International School Award
International School Award
The Willink School has held the International Schools Award for nearly 20 years, and since 2012 at Gold Standard. We are proud to be a “village school with a global outlook”; a global perspective is integral to our school vision. Staff who are appointed to The Willink are inducted into our global vision and asked at interview how they may contribute to sustaining the vision.
Our international ethos includes running a large variety of trips and visits, including cross curricular residential trips to Iceland, Belgium, several residential trips to Spain, France and Germany, a day trip to France, as well as work experiences abroad for some of our Sixth Formers. A Global trip to a country representing our House values is also planned for 2024. We are also working very hard to resume our annual visit to Moldova which is very close to our heart as our students have undertaken very important educational and community work since 2006.
It is our aim that all students experience a foreign visit during their time at The Willink – and we use pupil premium funding and access local charities to try to achieve this goal. Our WeLink newsletters successfully ensures that our whole community gain by hearing the experiences of our students visiting abroad and the beliefs, values and attitudes of people from other cultures. We have regular articles published celebrating those experiences for our students.
In 2020 and for the last two years, despite the pandemic, a large number of our KS3 students had the opportunity to take part in some cultural and culinary experiences in French, Spanish and Mandarin in local restaurants across the Southeast and London.
For the first time in the school history, we have also introduced our 4th language at GCSE, Mandarin, which opens new doors for our students as it represents a fantastic opportunity for them in our global society. Many successful activities are taking place each year for Mandarin, including the very famous Chinese New Year celebrations. Mandarin is now studied from Y7 up to GCSE and very soon up to A Level.
Almost all students study a language to GCSE; we believe if the teaching is inspiring, if the curriculum is engaging and if all our students are offered an opportunity to take part in extracurricular activities, they will enjoy even more the study of at least a language and for some students take it further to A Level, University or even for their future careers. More and more students now study two languages at GCSE and A Level.
Every year the school also welcomes foreign language assistants in French, German, Spanish and Mandarin. Global citizenship is embedded throughout the school, supported by our global charity called Kiva which microfinance projects across the world.
All those aspects just reinforce our British values and support our own school values of respect, tolerance and celebration of cultural differences.
As a Teaching School, The Willink supports the development of global perspectives and builds more widely on its work on the Global Learning Programme, a hub school for primary and secondary schools in west and central Berkshire and in north Hampshire.
Finally, The Willink school is delighted to have received the full acknowledgment of our efforts from the British Council as we have been awarded our new Gold Standard International award for the academic years from 2022 until 2025.