Historical International LinksIn previous academic years, Year 7 and Year 8 studied Chinese on MFL Days. They were usually supported by our link school, Jiaxing Special School in China, Devonport High School for Girls’ teachers and Language Assistants as well as Hanban teachers. Our collaboration with these schools is very important to us as it brought the Chinese language and culture to life. Brook Green Centre for Learning also enriched its relationship with its link school in Jiaxing, China. In fact, Year 7 and Year 8 students actively collaborated with the school by exchanging Art work showing the differences and similarities between our two nations in the previous years. We shared how Christmas is celebrated in the United Kingdom and our link school sent us some artefacts to celebrate the Chinese New Year. A British and Chinese recipe book was created between the two schools by the end of last academic year. All the students’ work was celebrated by their parents, carers and family on a celebration day.
Brook Green Centre for Learning has been awarded the Full International School Award 2013-2016 by the British Council in September 2013. The award was presented to two School Ambassadors at the Plymouth Lord Mayor’s residence.
Currently and until July 2015, eight Year 9 students are involved in a Multilateral Comenius Maritime Project entitled Sea and City, Developing a Unique and Diverse European Maritime Identity which is supported by the British Council. The project involves Devonport High School for Girls in Plymouth, Loreto College in Southern Ireland and Nicolaus Copernicus High School in Poland. Every Friday after school, the students follow a collaborative programme to create a wide view of our maritime city. They created a calendar, a Plymouth trail and a maritime garden. They have met the students from the other schools in Dublin in March 2014 and to prepare for this event, learnt some Irish with Devonport High School for Girls and made a video of their school. They also collated with the partner students all information on their visits in Dublin in PowerPoint presentations which will be shared on a website.
As part of the Comenius Maritime project, five students and three staff from Brook Green linked up with Devonport High School for girls, Loretto College, Dublin and the Copernicus school, Kolobrzeg for nine days of adventure and learning about each other's cultures in sunny Poland.
The weather was a huge surprise: we expected Poland to be cold and grey but the weather was fantastic and we spent most of the week in t- shirts. The other surprises were the beaches: miles of pure white sand that looked more like Barbados than the Baltic.
We learned about Polish history, in Gdansk at the Solidarity museum and in the old town, which was reconstructed brick by brick after it was destroyed in World War 2. We visited the War Museum in Kolobrzeg which told us the story of Poland's part in World War 2 and where we saw tanks and planes used by the Poles and the Soviets. The museum was really thought-provoking and two things really stood out to staff and students: a huge painting of the Kolobrzeg water front during the liberation of the town by the Polish army and an exhibit of the uniforms and badges worn by those imprisoned in Auschwitz Concentration camp.
We also visited the Straslund Oceanarium in Germany, one of the largest in Europe, and were introduced to Nicky the shark, among other weird and wonderful creatures.
The food was great and we were treated to Polish feasts of pierogi (dumplings stuffed with pork or cheese and potatoes), apple fritters and beetroot soup.
A big part of the trip involved research and presenting back our findings and Brook Green students impressed everyone with their confident presenting and research skills, working in groups with students from all other schools.
It was an amazing experience and we
would like to thank our Polish hosts, not least for showing g us their
planetarium and letting us use their amazing telescope from where we saw Venus,
an exploded star and the Moon.
The next step for Brook Green Centre for Learning will be to link with a new school in Ghana in the next year in order to do collaborative work in Humanities, Art and Music and link with a French school to support the MFL curriculum.