Last weekend (20-21 September) was London's 'open house' weekend (promoting architecture to members of the public) and I took the opportunity to visit Westminster Academy, a newly built school on the Harrow Road, right next to the heavy traffic of the 'Westway', in a very ethnically mixed area of the city. The school won a 2008 RIBA award, and whilst I was interested to see its design, I was also lured in by its focus on International Business, Enterprise and ...Global Citizenship!
I was given a tour by two very enthusiastic Year 8 students and I was really impressed by how the school's welcoming global ethos shone through. Okay so not all school leaders get the opportunity of working with architects right from the beginning to shape a school's environment, but I'm sure some of the things this school has done can be replicated in other schools (and probably is!). Things I liked best were:
- The school's motto was posted up on all the noticeboards: HEART - Honesty, Effort, Aspiration, Respect, Trust.
- Everywhere you looked you could see quotes from a philosopher or campaigner about the importance of education.
- The wall of the school café was decorated with lettering listing lots of different dishes and foods from around the world.
How do you feature the global dimension in your school? Post a comment and let me know.