Pitsford School is a small, independent, co-educational school for pupils aged 3-18. As a small school each pupil receives individual attention in order for them to reach their maximum potential. The School's aim is to prepare each pupil for their next step in life, whether that is University, a Gap Year or entering into the world of work. Pitsford School pupils achieve excellent results every year - academically, socially and morally.
When the youngest members of Pitsford School started their Eco - Club they were determined to make a difference, making Eco pledges and setting up recycling stations, they led the way to the much longed for Green Flag from Eco Schools England.
17th September 2020 — Earlier this year ( before the pandemic changed our ways of living and working) the Junior school Eco club received some very good news. After a lot of hard work by teachers and pupils alike, the Juniors were awarded the prestigious Green Flag from Eco Schools England.
Their journey started just over 12 months prior to that, when, inspired by Eco Activities happening in the Senior School, the Juniors decided that they too could make a difference. It was an exciting project that started with the setting up of the Eco Club. The enthusiastic team had to carry out an Environmental Review and choose 3 topics to work on. Waste, energy and bio-diversity were the chosen three.
As a committee they organised and helped with many events, including a wonderful Green Day launch where Eco-pledges were made, tomato plants were planted and pebbles were painted. There was even a visit from the recycling bus which helped explain lots of interesting facts about recycling. In addition to this day a Nature Club was launched and they set up a recycling centre for paper, batteries and pens, made bird feeders, took part in Waste Week and switch off fortnight. Even in lockdown the children continued to deliver on their Eco pledges with bug hotels being made, wild flowers being sewn and a lot of veggie patches being planted!
For the school achieving such a wonderful award isn't about just working hard for a short period of time. It's a change in the way that we think, and it was driven by the children wanting to take a positive step towards creating a sustainable future for us all. The work will be ongoing and more Eco club members will run more events, discover new topics and create new eco pledges, but all of it will harness that enthusiasm and hunger that the pupils have to make a positive impact on our world, both now and in the future.
International School Award success for Pitsford School - in a world where travel has become less frequent, Pitsford School has worked hard to embed an international dimension in their pupil's education, creating truly global citizens.
17th September 2020 — British Council International School Award success for Pitsford School
Pitsford School in Pitsford village has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.
The International School Award celebrates the achievements of schools that do exceptional work in international education. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need for life work in today’s world.
Over the last year Pitsford school’s international work has included: a whole school celebration of the European Day of Languages, trips abroad to France and Germany, a visit to the prestigious Language Show in London, three Etwinning projects with 6 partner schools in Spain and France, the participation in the Juvenes Translatores translation contest and the creation of a multilingual and multicultural magazine published during lockdown. New and exciting projects have also been planned for this academic year! For more information about projects you can visit the school’s international work blog on https://pitsfordinternational.school.blog/
On hearing the news that Pitsford School had received the award, Dr Craig Walker, Headmaster said:
"I am so proud of my students and school in securing this magnificent award as it epitomises the culture and outlook of Pitsford School: outward looking, engaged, international and interested in others. That, under the leadership of Dr Cabrera Álvarez, they built links with so many schools in France and Spain demonstrates that the boys and girls of Pitsford School are genuine citizens of the world and the future will be safe in their hands. I look forward with great anticipation as they continue to build on what has been achieved thus far. Bravo!"
Sir Ciarán Devane, CEO of the British Council, said: ‘The school’s fantastic international work has rightfully earned it this prestigious award. The International School Award is a great chance for schools to demonstrate the important work they’re doing to bring the world into their classrooms. Embedding an international dimension in children’s education ensures that they are truly global citizens and helps prepare them for successful lives and careers in an increasingly global economy.’
The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Pakistan. Around 5,500 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.
The International School Award encourages and supports schools to develop:
• An international ethos embedded throughout the school
• A whole school approach to international work
• Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
• Year-round international activity
• Involvement of the wider community
Notes to Editors:
The British Council International School Award started in 1999 to recognise the schools leading the way in instilling and developing a global dimension into the learning experience of all children and young people. It is managed by the British Council.
British Council Schools Online is a supportive ‘one stop shop’ to help schools find international opportunities and teaching resources, including details about the British Council International School Award. Any school can find out how to apply by visiting http://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.
