At Hazel Community Primary, we recognise that our school is part of an interconnected global community. Through the International Dimension of our curriculum offer, we enable learners to become responsible and active global citizens, nurturing respect for all and building a sense of belonging to a common humanity. Through focus days, cross-curricular projects and collaboration with partners abroad, our International Dimension empowers learners to assume active roles as members of an international community, to face and consider solutions to global challenges and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure world.
We are immensely proud of our culturally and linguistically diverse school community, in which over 30 separate languages are spoken. This is reflected in events such as ‘Day of Languages’, which celebrate the varied language backgrounds of our pupils. This also involves parents and external collaborators coming into school to teach ‘taster lessons’, read stories in their home languages and run cultural workshops. It is this same spirit which drives events such as ‘Christmas Around the World Day’, during which pupils explore the individual festive traditions of a variety of different countries in various parts of the globe.
Language-learning naturally sits at the heart of the International Dimension of our curriculum and all pupils in Key Stage 2 have one French lesson every week. We have well-established links with schools around the French-speaking world, including Rwanda, Senegal, Reunion Island, Chad and the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. During their half-termly ‘International Time’, each class in Key Stage 2 learns more about their partner schools and the countries in which they are located, as well as communicating with their peers aboard via letters, postcards and video links. This allows pupils to use French for real-life communication, giving meaning to the process of language-learning. Children in Year 5 also work alongside their partner school in Rwanda on the ‘Zero Hunger Project’, part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which encourages them to use critical thinking skills to consider solutions to the issue of hunger, both in the UK and abroad.
French, and wider Francophone culture, is woven into language lessons, through units of work dedicated to food, festivals and traditions. Pupils in Year 5 have the opportunity to visit a French market and use their language skills for the practical purpose of buying a range of items. All pupils in Key Stage 2 also celebrate the French national holiday of Bastille Day in July, visiting and using their French to order in the ‘French café’, taking part in traditional games and learning about the history behind the celebration.
Whilst subjects such as French are taught discretely, we also recognise the power of creating meaningful links between subject areas to give context to our pupils’ learning, as part of our International Offer. It is this commitment to developing cross-curricular links which lies behind projects such as ‘Francophone Art Week’, where pupils from Reception to Year 6 explore the lives and techniques of a range of artists, both from France and the wider French-speaking world. Alongside developing their skills in art and gaining an appreciation of a range of artists and artworks, pupils deepen their understanding of the culture of their partner countries. ‘La semaine de la Francophonie’, later in the year, gives pupils across the school further opportunities to explore their partner country through its geography and history, thereby developing their skills in all three subject areas.
The International Dimension is clearly embedded within our school's curriculum, and whole-school ethos, with a range of international activities, including dynamic collaboration with partner schools in a variety of other countries and continents. It is this commitment to the international work which saw the school awarded the British Council’s International School Award in 2021.
We celebrate the rich diversity of our school community and we make strong links with our partners around the world.