St Mary’s Primary School awarded for ‘bringing the world into the classroom’

October 15, 2018

St. Mary’s Primary School in Mullaghbawn has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to “bring the world into the classroom.”

The International School Award celebrates the achievements of schools that do exceptional work in international education. The British Council’s work with schools aims to foster an international dimension in the curriculum so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need for life and work in today’s world.

St. Mary’s has been involved in International work for over 15 years now and has worked with 28 different schools, at home in Ireland, as well as in Europe, China and Nepal. Through these school partnerships both pupils and staff alike have benefitted from learning about different countries and cultures. In addition staff have had opportunities to job shadow, attend courses and visit partner schools abroad. This has enabled St Mary’s staff to access, identify and share good practice in areas of particular interest.

On hearing the news that St. Mary’s had received the award, Ciara Crawley, International Co-Ordinator at St. Mary’s said, 

“It has been 15 years, 28 schools, one amazing journey! We are delighted to receive this award in recognition of all the work carried out by our pupils, staff, parents and wider community in south Armagh, as well as our partner schools around the world. 

“It’s impossible to calculate how many participants have been involved in our projects. Some have impacted on schools with only 15 pupils, others with more than 2,000, in schools as close to us as Crossmaglen and as far away as China, Nepal and Martinique!”

Sir Ciarán Devane, CEO of the British Council, congratulated the school on its fantastic international work which “has rightfully earned it this prestigious award.” 

“The International School Award is a great chance for schools to demonstrate the important work they’re doing to bring the world into their classrooms,” said Mr Devane.

“Embedding an international dimension in children’s education ensures that they are truly global citizens and helps prepare them for successful lives and careers in an increasingly global economy.”

The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Pakistan. Around 5,500 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.

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