Community and International
At Mary Elton we have always valued our community links.
From September 2017 we have remodelled our curriculum, so as to maximise the benefits of all our community links. This has involved strengthening partnerships, creating new ones and building in sustainability. Strong and planned community links that are woven into our Curriculum enhance our children’s learning, by offering real life opportunities, challenging perceptions, giving access to unique activities and building a broad and balanced understanding of their world. By bringing the outside world into our school and also reaching out, we can create a learning environment, where our children can see that they can contribute positively on issues that concern them.
Examples of Community and International Partners
We have worked with local and foreign companies on STEM projects. These include a textile fabric company when we co-developed hi tech safari lodges; we have worked with a wheelchair manufacturer in Tanzania and looked at flood management with a Clevedon engineering company. Some of these projects have earned us national recognition as examples of excellent partnerships that have given our children a deep understanding of issues, problem solving and collaboration. We have very strong links with the STEM Learning Centre and the STEM Ambassador Programme.
Kikoboga School is in the heart of Mikumi National Park in Tanzania. The children who attend it are those belonging to the park staff. In 2006, Mary Elton School and Kikoboga School signed a friendship agreement. This has developed into a project which now offers a range of curriculum opportunities to support our children’s learning. There are reciprocal staff visits and through these our children share cultural and environmental projects. These projects are celebrated through exhibitions, film and presentations to parents and the wider community. We share our learning with parents, businesses and the wider community. If your organisation would like a presentation, please contact us.
To enhance our school-wide teaching of French, we have active links in three French locations, Nice in France, Reunion Island and New Caledonia. These links enable our pupils and staff to learn about French culture and the very differing geographical settings and climates that these three locations offer, inspiring curiosity and providing a very real reason for learning the language. Using a variety of types of technology, pupils safely exchange songs and stories, questions and answers, photos and pieces of work. Our long-established links in Nice have led us to hold an annual school carnival, following the theme of their spectacular city event. We have gained a full International School Award from the British Council twice, in recognition of the strong international dimension that runs throughout our whole school curriculum.
We have a partnered with the Hawthorns on a new initiative where our children and residents can work on projects of mutual interest. We have an exciting legacy project with the Curzon that will build a video library for the future. We work with a number of schools on music projects, environmental issues and challenging perceptions on a range of issues.
We work with Universities and Institutions on in reach and outreach programmes, that have supported their aims and supported our teacher’s professional development. Again we work with local charities supporting their causes and in doing so extended our children’s understanding of their world. These include homeless charities, dog training centres, medical charities and food banks.
We partner with parents/carers and families via the HSA and Parent Voice. Priests from several churches visit regularly to offer us, as a nondenominational school, a Christian perspective. We have regular visits from a wide cross section of people such as, community police offers, people with business/commercial/money skills, the RNLI, men and women with professions that are of interest to our children, sports people and authors. We are always looking to develop our community links and if you feel you could support us, we would like to hear from you.