Yesterday, Mr Stanley left school early to attend the International Schools Awards at the British Council’s offices just off Trafalgar Square in London. This was the first time that Liss Junior School had received this award (which lasts for three years), but there was a school that was receiving the award for the sixth time (that’s over 15 years of quality international work!).
When Mr Stanley arrived he was directed upstairs to a big room where all the headteachers and teachers from the recipient schools had gathered. There was military efficiency in planning the ceremony and all the attendees had an allocated seat. Mr Stanley had a seat next to a very nice American woman who taught at a secondary school just outside Oxford.
Before the awards were given out, a lady named Jo Beall (who is the British Council’s Director of Education) gave a very good speech about why the award is so important. When you think of some of the tragic events of the last week or so you can fully understand why exposing children to other cultures is so important as they learn tolerance and respect.
Then it was time to walk up and receive the award, pose for an obligatory photo and clap all the other recipients. Considering the amount of people there (well over 100) it was over very quickly.
After that it was time to have a drink (yes, there was beer available although no Nile Special) and a chat to other teachers. Mr Stanley used the opportunity to put faces to many of the names of staff at the British Council and is delighted to report that they are all really lovely, helpful people. He managed to speak to Mark Herbert, the Schools’ Director, who was brought up in Liphook and knows Liss well. He also chatted to Bethan (who works on the Erasmus projects);Tanya (who has worked at the British Council for 18 years); Ludmila & Jana (both from the Czech Republic and part of the International Schools Award team). It was fascinating to find out about their jobs and how they support the schools they work with.
Along with the plaque and certificate awarded, the British Council gave each of the awardees a special British Council flag. It is therefore obvious that Liss Junior School needs a flagpole just like the one at Kafuro Primary School so that we can fly our International Schools Flag.
Now that the award has been gained, the hard work of making sure that the school maintains it in 2018 begins. So to conclude , many thanks to all of our parents and pupils for all their hard work in supporting the activities which allowed us to gain the award, our deep gratitude to the British Council for their help and support throughout the process. Finally, our most heartfelt thanks to everyone at Kafuro Primary School for their efforts in supporting us in many of the activities that allowed us to gain the award. Webare Munonga!