At Whiston Willis, Global Learning plays a central role in our teaching and learning and we are proud to have achieved the full International School Award in July 2019. We believe the purpose of education is to develop young people with core skills and competencies that relate not only to the world in which they are living, but also to the future world in which they will live. These are often known as 21st century skills or deep learning skills and include:
ways of working: communication and collaboration
ways of thinking: critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and innovation, learning to learn and metacognition
tools for working: information literacy, information and communication technology (ICT) literacy
ways of living in the world: global citizenship and civic responsibility, including cultural awareness and competence
We aim to enable our students to learn about global issues by ensuring drawing out links in many of our topics to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to being embedded in our curriculum through the richness of our topics, the SDGs are also incorporated into a range of additional activities and initiatives throughout the school year, such as Fairtrade Fortnight and the work of our International School Council.
We celebrate the rich and diverse heritage represented in our school, local and national communities for example celebrating Multicultural week, World Religion Day, International themed World Book Day.
We respect and value different cultures and beliefs through the many varied trips and visitors here for example; Judaism Assembly, Harvest Celebration, Whole-School Remembrance Day
We enjoy regular contact with students and adults living in different countries, through membership of the ePALS website.
We actively encourage the study of a foreign language by teaching French and keeping in touch with our partner school in France.
Please check out our twitter account @whistonwillis1
Please follow the links below to see examples of our work towards International School Status.
European Day of Languages
In September, the whole school took part in the European Day of Languages. Each Key Stage concentrated on a different European country, its language and its culture, including Spain, Germany, France and Italy. The children and staff have given their thoughts on the day and how they would like to develop this learning in the future.
This was also the starting point for a link with a new French partner school, Ecole de Villiers de Morhier in Rambouillet. Pupils from both schools introduced themselves and their respective schools in both English and French. This link has been actively maintained and developed all year, exchanging information about each of our schools, classrooms and curriculum.
During the school year 2018-9, our 8-10 year old have been communicating with pupils of the same age in Ecole Villiers le Morhier in Rambouillet, France.
Headteacher - Mr Mike Saulnier
Class teacher: Sabrina Hetrit
School address: Ecole de Villiers le Morhier
9 rue de la mairie
28130 Villiers le Morhier
Through the year, we have corresponded by post and email, exchanging information about ourselves, our schools and classrooms and our curriculum. We made and exchanged Christmas and Easter cards and parcels. A particular focus was on sharing and comparing key Global Learning activities and details of this can be found under European Day of Languages, Amnesty Art, International World Book Day and Centenary of World War One pages. We are also sharing details of our "Zoo project" and began by sending our partner school an animal names challenge, linked to our class names. They have responded with their own animal name challenge.
Our year 5 and 6 pupils had the opportunity to work with Gill Taylor, a local Art specialist, to create pieces of art work centred on 'Amnesty International.' At Whiston Willis Primary Academy, we strongly believe that our children should have a voice and that voice should be heard. The children created small pieces of art, reflecting the rights we should all have as human beings.
The children worked collaboratively, creating small sections which then came together to form a large piece. Each small piece depicts one of the human rights each and every individual is and should be entitled to. The children explored a variety of artistic mediums, such as collage, creating different textures, drawing, painting and using inks on silk. This impressive piece of art is now on display in our Key Stage 2 building to remind all pupils of these human rights.
We shared pictures and descriptions of our artwork with our French partner school and they responded with photographs and an account of their recent class visit to an art gallery.
Currently, the whole school is working towards Rights Respecting Schools Silver Award. We are working on embedding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in our policy, practice and culture. Each class has a Class Charter which is a mutual agreement between adults and children in classrooms and around school. The whole school also follows the "Jigsaw" PSHE scheme with key themes including "Being me in my world", "Relationships" and "Celebrating Difference".
Our Steering group has chosen Article 24 - The Right to the best healthcare, safe water to drink, nutritious food and a clean and safe environment as our Article of the Month for July as they felt it best linked to our work for the zoo project and the learning around the countries the endangered animals live in and varied living conditions there. The steering group are gathering work for our first Rights Respecting newsletter which they will be putting together to go out this half term!
At Whiston Willis Primary Academy we have developed an International "Smart" School Council to ensure all children throughout school have their voice heard. Our online tool has allowed our “communication team” to get other children on board with global issues and ways in which we can have an impact.
This year the council’s first project was to support Children in Need. Every child from Nursery through to Year 6 designed a Pudsey biscuit, each donating £1.00 to take part. Within classes the children researched and discussed the important work that Children in Need do and ways in which our fundraising could help support this important work.
At Christmas the children within the Smart School Council discussed the increasing numbers of individuals who now found themselves living on the streets of Liverpool. Within classes we discussed rights of all individuals then looked at poverty and other issues facing people within our community and the wider world which can lead to homelessness. This led us to support The Whitechapel Homeless Charity.
Thw whole school community then participated in the Christmas shoe box appeal for the homeless. We came together and held a whole school assembly as the response to this appeal was amazing. We personally delivered the items to the Whitechapel and it was an emotional day.
At Whiston Willis Primary Academy, we ensure that Global Learning takes place from our pupils’ earliest days in school. In January and February, our youngest children in EYFS began to explore SDGs 6 (Clean water and sanitation), 13 (Climate Action) and 14 (Life below water) as part of their "Where does snow go?" topic. They considered how to care for living creatures and their habitats both near to home and far away. Parents and carers were informed and involved through a class newsletter and an "every little helps" challenge.
