HEATHFIELD SCHOOL’S INTERNATIONAL LINKS
We are very proud of our dynamic and forward thinking International Links Staff and Student groups. Encouraging awareness of the global community is an integral part of the Heathfield ethos. As a result we have achieved the International School’s Award for a THIRD time running (2012 – 2015). Some of our projects and achievements include:
1. Our Comenius Project – “How Big is Your Foot?”
We have had a huge year; Not only have we been to Croatia but have also hosted our own visit here at Heathfield.
On the 4th of March, 50 staff and students from our partner schools landed in the UK and made their way to Taunton to visit our school. I met everyone at the Holiday Inn and send some very scared looking students off to stay for a week with their ‘Heathfield’ pen pals. All the European Partners commented on how friendly our staff and students are and they LOVED the school and the relaxed atmosphere, in particular the art work and displays in our classrooms.
We went on a number of trips, a tour of Bath, Glastonbury Abbey, Taunton and the Taunton Museum amongst others and we hosted a Barn Dance in the Small Hall, which was transformed into a cowboy/country theme, all our guests arrived wearing checked shirts. Thanks to Caroline who provided adults with water pistols!
The main focus of the visit and the project was the Performance of The Blue and Green Machine, a Musical composed by Julian Breeze. Each of the partner countries had a pack with songs from the musical and had learnt them adding their own style!
They absolutely loved the musical and couldn’t believe the facilities we have available to us (I had shown them a picture of the Tacchi Morris but they didn’t believe it was part of the school!). On stage were over 150 performers from all our Heathfield singing groups and a small group of Year 8 who linked all the songs with Drama. They had all spent months rehearsing; I would like to say a huge thank you to them (the students) and to the music team who put it all together!
Our final trip was to Croatia; Caroline Barratt took a team of 7 staff and 6 students from year 8 and 9.
Eloise Chapman, Year 10 said:
“We set off on an eco-based project involving many countries from Europe. After leaving miserable England we arrived in sunny Croatia and were soon whisked away to learn all about their different ways of life. We had the chance to make lots of European friends throughout the evening as we went to Elena’s house for a garden party with the other Croatian and Turkish Students.
We had a fantastic time sightseeing around Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city. We even visited the Croatian Parliament whilst it was in session! This was followed by an amazing meal in a restaurant near our hotel in Zagreb. We then went to Zagreb’s National Park which had superb waterfalls and incredible lakes entirely surrounding us.
We then journeyed south to the city of Zadar to visit the incredible world renowned beaches. We arrived back at the hotel for 3am! The next morning after a brief shopping experience around Zagreb, we flew back to England and arrived home at 11pm on Sunday evening, tired but full of great memories”.
In my opinion, this project has been a huge success; we have made lasting friendships and connections with our European Partner schools, shared good practice and ideas and have run projects and activities with lasting effects: however this could only happen with the over whelming and fantastic support of a LOT of staff who have helped not only on the activities in school, the organisation of the UK visit and the transport, but who have also taken time to go on visits and shared their experiences on return. A huge thank you to Sarah Hall for coordinating such a memorable project!
2. “Neither Ogres nor Princesses” – Padre Feijoo School in Gijon, Spain
This project is based around gender stereotyping and when we visited Gijon in April a memorable moment was when Michelle McVeigh took a class which comprised of Spanish and English students for a drama workshop on gender stereotyping. A massive thank you to all those involved in the trip and especially to Arantza for her translation skills. The Spanish return to us for ten days in October and we are all looking forward to it enormously.
3. Heathfield School’s Café Pάramo
This year the Cafe Páramo team hit record sales, selling at parent’s evenings and other school events. The Cafe Páramo team have also sold outside of school at special events such as Holiday Inn/Spirit Health club Comic Relief Quiz evening and The Sustainability show (where they made contacts with Mike Eavis and Deborah Meaden).
