Our approach to inspiring global mindedness
Every international school will say that one of their aims is to develop global citizenship for their students, but few define the way they nurture the knowledge, skills and understanding to make this happen, or the opportunities they give to students to be active in this respect, making global citizenship a way of life in the immediate, and not just the future.
At Nord Anglia Education it is different, and through our curriculum, our extended programme and the work of our own Foundation, we actively provide these opportunities to our students. These include one-of-a-kind experiences such as expeditions in Tanzania and Les Martinets as well as collaborations with The Juilliard School, MIT, and UNICEF. Our Global Campus brings together our 51,000 students virtually and actually, encouraging a sense of belonging to the world community, particularly through topics covering environmental factors and humanitarian issues.
The challenge for our schools is to ensure these learning experiences have a long-lasting impact on students and their school communities. At the same time, we want to provide a structured approach to global citizenship that ensures they can develop the skills and knowledge needed to be successful and fulfilled in our modern world.
All good international schools not only promote respect for national identities, but actively celebrate them. These schools include in their annual calendars international days and national festivals, especially of course those of their host countries. Our curricula also encourage global-mindedness. For example, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme has an explicit commitment to international aspects through thematic units of study. At Early Years and the International Primary curricula we help young children begin the move towards an increasingly sophisticated national, international and intercultural perspective. Each thematic unit includes an international aspect to help develop a sense of ‘international mindedness’.
But at NAE we have the ability and desire to go much further through our Global Campus and our leadership and social enterprise programmes. For example, our Global Library is a carefully curated collection of books which we believe every child should read, and some of the authors tell us their stories of why they wrote such impactful books, including Debra Ellis who wrote ‘The Breadwinner’. Our creative writing competitions (open to all our students) feature themes based around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which we promote through a unique collaboration with UNICEF. Students return from our Expeditions with a true sense of what it means to change the lives of others and have their own lives transformed as a result.
The central pillar in addressing global citizenship is what happens every day in our schools, through the curriculum and co-curricular programmes. The following are just a few examples.
Students often learn about global issues through activism and advocacy at a local level. They are provided great opportunities for this, such as joining Model United Nations, or by active participation in their communities. These issues often ignite our students’ determination to pursue development work in their future careers, such as our students who are passionate about working with migrant populations in central Europe, the Far East and America.
At BIS HCMC, we have over 20 individual community projects taking place every single week from F1 to Year 13, working with local long-term community partners. Examples include Fundinos learning about the importance of caring for animals and Year 2 learning sign language to communicate with their friends from a local Vietnamese school for children with hearing impairments.
Events such as World Clean Up Day encourage the entire BIS community to get involved and broaden their understanding of the importance of keeping their local environment clean.
Year 12 IB Language and Literature students visit Mai Tam House of Hope in Thu Duc district, a home which supports adults and children living with HIV. The purpose of the trip was to enable our students to engage and empathise with the experiences of those living with HIV. Having studied how taboos are reinforced and challenged in non-fiction and media texts, the students were able to explore the effects of the stigma of this condition.
All our schools focus on actively learning about and addressing issues such as poverty, conflict, the environment, discrimination and differing lifestyles through our Personal, Social and Health Education programmes.