“There is a rich programme to support pupils’ personal development and understanding of the world. Pupils have a well-developed understanding of equality and diversity. They recognise the school as a place where individuality is celebrated.” Ofsted
The school has well established educational partnerships across many European countries as well as partner schools further afield in countries such as China, India and Japan.
Taking part in international projects helps students prepare themselves as global citizens, and to become more aware of social, economic and political issues that affect people across the world. Students develop the desire to want to make a difference, by sharing what they know with their peers, and making their views known across the school and the wider community.
International activities within school have included investigating the disparity between the rich and poor, individuals, communities and countries, how to improve access to health, and the ‘right to education’. These are live issues which are debated in class and in the PSHE programme. Students who have a bigger picture of world affairs are better able to make a contribution, and to make their voices heard.
Students at Saint Gregory’s also have many opportunities to travel abroad on curriculum trips in many subjects such as Sports, the Arts, Languages and Humanities.
The school’s vast range of international activities was recognised by successful reaccreditation of the British Council’s Full International School Award in 2023. Examples of how the curriculum is extended globally, with internationalism being embedded at Saint Gregory’s, can be found below:
Mandarin Excellence Programme
In Year 7, students can apply to join the British Council’s Mandarin Excellence Programme, an intensive language programme to boost fluency in Mandarin. Each cohort of Year 7 accelerated learners will attain a high level of fluency in this key global language through an intensive programme of study and cultural activities including a virtual trip to China at the end of Year 9. The programme, which has been running successfully at Saint Gregory’s for several years, is delivered via a combination of teacher taught classroom lessons, after-school teaching, self-study and intensive study courses and activities. Students who participate in the programme can continue their study, should they wish to do so, to take Mandarin GCSE, in reflection of the quality and level of language learnt.
Students from Colegio Arenas bilingual school in the Spanish Canary Islands join us for the autumn and winter terms each year. Their residential base at Sulis Manor is in walking distance of Saint Gregory’s and means that they can quickly settle into the life of the school.
The students usually join in with Key Stage 3 classes, following a full English Curriculum whilst at the same time improving their English Language skills.
The long placement means that they can also participate in school sports teams and performing arts activities after school. Colegio Arenas is rated in the top 100 Spanish Schools.
Festival of Culture and Diversity
In the summer term the school celebrates culture and diversity with a week of events sharing the broad range of cultural heritage represented amongst our school community. Many events throughout the festival fill the school with vibrant colours, tastes and sounds, including celebrations of dance, music, fashion and food. Pop-up dance sessions integrate styles such as Bollywood and hip-hop. An international tasting café allows students to sample foods from many countries such as Poland, Romania, Nigeria, India, Zimbabwe and Mexico. Students can bake or cook their own sweet or savoury recipes to enter into an international food competition. Music workshops include African instrumentalism such as Djembe drumming and Kora. Students can come into school wearing cultural dress reflecting their heritage. This festival is an annual event in the school calendar.