We are delighted to announce that we have once again been granted International School status by the British Council. It was a very involved application form which enabled us to report on the work that we have done with our international partner schools, global ambassadors group, and local primary schools through the Global Learning Programme and Language Leaders.
The assessor’s report stated: “Downlands Community School. International School Award Re-Accreditation: APPROVED. The international and dimension is firmly embedded in the curriculum and whole-school ethos at Downlands Community School, promoting citizenship and foreign language learning, and celebrating cultural diversity across the school and wider community. Your submitted international activities enable students to learn about different countries and aspects of their cultures in a curriculum-based situation. Well planned projects give your students access to important issues in a meaningful and stimulating context. Foreign language learning enjoys high profile, supported with intercultural understanding about the respective countries. Your new link with a school in China as well as your established partnership with a school in India are providing rich learning experiences for both students and staff, with collaboration, communication and exchange of information taking place both during visits and via the internet virtually to complement the curriculum. International work is well managed and coordinated so that it is an integral part of your annual curriculum, dovetailing neatly with other key priorities such as the Global Learning Programme. The role of International Coordinator is recognised and supported, with succession plans in place. Your Impact Evaluation is detailed and reflective. You recognise that your students have gained knowledge of other countries and aspects of their cultures, as well as developing awareness and understanding of important issues, thus demonstrating the acquisition of citizenship attributes such as tolerance and appreciation of cultural diversity, as well as life skills such as Leadership, as evidenced by your Global Ambassadors programme. You also acknowledge the benefits for staff professional development in terms of teachers’ increased curriculum planning skills to incorporate a dimension to teaching and learning. Your ambassadorial role is firmly established via your status as a Global Learning Expert Centre as well as your Language Leaders outreach work, both of which have enabled you to promote and support international links and opportunities among local schools and networks. Congratulations! The international and dimension is prominent and dynamic at Downlands Community School. We wish you continuing success and enjoyment with your international work. “