RIVERSIDE MONTESSORI SCHOOL RECEIVES THE BRITISH COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL AWARD (ISA)
We have just been awarded the International School Award by the British Council.
The award is a result of a rigorous process which involved undertaking several projects (with international dimension) and presenting our portfolio of evidence. In the words of the assessors, “the dossier showcases an excellent blend of the students’ activities and international collaboration. The hard work and sincere efforts of the students and teachers were very much evident. The compilation was done meticulously and the pictures and activities were clearly labeled and sequentially arranged” This achievement is made possible through the joint effort of the staff, children and ALL PARENTS for their cooperation and sacrifice during the process.
The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It creates friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. This is achieved by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries they work with and changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.
Below are highlights of the projects carried out
Ten African countries were reviewed by the pupils in small groups. The pupils created art works of the country flags. They also watched documentaries about cultural practices on greeting and dressing in Ghana and Kenya, learnt the national anthems of both countries and made presentations thereafter.
The pupils researched about the natural resources and animals in some African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa) and made assembly presentations on their findings.
Documentaries of notable personalities in Africa were shown to the children to enable them appreciate the contributions of the personalities. They were able to showcase their learning through role play and poems.
There was an excursion to Togo to develop French language skills with stopovers at Badagry; Nigeria and Benin Republic.
At the end of the project, the pupils were able to identify the flags of the researched countries and present the different ways of greeting in Kenya & Ghana. They now know some notable African personalities and have learnt a lot about their contributions to their respective countries. In addition, they are now better informed about the rich African heritage and the history of the slave trade in the African countries visited.
Pupils of Riverside Montessori School and our partner School (L. P. Savani Academy, India) went on field trips to farms where they observed how farm produce are processed and stored. Pupils of both schools later exchanged their findings and compared farm practices through emails and a Skype session. They also exchanged worksheets on organic food.
The children were involved in creative work on farm tools and animals using paper mache and mosaic. They were also involved in preparing Indian and Nigerian meals.
The pupils understand the processes involved in the production of farm produce and how they move from the farm to the markets and finally the dining table not only in Nigeria but also India. They can identify some farming tools and uses, farm animals and means of storing agricultural produce. They are also able to explain how some Indian and Nigerian dishes are prepared and appreciate the nutritional values of the dishes.
The pupils carried out research work on prominent festivals in Nigeria and India. They learnt about their origin and importance and made picture books based on their findings. They also Role played the festivals.
There was a Skype session with pupils of L. P. Savani Academy in India to compare festivals of the two countries.
Riverside Montessori School later organised a Colour festival involving pupils, teachers and parents. It was an awesome and unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
The pupils are able to name some festivals celebrated in Nigeria and India, their origin and importance. They appreciate the similarities and differences of festivals in both countries and understand that festivals are a global phenomenon. They are now better informed about the rich culture of both countries.
The children learnt songs and rhymes on the different weathers in Nigeria and the United Kingdom and made presentations using the appropriate accessories and clothing.
They also role played changes in weather
Pupils were involved in seasonal activities (picnics, building sandcastles, igloos and snowman). They have an awesome experiences colouring pictures relating to weather such as snowman, weather outfits and accessories and craftwork depicting the seasons.
The pupils can name all the seasons in Nigeria and the United Kingdom and mention some of their characteristics. Furthermore, they appreciate the various clothings and other accessories worn and used in each season. They can relate better with the activities that are carried out during each season. Their presentation skills have also improved due to the various role play sessions
The children researched into the history of leadership in Nigeria and Ghana. They rehearsed and presented dramas on trial and justice in both countries. There was a debate on the ideal legislative activities.
Pupils were Involved in a game called move the egg. The essence of which is to build their leadership skills and them appreciate the merit of teamwork.
The pupils are more knowledgeable about the qualities of good leaders. They appreciate the need for orderliness, peace and justice in a country and know the consequences of lawlessness. They are now prepared to take up leadership roles within the School and beyond.
The children researched about the types and modes of transportation and the merits and demerits of each in the UK and Nigeria. They looked into the history of transportation in both countries and the younger ones watched documentaries on road transportation and signs in the UK. They later made assembly presentations on various transportation means and road signs. Pupils were involved in designing and making different means of transportation in 3D.
There was field trip to the bus station during which each child joined the queue to buy a ticket for a bus ride and they were able to relate their experience to the documentary watched. They also visited the Federal Road Safety Corps and this gave the children ample opportunity to learn about road signs and rules governing Nigerian roads.
The climax was a quiz competition on transportation to assess their learning outcomes
The pupils are aware of the origin and means of transportation in Nigeria and UK. They are able to enumerate the merits and demerits of the various means of transportation, identify and interpret some of the road signs and they understand the procedure at the bus terminal.
The pupils worked in groups to research the concept of marriage in Nigeria and India and made booklets on their findings.
There was a Skype session during which our pupils presented Nigerian marriage and our partner school (L. P. Savani Academy, India) pupils presented Indian marriage.
Parents (mothers) gave a talk on Woman & Marriage on March 8, 2017 about the role of mothers in the home and our pupils role played Indian marriage with an Indian dance to go with it.
Our pupils are better informed about marriage practices in both countries. They appreciate the fact the marriage is a global activity and that though the countries differ in terms of cultural practices, we share a lot of similarities with India. The children also have a better understanding of the role of mothers in marriage and the home.
WHAT IS THE ISA?
It’s a benchmarking scheme that accredits schools as having an outstanding support for:
- Nurturing global citizenship in young people
- Enriching teaching and learning
It was introduced in the year 2000 and over 3000 schools from 15 countries across the world including the UK have joined. Schools in Nigeria joined the network in 2013.
WHY WE APPLIED
The traditional chalk and talk model of content-oriented teaching cannot adequately prepare our children for the future.
- It is not easy to change the way teaching and learning are carried out. Also sustaining such a change through workshops or extended staff training (outside the classroom) is challenging.
- The ISA approach to school development is holistic, rigorous and evidence-based. It mirrors the approach teachers are being encouraged to use with their pupils
- It’s a leadership challenge; fostering teambuilding, innovation and project management. Putting together the Action Plan and Portfolio of evidence encourages collaboration and critical thinking.
- ISA encourages the practice of new skills in ICT and pedagogy. Participating in workshops and briefings, online community and the awards ceremony brings schools together and creates a vibrant community of educational professionals.
- It allows learning to end on a positive note as certificates are issued and the school receives a trophy.