They have attended Enterprise workshops (and made contacts with Caroline Young). They have presented a sales pitch and are in the process of securing a deal with a coffee shop, which will use Cafe Páramo as their regular coffee. There major event this year has been a 20//20 education initiative at the Said Business school in Oxford. Here they presented a film and speech about the Cafe Páramo project and how it blends social enterprise with tackling 21st century global issues. The 20//20 Education forum was recorded for TV and radio, and moderated by Rageh Omaar.
It is the Cafe Páramo student’s passionate approach to fair-trade, developing education and their eagerness to share their ideas with other young people that has led to their recognition at this event. As Cafe Páramo continues to strengthen its links to Ecuador, it is also beginning to act as mentors to The Sir John Cass and Redcoat School in Stepney who are looking to use their strong links with Bangladesh to start a similar enterprise importing fair trade spices. We focused on our 5 different teams and how we all work together to continue to grow this ever expanding project. They all had a very successful day and we hope to have reciprocal visit in the new academic year.
To break down our groups the Managing Directors team have been keeping our busy schedule moving, organising the teams and often involved in the larger presentations. The Sales and Marketing team have been out selling all records at all events and attending lots of workshops. The Finance team are keeping up with our stock takes and constant stock orders, as well as just acquiring a new cupboard to keep all of our stock in. They are in the process of pricing up new merchandise e.g. car stickers. The International links team are in the process of creating an information board around school, to keep every-one up to date and are looking forward to a possible new correspondence in the new academic year. And the design team have been producing lots of merchandise for these events e.g. bunting, lino printed coffee bean paper and a major film about Cafe Páramo and how it works.
Lastly due to the demand of our coffee, we are selling more than the cooperative can provide us, so we are looking at branching out! We will still keep our links with the Caxarumi co-operative in Ecuador, however, we will also begin a new link with another small cooperative in either Peru, Guatemala or Costa Rica.
It has been a busy year, but with their new Staff T-shirts and enthusiastic co-ordinator, Mrs Essadiq, they are an unstoppable force!
For more information, visit our website at: www.cafeparamo.yolasite.com
4. Multi-cultural week – Ghana
Once again, our excellent multi-cultural week was a highlight for Year 8’s with Ghana as the theme. Students had a whole day of immersing themselves in Ghanaian culture and Richard from Services Basic School in Kumasi, Ghana for the week enriched sessions with his input, games and weaving skills. All students listened to some traditional Ghanaian stories from Misoshi and then workshops were organised where students attempted Ghanaian Adinkra printing and Kente weaving. The results can be seen below:
The climax of the day was a “living Ghanaian flag” made up of all Year 8 students and a welcome message was then videoed and sent to our link school, Services Basic School in Kumasi.
Thanks as usual to all those staff who give 100% support to help us introduce our students to people from other cultures.
5. International Links stays interactive!
Want to keep up to date with the entire goings on with the International Links group? Then follow us on Facebook, just search for “Heathfieldlinks” and join the group AND on Twitter, search for @HeathfieldLinks.
6. Global Citizenship Day for Year 7
The annual year 7 Global Citizenship Day took place in June. Once again the Ugandan drummers got everyone involved. Fast drumming, frenetic dancing and lots of fun. Everyone loved the grass skirts! Some of the Year 7 teachers and LSA’s joined in which caused great hilarity among the students! Then it was off to the classrooms to be a detective and solve a racial murder. There were lots of positive comments from the students. Here are just a few comments from the Year 7 feedback sheets:
I give it 1000 out of 4. I loved it!
They were awesome and I learnt a lot
The films and discussions about racism really make you think
This photo says it all! A massive thank you to Kim for getting such a great day organised.
7. Ypres Trip (Belgium)
The 2012 Year 10 trip to the WWI battlefields was as moving as ever. Over 40 pupils experienced preserved trenches, met a battlefield archaeologist and paid their respects at the Menin gate (where over 50, 000 British and Empire soldiers are commemorated).
It’s an annual trip and each year we plan to take one member of the international links steering group to spread the experience around the staff.
8. Amnesty International:
This is a group of 10 volunteers (in year 8) who have run campaigns, held assemblies, hosted events, won awards and visited the House of Commons. Their focus is (as the name suggests) International and this year they have run in depth campaigns on Burma, China, Cuba and on the death penalty.
