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Tom becomes British Council Ambassador

05 Apr 2020   |   Littlecoates Primary Academy

The Grimsby Academy is leading a Wellspring east coast cluster in developing links with foreign schools  The collaboration, which includes Beacon and LaceyField, has just been awarded £11,400 by the British Council to forge links with Bangladesh as part of the organisation’s Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme. Littlecoates Principal Neville Wilkinson, who has led the initiative and seen the school win a second successive International School Award from the British Council, felt other Trust schools could benefit from its experience.

The British Council is keen to focus away from London and the big cities, where it has a strong presence,” he said. “Grants are available for other Wellspring schools in the Yorkshire and Humber region to develop international links which have been so beneficial to children here. It has helped give them a greater understanding of the wider world.”

Littlecoates has been visited by a teaching group from Poland and developed strong links with a Moroccan school. Tom, in his second year
of teaching, took part in an exchange to northern Africa and the two schools are working together on an environmental project, with a common theme of what happens to waste. He went to a London networking event where he was formally appointed an ambassador.

“It was a great chance to meet others and look at different options and opportunities,” Tom said. “Going to Bangladesh will be a fantastic experience. My role as an ambassador is to spread the message and get more people involved. Hopefully, that will include colleagues from across Wellspring.”

The United Nations’ sustainable development goals are a basis for goals the British Council pursues. As well as the environment, they include tackling global issues such as poverty and gender equality. Neville said: “The British Council is a mechanism for
promoting them in education. Schools can add that local dimension and are crucial to its role. The goals link well with the curriculum.
In fact, I don’t imagine you could be a good school without covering some of them in your curriculum. Tom’s voluntary role as an ambassador is really important. He’s the only one in Wellspring”.

Tom, the international coordinator at Littlecoates, said: “It has helped me a lot professionally, talking to new people, giving me leadership experience and confidence, and providing a broader perspective of education systems. The children have a greater awareness of the problems the world is facing and how small changes can contribute to the wider picture. They have taken a real interest in other countries and cultures. If I put something in the wrong recycling bin I’m in real trouble!”

To find out how your school could benefit from links with the British Council, please contact Tom:

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