Internationalism in Donington Primary School

In September 2012, we returned to school to find that Donington Cowley Endowed Primary School had been awarded the prestigious Full International Schools Award 2012-2015. This is an incredible achievement which the whole school is very proud of. The assessing panel commented that our work was "outstanding, with a wide variety of meaningful international activities." 

Internationalism is fully embedded into the curriculum at Donington. Links have been built and sustained with five different schools in France as part of the French curriculum. Further links have been forged more recently through the many projects we have run and taken part in.   

International activities take place throughout the school year as part of the curriculum. Here are just a few examples of some of the international activities the children worked on during 2011-2012.  In KS2, each class studied a country as a topic (Ireland, France, Australia, Africa and Spain) and this culminated in a KS2 International Day, where the children had the opportunity to share what they had been learning about their countries and of course to take part in a traditional Irish ceilidh! Language clubs in Italian, Japanese, Irish and German were lead by the staff. The children took part in challenges such as a whole school Eurovision Song Contest, sending Postcards from their holidays around the world and an e-mail challenge to gather as many messages from around the world as they could in one term. Over 1000 e-mail messages were received from our 250 pupils from places such as Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, Jordan, Egypt, New Zealand, the Cayman Islands, the Phillippines and of course many parts of the UK, Europe, America and Australia. 


2012-2013 was equally as exciting.  To celebrate European Day of Languages, we wrote and received postcards from school's all over Europe with some information about their local areas. Almost more exciting for some children was looking at the stamps on the envelopes. We have started a school international stamp book!

Here is just one of the final displays in the KS2 corridor showing just a third of all the postcards which arrived from across Europe.

image - Postcards Display


Our school cat, Trim, decided he would go and do some exploration all over Europe for us and send us letters and photographs of his journey. Trim went all over Europe (and also started with an extra long jaunt to Brazil!). After Brazil. Trim began in Poland, he then went to Spain where he enjoyed spending Halloween with the children there.  Then he travelled onwards to Hungary and enjoyed Poland so much he went back there for Christmas. The New Year saw Trim jetting off to the Czech Republic, Italy, Latvia and finished his year off in Estonia. Here are some pictures of what he saw!


image - Trim in Spain - Halloween

 image - Trim Poland

 image - Trim in Poland


Trim will be off travelling again in 2013-2014. He will be visiting Scotland, Iceland, Poland, Estonia, The Czech Republic, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Italy, Sweden, Greece and Finland. A very busy year ahead.


Whilst Trim was off travelling in 2012-2013, we also had some visitors from some of Trim's hosts. Kubus came to visit from Poland and Wenceslas from the Czech Republic amongst others. We also had Froggy from France.


image - Henry - Poland


To celebrate Christmas with our international partners, we led a Global Christmas Greetings project. Traditional Christmas greetings cards and information about different Christmas traditions were shared across Europe. We built some amazing Christmas trees in the library and hundreds of cards arrived and were displayed. The International Committee, a group of 8 Year 6 children, each chose a country and presented an assembly to the whole school on Christmas traditions in this country. They of course learnt all their information from the many countries whom we worked with. The last count was about 120! An amazing project. Each class will be getting a book of Christmas traditions in time for Christmas 2013 from our work during December 2012.


Plans for the school year 2013-2014 are currently being formed with our many partners both home and abroad. We will kick off the new school year with a celebration of European Day of Languages. The children will be making and sharing greetings cards with 50 partner schools both in the UK and Ireland and throughout Europe. Following this, all the children will be involved in the making of a European calendar working with partners from countries such as Switzerland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland and Croatia. Trim will be off on his travels again and we will be hosting mascots from our partner schools at the same time.