Heathfield’s Amnesty group have gone digital. We have made a film (now being edited) that explains what Amnesty does and why it matters. The film will be used in assemblies next year as part of your winter campaign.
9. International Links across the curriculum:
Through-out each subject area there have been awesome examples of the International dimension in practice this year, far too numerous to mention but all enhancing the students ideas and raising awareness of the world around them. A big thank you to all departments for raising student’s awareness and interest.
10. Global Schools Partnership Project: Storylines:
The aim of this project is to use storytelling as a platform to explore cross cultural stereotypes and themes between Heathfield and Services Basic School in Ghana.
We each chose a story which would challenge ideas about our cultures and we used these stories in curriculum areas to understand and identify key points. Using a medium of our choice we performed the stories so our partner schools gained an understanding of the stories themes. Year 7 students at Heathfield School created a puppet show of George and the Dragon and Services Basic School created a filmed drama piece of Ananse’s Magic Drum.
These were then exchanged and tasks were created and shared between schools to challenge our understandings. Students evaluated their understandings and we aim to build on this in subject areas next year.
Our classes have Skyped each other with much excitement and one student asked “can we do that every lesson!?”
11. French mini trip:
The annual languages trip to Normandy took place in May with glorious weather, visits to the D-Day landings beaches, restaurants, hypermarkets and a Calvados distillery. Students in Year 7 learnt about French history, culture and could practise their newly acquired language skills.
A fantastic video of all the photos taken has been created by a Year 7 digital leader and is playing on the bridge in the “New Block”.
12. Tacchi Internships with Bates College (USA)
This is the first internship of its kind at any state school in the UK and I believe the first time that Bates has offered an internship abroad. Both Nancy Gibson (who I really cannot thank enough for all of her hard work and support) from Bates and I saw this as a fabulous opportunity. One of our aims at Heathfield is to ensure that our students leave with a world vision and for them to rub shoulders with higher education students from a top US liberal arts college is a fabulous opportunity. There is also a clear correlation between the way that the Performing Arts is taught at Heathfield and at Bates – I think that we both see the performing arts as an essential part of a well-rounded education and as providing insights into the human condition that can not be fully realised in any other way.
Both Lucas and Victoria have got on brilliantly and we are overjoyed at how well they have fitted in. Both of them are linked with tutor groups in the main school and both have been helping in performing arts classes with all ages at the school; in addition to this general help they have both had the opportunity to focus on their particular areas of interest and expertise – so Victoria, almost from day one, has run dance workshops and dance clubs for all ages and devised some of the choreography for the forthcoming production of ‘The Wiz’ whilst Lucas has worked hard on set design, set building and lighting. A measure of their respective success is that we asked Victoria to apply for the dancer-in-residence post at Tacchi-Morris and Lucas has been offered a backstage internship at this summer’s prestigious Edinburgh Festival.
13. Olympic rings project:
Celebrating London Olympics Games 2012: All students here at Heathfield have been finding out about the iconic Olympic ring symbol.
The Olympics are a celebration of friendship, unity and peace and the rings represent the union of the five continents. At each of the Games, the Olympic flag is hoisted and the rings are interlocked to show friendship among the nations. Here at Heathfield we created our own Olympic rings, representing our union, friendship and strength within our own school community. Each year group was responsible for forming their own ring. A ring is a symbol of never ending and unbroken strength and to form the ring it took all tutor groups, illustrating the interlocked friendship and support within the year and eventually within the whole school community.
To support the rings symbolism, students were asked to choose 5 words which represented the rings within our school. Union, Support, Strength, School, Friendship were the final choice and these words were inserted in the centre of the rings.
The raising of Heathfield’s Olympic rings took place and was a symbol for us all to see on our last day of term!
14. Future Plans:
• We are looking at the possibility of applying for a curriculum grant between Services Basic School and Heathfield to allow students to visit each other and build stronger links.
• Hosting our Spanish partners with students from Padre Feijoo School in Gijon on the reciprocal visit from the Bilateral project.
PLUS loads more!