse activities from our community, and children’s home cultures. This year we chose to theme this week around ‘Stories from Home’ as storytelling is at the centre of our joint curriculum project.
On Wednesday, we invited children’s friends from their local link schools (such as All Saints, Sacred Heart, Colindale, Finchley Catholic High School and Menorah) to participate in workshops led by Keith Park. Keith specialises in inclusive, interactive storytelling and performed in ‘call and response’ style. This was very engaging for all of the children and feedback from the schools who visited was very positive – one pupil wrote:
“The show was very likeable and it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, especially with a man called Keith”.
A visiting adult wrote:
“Great day! Absolutely fizzing school… brilliant session with all the link friends. Inclusion is alive and well and having a great time at Oakleigh”.
On Thursday, two musicians from Live Music Now came to play British folk music for Chimuka and the children. It was a lot of fun and the children and staff were very impressed by some morris dancing! Chimuka then spent the afternoon at Finchley Catholic School, finding out about the work that children there have been doing with our school, as part of the ASDAN award. He found this project really inspiring and is looking forward to seeing if aspects can be incorporated into his school in Zambia.
Chimuka’s week at Oakleigh seemed to fly by and on Friday we reflected on his visit and all the things we’d learned and enjoyed together. We are all very excited about developing our partnership and embedding it into our curriculum so that it continues to be meaningful and inspiring for children, staff and the community. While we were all sad to say goodbye to Chimuka, we look forward to hearing all about what the children and staff at Choongo Basic School think of his experiences, and to working together on our joint curriculum project in the years to come.