Mrs Mary Morrison, our headteacher, started at Bower Park Academy with a clear vision – creating a Global Vision for the students of Collier Row, Romford. Since my arrival at Bower Park Academy in 2010, and with the help and backing of the Leadership team, the Vision has become a reality. Over the past five years, we have moved from strength to strength in securing international educational experiences for our staff and students.
We’ve all experienced how languages borrow words when they come in contact with other languages. Cultures do the same thing, borrowing aspects of other cultures. If you take a job at an international school, you’re likely to experience a different school culture than you’re used to. It won’t be the culture of your host country, but it won’t be the culture of your home country either. And, if you’ve worked at other international schools before in other countries, it won’t quite match any of those either.
Sun, sea, sand and student feedback. As relocations go, you can do a lot worse than Dubai. Liam Greenbank, teacher of IB Business Management & Economics at the Dubai American Academy, explains how he ended up going from grey Blighty to scorching UAE, and tells us about his experiences.
Choosing to become an international teacher is probably a more complex decision for most than it was for me. I was single, 25 years young and had been regretting for a number of years not travelling the world when I finished University. The cost of living in London was becoming more of a struggle than I had imagined, and I had also needed a change from teaching the English system. At the time I wasn’t enjoying the AS and A2 Business Studies courses on offer from certain examination boards, but I was lucky to get a brief taste of the International Baccalaureate (IB) a few years earlier when teaching in Liverpool. A taste I enjoyed.
The internet and modern transport offer unprecedented opportunities for pupils to learn about - and even experience - faraway countries, their peoples and different cultures. As part of a study in global community cohesion, we heard from the international co-ordinator at George Abbot School, a state secondary in Guilford, about the benefits of its partnerships with schools in different parts of the world.
George Abbot, which has held the International School Award since 2003, has links with schools in France, Germany, Canada, Tanzania, China, India and South Africa. These partnerships have enabled its pupils to experience different cultures and engage in some truly inspiring programmes.