School forges international links

Standish High School Year 9 pupils who are taking part in a Comenius project with languages teacher Sam Owen and PE teacher Kerry Barker
Standish High School Year 9 pupils who are taking part in a Comenius project with languages teacher Sam Owen and PE teacher Kerry Barker
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A WIGAN school has received funding to join a European programme to enhance its students’ learning.

Standish High is partnering schools from France, Italy and Germany as part of the Comenius project, which aims to teach pupils more about other cultures and gain an insight into other teaching practices.

The school has received 25,000 euros for the programme which enables staff and students to work together with the foreign schools on a chosen theme – Standish has chosen sport and languages.

Foreign languages teacher Sam Owen, who had been pushing for funding for some time, finally secured it from the European Commission after a trip to France.

The Standish project has been named Eurolympix and aims to present the sports of the nation and locality to the partner schools from Germany, France and Italy, as well as find out about what sports they are famous for and enjoy practising. Students will also develop knowledge of languages and understanding of cultural differences.

Sam said: “Getting accepted onto a project is really difficult but I am now busy planning the exchange trip to us with the help of the Comenius Club. We are trying to find host families and plan fun activities which will show Wigan and the North West in their best light!

“The pupils are so motivated to help with the organisation of the project and this is really helping to develop their independence.”

The project began with an exchange trip to Germany recently and proved so popular that lots had to be drawn for the eight available places on the trip to Gross-Umstadt. The lucky ones were Alex Calland, Emily Melling, Rebecca Mullaney, Rosalind Rowse, Rhys Southern, Josh Taberner, Chloe Wakelam and Olivia Yates.

In April students from Italy, France and Germany will come to Standish on an exchange and stay with Wigan students’ families for five days. There is an exchange trips to Italy and France are also planned where pupils which will end with a Eurolympix Games event celebrating what they have learned about the sports of each others’ countries.

Headteacher Lynne Fox said: “This has provided a fantastic opportunity for our students, as ambassadors for Standish Community High School, to experience living away from home and using their language skills.

“The range of activities experienced by our students was impressive and certainly thought-provoking, challenging and exciting. This visit has provided students with a fabulous educational experience combined with a rather unique personal development opportunity.

“The students were a credit to themselves, their families and to our school and should be congratulated for making the most of this fabulous opportunity!”