Upcoming Adventures.

The Turing Scheme

Read More

International Experiences

Providing our pupils opportunities to learn about our world

Our International programme is at the heart of Barr Beacon School and we have proudly held the International Schools Award for many years. We hope to secure the award again later this year. We know that our pupils need to leave our school with more than just academic credentials: an exploration of the wider world that we are part of is essential to ensuring our pupils are well rounded future citizens.

Through our curriculum offer, we prioritise the discovery of

  • culture
  • communities
  • creativity
  • careers
  • compassion

Our policy and strategy is carefully curated to ensure that all pupils can participate in our international programme and this ethos is the golden thread of our curriculum offer.

We have created many international relationships which have been developed and embedded. We have strong links with schools in Sicily and Germany and our pupils have enjoyed reciprocal visits. We participate in Erasmus projects and our pupils in Year 9-12 can take part in World Challenge or Camps International biannually.

Annually we have three Foreign Language assistants which ensures that our pupils have first-hand exposure to a variety of cultures. Our staff are encouraged to link with international colleagues via eTwinning and exchange the best of our teaching and learning experience.

Discovery Week is our annual event in which pupils can select from a variety of cultural experiences including Barcelona, Paris and food from around the world.

Our character education programme, Beacon Values embeds a focus on international events, celebrations and beliefs. Through PSHE and school assemblies pupils learn about Black History Month, LGBTQ history around the world, Fair Trade, European Day of Languages and refugees. We are proud of our pupils’ voices and pupil representatives are encouraged to lead these assemblies for their peers.

Find out more about the exciting International School Programme by clicking on the links below:

This year our Key Stage 3 pupils will express themselves through the international language: music. We welcome our new music teacher to lead this exciting opportunity to share compositions and performance and culture with pupils from South Korea. Watch this space to see how this project unfolds!
Our ongoing partnership with IPSAT Rocco Chinnici hotel and catering school has allowed many of our Sixth Formers the opportunity to learn about Italian cuisine from the experts! These reciprocal visits have supported ambitious and inspiring future careers for some of our students who have taken part.
Year 8 and 9 avid readers will have the chance to work on a project on the classic ‘Frankenstein’. Through reading and sharing ideas with pupils in schools in Turkey and France, our pupils will have the opportunity to develop as readers as well as produce a sophisticated and analytical magazine. This collaboration will help pupils to appreciate different interpretations from around Europe!
Barr Beacon has recently concluded two Erasmus projects for Year 8 and Year 12: pupils and students have taken part in the project ‘ Written in Stone’ about European history and ‘ Communications for the 21st Century’ about the personal skills needed for future success. We have been involved in many Erasmus projects as we know how important it is to work alongside countries around Europe and allow pupils to learn from and about their international peers.

In 2020 we are excitedly awaiting news of our latest bid. If successful, pupils in Year 9 will have the chance to apply to learn about the world of STEM in Romania, Crete and UK. This will involve a programme of exploration of the vast world of STEM with hands-on experiments; visits to further education institutions; experiences of employers and graduates; bespoke careers advice. We are keen to break down stereotypical barriers and obstacles that pupils may assume about STEM and open doors to possibilities home and abroad. Watch this space to find out more in the coming months.
Our annual trip to the German Markets at Christmas time are not just about capturing the magic of Christmas. For the large number of our Key Stage 3 pupils who take part, the markets are also about capturing the magic of another culture.

All pupils in Year 7 and 8 have the opportunity to go to Cologne to put their language skills to the test, to learn about German cuisine and way of life, to visit museums and go on a city boat tour. This experience sets the bar for the many international experiences that are on offer throughout the pupil community at our school.
Pupils taking GCSE German extend their skills and their confidence by teaching Key Stage 2 pupils at our local primary school. Many of the pupils who have taken part feel that this experience was integral to their success in languages but also their successes in future careers.

Pupils create their own resource and activities to help bring German language and culture to life for Key Stage 2 pupils. Both the pupils and our staff are consistently proud of the exceptional quality of our young German teachers!
Pupils taking GCSE Spanish have enjoyed learning about their Spanish peers by writing and receiving letters. Our pupils learn about languages whilst writing their letters and share their experiences of going to school. This develops into a language vlog in which pupils consider stereotypes and assumptions that they may have about each-others’ cultures and then undo these. Our pupils are keen to engage in this mind broadening opportunity.
International cultures and beliefs are celebrated throughout our school and embedded within our Religious Education curriculum. Pupils learn about religious journeys and practices around the world.

The whole cohort of Year 7 studies the five pillars of Islam. Within that topic, they take a deep dive into the Hajj (Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca). When they study Hajj they look at all sections of the Hajj in Mecca and Medina and study what rituals Muslims perform there and discuss the significance of these rituals. In the topic, students research the culture of Islam and why travel to Mecca is one of the 5 pillars of faith.

Year 7 also study equality in Sikhism. They focus on the culture of equality in the faith and how this is shown in the gurdwara and the wider community through sewa. We will expand on this by looking at pilgrimage to Amritsar (Golden Temple) later in Year 8. The whole cohort of Year 8 does an in-depth study of Buddhism. We look at the culture surrounding the religion, we look at Buddhism as a way of life, not just a religion. We look at different ways in which meditation and the teachings of Buddhism help people cope with daily life.
Our geography faculty ensure that pupils learn about the world we live in during the Amazing Places topic in Year 7 and the Asia topic in Year 8. Our pupils learn about the way of life for different people around the world. For instance, pupils spend time looking into the life of the Inuit people, exploring the challenges of living in the extreme cold of the Arctic. Within this topic, pupils look at the traditional clothing and homes of the Inuit people. They also compare what their way of life is like compared to ours with a focus on school. Pupils also investigate what life is like for people living in the Himalayas. Again, pupils focus on a comparison between their own life and the challenges that face people living in high altitude regions. In Year 7, as part of the Africa topic, our pupils learn about the Maasai Mara tribe and the traditional way of life that they lead. We also tackle misconceptions about Africa and highlight that not all areas are “poor”. In Year 8 we study Asia and pupils learn about different aspects of culture within several Asian countries. For example, they study what life is like in Japan and they also focus on how these countries and their culture have changed over time because of Globalisation.
Our history Department seeks opportunities to bring European History to life with international experiences. In the last academic year pupils have been to the battlefields, to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and also heard from ‘Voices from Auschwitz’ via the Holocaust Education Trust. These experiences help our pupils to see how international history has formed who we are as a nation and who we are as an international community. Our pupils learn about the past so that they can be considerate and compassionate global citizens who can make positive improvements to the world’s future.
Each year our Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils are given the chance to take part in either Camps International or World Challenge. Camps International have presented to Year 9, 10 and 12 about the culture of Cambodia. This year, six pupils elected to take part and raise the funds to go on the expedition which is Summer 2021.

On alternating years, the school organises a World Challenge expedition. Past expeditions have been to Swaziland and Nepal. A group were due to go to Malaysia in the summer of 2020. All pupils involved participate in learning about and raising awareness of the countries of their destination expedition.

One of the key elements of these trips is community engagement. Pupils learn about the tradition and cultures of different places whilst in the host countries. Our pupils stay in local communities and get to meet the local children. As well as taking part in activities to support the local communities, pupils also take part in a trek and visit sites of cultural significance. Barr Beacon pupils are often immersed in international possibility: whilst only small numbers of pupils might get to go on the adventure, there is no doubt that our pupil body knows that we are a school that aspires to broaden horizons and provide myriad international opportunities.

Past Visits

Providing our pupils with opportunities
to experience life outside of the UK..