To celebrate Black History Month, each class focused on a significant black individual from a book called Young, Gifted and Black by Jamia Wilson. Examples of these people included Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou. The children produced posters, leaflets and fact files as well as taking part in drama activities. As a whole school, we participated in Wear Red Day as part of the Show Racism the Red Card initiative. Every child was invited to come to school dressed in an item of red clothing and during the day, focussed on discussions involving racism and how we, as a school, can prevent this from happening and raise awareness.
At Whiston Willis all age groups were involved in learning all about Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and Fairtrade Maths Day 2019. We looked at which foods are Fairtrade, and where we could buy them. Children were challenged to search for for the Fairtrade logo whilst out shopping and to speak to their families about why Fairtrade is important. Fairtrade cakes were made and sent home as Mother’s Day gifts in EYFS. In Key Stage 1, chocolate bars were discussed and we designed a new wrapper and bar for Fairtrade traders to sell. Through the story of "Cloud Tea Monkeys", Key Stage 2 looked at a favourite drink of the nation – tea. They tried and tested different ones and really felt for the people who are being unfairly treated, then wrote to Tesco, persuading them to stock more Fairtrade products.
Learning about Fairtrade opened a window to the world and showed us that we are all connected and that small actions and changes in our daily lives can impact on producers and workers around the world..
In March, all our classes enjoyed an international theme for World Book Day. Each year group explored a different French text including "Heads, shoulders, knees and toes", "Dear Zoo", "Goldilocks" and "The hungry caterpillar.". We shared this experience with our French partner school, emailing examples of our work. Year 6 created their own book of "Otto" in French which we posted to our partner school and they emailed their response. Our partner school studied "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" in English and sent us photographs of the class members with their Wonka bars and golden tickets.
In the Summer Term, the whole school is taking part in an exciting new knowledge and humanity rich project based curriculum on the Illegal Wildlife Trade with guidance and the support of Chester Zoo, Ignite and in conjunction with the Literacy Tree. Each phase is focussing on a different animal; the ivory trade of the Black African Rhinos and Elephants, Sumatran Tiger and the plight of the Gauer’s Gorilla.
Each Key Stage is concentrating on a different animal. EYFS: The Black Rhino KS1: The Elephant LKS2: The Gorilla UKS2: The Sumatran Tiger
As a school we want to be the driving force of our education; learning powers through research, empathy, resilience, resourcefulness, reflectiveness, collaboration. We want to raise the awareness of the plight of animals who are pushed towards becoming critically endangered, forced to the edge of extinction. We want to understand and highlight the work people are achieving to create sustainable habitats and environments in which humans and wildlife can both thrive. We want to know and spread the word so that we be actively helpful and supportive to be better informed. We want to be making individual choices that don’t threaten species such as not buying products from wildlife protected by law and by supporting companies that demonstrate sustainable supply chains and environmentally responsible policies.
At Whiston Willis we want to show that we have a voice in which we can have impact on the future of our world and the world of others and importantly our own education. We are sharing our work and pictures of our exhibition with our partner school in France, to see if they feel the same.
The outcome of the project is a showcase/exhibition of the excellent work achieved within the school and its wider community through Literacy, Humanities, PSHE, Arts, UN Rights Respecting School and Sustainable Goals 14 and 15.
As quoted by Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.
This year (2018/19), we have began building relationships with a school in South Africa called Khulasizwe Primary School in Tembisa. This relationship will be built upon during 2019/20.
Class Teacher: Nkazimulo Mbonani
School Address: Phofo and Nkwe street, Mqantsa section Tembisa 1632, South Africa.
During 2019/20, Year 3 and 4 children will be communicating via post, email and video; exchanging information about ourselves, our school, our class and our community. We will specifically be working on a project together looking at 'Quality Education'. The project illustrates how we can support the development of quality education for everyone through the study of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 - to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all.
In September-October 2018, Upper Key Stage 2 children were given the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the tropical and temperate rainforests and where they are situated in the world in relation to the equator. This was completed through map work and exploring the different types of rainforests across the world. They explored the varying layers of a rainforest and the living things which inhabit each area, including the indigenous people. After this, the children investigated SDG 15, “Life on Land”, learning about deforestation and how forests are being destroyed in order to make the land available for other things. This included burning forests, destroying the places where plants and wildlife live, and reducing biodiversity. In addition, they also discussed how climate change is affecting rainforest depletion, the small steps we can do to make a change and how we can convey this message to others.
During November 2018, all pupils took part in activities and learning to mark the centenary of World War 1. Each key phase focussed on a different aspect of World War 1. EYFS and Key Stage One created poppies out of arts and craft materials to commemorate the event. Lower Key Stage Two created their own information powerpoints which explained the special centenary celebration. Upper Key Stage Two focussed on the Christmas Truce. The children watched a video clip which illustrated the event and then wrote letters in role as a soldier writing home to his family. They also created a dance based on being soldiers in No Man‘s Land.
This activity linked with our partner school in France. We emailed examples of our learning and they told us how they commemorated the centenary through a visit to an exhibition about life in the trenches and through reading poems at a Remembrance event.