British Council announces applications for International School Award (ISA) 2014-15

2014-05-01

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British Council announces submission of applications from interested Nepali schools to participate in the International Schools Award for 2014-15

What is British Council International School Award?

 

 

The British Council International School Award (ISA) is a benchmarking scheme that accredits schools as having an outstanding level of support for:

a. Nurturing global citizenship in young people

b. Enriching teaching and learning

 

A small group of experienced UK schools wanted acknowledgement for the wide range of international links and activities that they had developed.  So, in 1999 the British Council ran a small pilot programme of the International School Award – since then the programme has grown rapidly.

Why should a school apply for the Award?

 

Schools across the world are grappling with the challenge of providing relevant education in face of rapid technological advancements that are changing the way we live and work. It is widely accepted that the traditional chalk and talk model of content oriented teaching cannot adequately prepare young people for the future.

 

A change towards process and value oriented experiential learning is not easy. Sustainable,

transformational change is hard to bring about by discrete workshops or even extended staff training away from classroom where follow-up on action is difficult to ascertain, achievements difficult to measure and success rarely celebrated.

 

The ISA approach to school development is holistic and mirrors the approach we are encouraging teachers to use with their students. It is rigorous and evidence based. ISA is a leadership challenge and fosters teambuilding, innovation, and project management. Putting together the Action Plan and the Portfolio of evidence encourages collaboration and critical thinking. Keeping the staff motivated and enthusiastic through the year puts the head teacher and ISA coordinator’s leadership skills to test. There is little doubt that good leadership is second only to good teaching in raising standards in schools.

 

ISA is content free and schools are encouraged to embed it within their own curriculum. ISA gives context to practice new skills in Information & Communications Technology (ICT) and pedagogy in a safe and structured manner. Participating in briefings and workshops, online community and the award ceremony brings together a large number of schools across the

country fostering rich exchange of ideas and creating a vibrant community of education professionals.

 

ISA allows learning to end on a positive note with the head teacher and the ISA team receiving individual certificates from the British Council when the school achieves the award. Achieving the award is not the end of the journey. The schools and teachers involved in ISA may remain engaged with the British Council programmes beyond the assessment year. Outstanding coordinators have the opportunity to become British Council School Ambassadors, join the ISA assessment panel and co-facilitate workshops.

 

What does the Award include?

 

A school that completes the ISA journey meeting the minimum required standards is entitled to the following privileges as part of the Award:

a. ISA trophy for the school

b. Certificates for school, Principal, ISA Coordinator and up to 10 members of the ISA team in school

c. Use of the coveted ISA kite mark on all official stationery and promotional materials

d. Invitation to attend the annual British Council School Awards Ceremony and associated seminars.

 

The outstanding schools will have the opportunity to showcase their portfolios at British

Council offices and libraries, speak at British Council events as resource persons, participate in selected events and workshops and get invited to join the ISA assessment panel in the future. Many schools have often said that the learning journey is the biggest reward of ISA.

 

“Since the introduction of ISA in our school,

our teaching methodology and perception of

the subjects have undergone a sea change.

With the world fast becoming a global village

it has become imperative for us (teachers

and students) to think and act as global

citizens.”

 

What is the eligibility criterion to apply for the Award?

 

Any recognised school offering any curriculum, state, national or international; is eligible to apply for ISA. The minimum requirements include having an international educational partnership (with any country, evidence required), basic infrastructure, at least one computer

with internet facility and at least one teacher with adequate working knowledge of English language.

 

The schools that benefit the most are the ones that are proactively seeking ways of improving classroom transaction and would like to see some transformational change from traditional methods to more innovative methods.

 

International Schools Award 2012/13

British Council Nepal awarded International Schools Award to nine Nepalese schools at an event organised at Hotel Radisson on 25th March 2013

British Council Nepal piloted the International School award in 2012 with only ten schools participating in the process. A MoU was signed between Department of Education and British Council in June 2012 for the joint implementation of the International School Award in Nepal to recognize schools for their project activities and international work.

These schools worked on seven different projects including a collaborative project with their partner school which was based on their school curriculum.

These projects were then assessed based upon their learning outcomes by a panel which included BC officials, officials from the Department of Education and Curriculum Department Centre. This award is endorsed and supported by the Ministry of Education.

The schools who received different categories of awards are:

Full award

  • Gurukul Academy, Dhangadi
  • Annal Jyoti Boarding School, Lalitpur
  • Nagarjuna Academy Higher Secondary School, Lalitpur
  • Harvard Academy, Pokhara
  • Apex School, Rupandehi
  • Karunanidhi Education Foundation Higher Secondary School, Pokhara

 

Further 16 schools across Nepal have contended for the International Schools Award for 2013/14. Successful schools will be recognized in an awarded ceremony to be held in May 20 2014 at Hotel Radisson.Visit the ISA pages on the British Council Schools Online website to learn more and find out how to get involved or contact us at general.enquiry@britishcouncil.org.np.