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“At Poplars Farm, we have a strong set of values based around the themes of being ‘giving, responsible, open-minded and welcoming’. These values gel our school community together and in turn guide our international education strategy.  There is something very powerful about working in partnership with schools in different parts of the world and developing an inter-cultural understanding.”

ERASMUS

Creating links with Bradford and Egypt

Jo Speak, pictured left. Headteacher of Poplar Primary School, Bradford. 




Educating the global citizens of tomorrow

A pioneering international exchange programme is preparing young pupils at a Bradford school to become ‘future citizens of the world’.

Poplars Farm Primary is the leading member of Include.net, a partnership of schools in England, Finland, Romania, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey funded by Erasmus+ (Key Action 2), the EU-wide initiative aimed at harnessing the Europe’s collective educational potential.

Based around the themes of inclusion and community involvement, Include.net is a ground-breaking professional development tool that aims to help teachers learn from each other’s experiences and share exemplary practice from other countries

It sees staff to travel to partner schools to observe teaching techniques, learn new ideas and then use them to improve their own classroom methodologies.

“As a diverse, inclusive school, we believe that providing an international perspective is the best way to get children to look at themselves in the context of the wider world,” explains Poplars headteacher Jo Speak.

“At Poplars Farm, we have a strong set of values based around the themes of being ‘giving, responsible, open-minded and welcoming’. These values gel our school community together and in turn guide our international education strategy.  There is something very powerful about working in partnership with schools in different parts of the world and developing an inter-cultural understanding.”

In addition to a two-year programme of educational exchange visits for teachers in the partner schools, Include.net utilises the e-Twinning portal – a secure online platform that allows staff to communicate, create and collaborate. The technology not only allows teachers to create their own networks, it also acts as shared space in which new ideas can be tested, evaluated and evidenced.

Include.net, allows us to address some of the inequalities children face around the world and promote inclusion in its broadest sense, whether that’s in terms of gender, special educational needs, language or low social economic status,” says Jo.

“We’ve been able to learn different teaching methods from our partners and adapt them at Poplars Farm. In addition, the visits to partner schools provide opportunity for our staff to reflect on their own practice.

“We are also able to showcase some of the fantastic work going on in Bradford, such as the dialogic teaching work, carried out as part of the Bradford Together initiative. The whole school community is very excited to host fifteen teachers this year, welcome them to Poplars Farm and introduce them to the wonderful city of Bradford.”

Now about to enter its second year, Include.net is just one of the projects that has seen Poplars Farm gain the intermediate level of the British Council’s International School Award and is on course for advanced accreditation in the summer.

Jo and her team have embedded international learning into many aspects of school life including the annual ‘International Week’ featuring assemblies and world cafes. They have also created a sub-committee of the school parliament (School Council) called the Global Committee, which allows children to give speeches at some of the international-themed training events regularly hosted by Poplars Farm for other schools across Yorkshire.

In June, Poplars Farm and eight other schools in the Bradford East One Partnership cluster will be staging ‘Our World’ – a global summit for the children of Bradford, by the children of Bradford, at City Hall. Each school will deliver a presentation on one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“Our next challenge is to put together a consortium of schools across Bradford and Egypt and access funding from the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Through Global Learning programme,” adds Jo.

“It’s a tremendously exciting time to be part of the teaching community in the city, bringing the world into Bradford and Bradford out into the world.”


Poplars Farm Primary website    Erasmus + website

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“At Poplars Farm, we have a strong set of values based around the themes of being ‘giving, responsible, open-minded and welcoming’. These values gel our school community together and in turn guide our international education strategy.  There is something very powerful about working in partnership with schools in different parts of the world and developing an inter-cultural understanding.”

ERASMUS

Creating links with Bradford and Egypt

Jo Speak, pictured left. Headteacher of Poplar Primary School, Bradford. 




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