Working in more than 100 countries with 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.
The British Council is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of their turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of their revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All their work is in pursuit of their charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.
For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.
Pitsford Summer quest gave the students a perfect chance to break away from the normal timetable and engage in something a little different as they needed to work together to crack the clues and find thier Dragons!
26th June 2020 — Summer term is such an energetic term, there is always such a vibrant feel to school, with activities galore, concerts, sports days and trips. Sadly this year the school site has been pretty quiet with all lessons online and learning taking place at home. As the prolonged lock down continued it was clear to staff at Pitsford School that the students were flagging, and if we are honest, so too were the teachers! What was needed was a break from the norm and time with friends, an energy boost and a little bit of something different. .....
Step forward Deputy Head, Fidelma Kirk who together with Mr Cole, and Mrs Chacksfield (and a whole lot of parent support) set about planning that boost.
This week has seen the commencement of the Pitsford Summer Quest ! It was a quest like no other, an activity that was designed to get the children away from thier computers and doing all manner of fun challenges over the course of 3 days! Using the Firefly learning platform as a base Mrs Kirk set about creating a mulitude of tasks for everyone to complete. By incoporating all the tasks into House challenges there was plenty to play for as some tasks required individual work, some required teamwork and some were mandatory for all. All of this was knitted together by the story of "The Hobbit- an Unexpected Journey" . The teams took on the personas of Dwarves and thier ultimate quest was to find thier Dragon. Each morning, in a group assembly via Zoom, clues were released and activities assigned to set them on their way. The students needed to submit evidence of thier activities once they had completed them and then re-convene for another Zoom assembly in the afternoon, for a wrap up and preparation for the next day. All of this coincided nicely with the return of the Year 10s who were able to work together in their House groups whilst in school and have some much needed time with thier friends.
The activities set included: cracking Maths codes, writing Limmericks, building shelters, cooking, drawing maps and pictures, scavenger hunts that could be done at home ( and in school so the Year 10s had elements to find!) and also solving riddles which eventually lead to the finding of Dragons. These had been dotted around the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside and with the help of some amazing parent drivers, the students were able to head out to find them!
It has been the tonic that the students needed, with great involvement from staff, students and parents. The energy and enthusiasm that it created was palpable, but this is just the tip of the ice berg. Next week sees the start of virtual Sports day, run by Mrs Chacksfield, and the very first MAD day ( Make a Difference), run by Mr Cole. Both of these activities help to keep the students active, encourage them to look after themselves both physically and emotionally and also encourage them to think about helping others too.
Such imagination and tireless effort from the teachers, who are constantly looking for ways to reinvigorate the students, means that at Pitsford School we are heading into the last 2 weeks of term having managed to recapture that vibrancy and energy which often defines the summer term.
History students hear first hand about surviving the horrors of the Holocaust
Dr Martin Stern visited a small school in Northamptonshire to talk to History students about surviving Nazi Concentration camps. The students from Pitsford School took part in a one off lecture as part of Radio 4's "Word at One" series.
25th February 2020 — Following an interview with Sarah Montague and Dr Martin Stern on Radio 4’s World at One programme in January, one of the teachers at Pitsford School was so moved by his talk, that he felt compelled to contact the team behind it. For those who may not have heard it, Dr Stern talked about what it was like to live through and survive Nazi occupied Amsterdam and concentration camps as a child. The resulting conversation between the school and Radio 4 saw the team coming to Pitsford School to record a follow up programme on Friday Feb 28th 2020. Dr Stern spoke at length with the GCSE and A level History students about his experiences and how they affected his view of the world and humanity. In an additional question and answer session Dr Stern and Sarah Montague further explored the psychology behind why humans were able to commit such atrocities and whether we have actually learned anything from these acts.
This was an amazing opportunity for our students to engage on a personal level with someone who has seen the worst and the best in humanity, lived through unimaginable hardship and suffering with strength and compassion. The number of people who experienced this period in history are sadly growing smaller by the year and so for our History students to get the chance to talk directly to someone from that era is truly special. We are thrilled that a simple comment on social media has led to opening up such a wonderful opportunity for the students, and that such a powerful story can be told in our small school in Northamptonshire.