Hinchley Wood School is committed to developing the ‘International Dimension’ across all subject areas and was awarded the International Schools Award (ISA) for ‘outstanding development of the International Dimension within the school curriculum by the British Council. We aim to:
- encourage all curriculum areas to develop the international & global dimension at all Key Stages
- create opportunities for pupils to visit other countries and learn about other cultures
- welcome visitors from other countries into the school
In 2007 Hinchley Wood set up links with a school in Northern Uganda - the ‘Gulu Police P7 Primary School’, which has 2000 pupils aged from 5 to 12 years old. In 2012, we developed links with a second much smaller primary school in a nearby rural area called ‘Mama Cave School’.
Over the past decade, we have received British Council funding for teachers from both countries to visit each other’s schools. In 2012, two teachers and 20 students went on a World Challenge expedition to Uganda and spent a week at the school creating a new orchard, painting classrooms and helping to create a new library. Our next ‘Uganda Challenge’ when we will take a group of students to work at Mama Cave School is planned for 2020.
Over the past 10 years, Hinchley Wood students have organised many events in aid of the Ugandan schools, raising thousands of pounds. The donations have enabled Gulu Police P7 Primary School to buy items such as a new photocopier, musical instruments, classroom chairs, books and equipment. We have also been able to build and furnish a new computer room for the school, buy a new electricity generator and install an inverter that stores electricity and provides power when the local power supplies cut out. In February 2016, further student fund raising enabled Police P7 Primary School to replace the original photocopier that was bought a few years ago which allows students at the school to sit regular mock examinations ahead of their final leaving exams at the end of Year 7.
Fund raising for Mama Cave School has enabled us to replace and repair much needed sewing machines and fund the training of local teachers to teach the students how to use them. In February 2017, we provided the funds for Mama Cave to purchase their first computers for use by teachers in researching lessons and sharing ideas and resources with teachers in other local schools including Police P7 Primary School. Further funding in 2018, allowed for the replacement of concrete floors and redecoration of all of the classrooms at Mama Cave School. With other collaboration including letter writing and Skype conferencing, links between Hinchley Wood and Gulu continue to flourish.
In 2017, the focus of our fund raising for Police P7 Primary School was to raise £6,500 to expand and re-equip the school ICT suite with a network of 45 new computers. We are delighted to say that this target was reached in record time thanks to the generosity of students, staff and parents/carers and the new ICT suite at P7 Police Primary School was officially opened in September 2018.
The focus of our fund raising for Mama Cave School was to encourage students, staff and members of the local Hinchley Wood community to fund the £10 per year it costs to sponsor a child for a year of primary education. With government funding providing just £2 per year, local families are asked to pay for each child in school – something the poorest families struggle to do. We are delighted that we have now raised the funds to pay for 30 of the poorest children in Gulu District to receive a full 7 years of education and so have the opportunity to learn fundamental literacy and numeracy skills that come through a primary education.
We organise and run a whole host of trips that have an international dimension and, in doing so, expose our pupils to different cultures. Our students take part in regular foreign language exchange visits to France and Spain with curriculum visits to Germany, Poland, Iceland, Japan and the US. In addition, the school has successfully run the World Challenge with groups of 6th Form students visiting India, Nepal and Costa Rica in recent years. The school also hosts visiting students from schools in South East Asia with students from the National Chungli Senior High School in Taiwan spending two weeks shadowing our Year 10 students in school in order to improve their English and learn about life in a British school.
The great successes of our international projects still only make up a small part of the wide variety of opportunities on offer at Hinchley Wood. We continually look for ways to offer our pupils as many enriching experiences as possible in order to encourage them to fully engage with the world around us. Most of all, we want to develop well-rounded, life-long learners and recognise that the best way to do this is to offer a multitude of ways to enrich the curriculum.