The following article comes from Laurissa Field, International Coordinator at Holme School Grange, who have recently been awarded the Silver Global School Award in recognition of their outstanding projects with their Sister School in Japan.

Holme Grange School are delighted to be recognised for our commitment to global education. Achieving the Silver Award with the Global School Alliance celebrates the hard work of both staff and students across the school. Since signing our MOU with Tsuda Gakuen in September 2023, our partnership and dedication to an authentic global education has been going from strength to strength.

At Holme Grange, our Japan club is currently the biggest in the school, with over 35 students attending to participate in projects, try new foods, learn Japanese and experience the culture. Recently, we all tried sushi – some students even braved wasabi (with varying shades of scarlet faces!) Over the next few weeks we are writing Haiku, learning how to make onigiri, crafting some origami using beautiful paper sent over to us by our partner school, and trying on Kimonos with the The Japan Society. We have been lucky enough to organise trips to the Young V&A’s Myths to Manga exhibition to learn and interact with Japanese items, both traditional and modern. We also have an exciting trip in the summer to see Spirited Away on stage after watching it as a ‘film night’ in the club.

We have been making great connections with Tsuda Gakuen through our joint projects. We started with an introductory video diary project to show each other our schools. These featured student interviews, clips of lessons, and lots of information. Our continued newsletter project is one that excites our students each month. On alternating months, each school creates a newsletter and sends over, featuring articles written by students about events both within school and in the wider culture.

At Holme Grange, the students decide which events they would like to share, and it is lovely to see them consider the cultural differences and what might be interesting for students in Japan. Most recently, we have participated in a holiday card exchange. Holme Grange made and sent over Christmas Cards, and Tsuda Gakuen made and sent over New Year cards. This was a great opportunity for all of our students across the schools to get hands on in making something to communicate with students on the other side of the world.

The partnership with Tsuda Gakuen has promoted and encouraged our focus on a global education.

The partnership with Tsuda Gakuen has promoted and encouraged our focus on a global education.

The library now features a manga section and a whole range of fiction either set in Japan or translated from Japanese; the Maths department features a display of global mathematicians; the texts in English have been diversified to include voices and stories from around the world, and students in Drama study a range of global drama forms including Bunraku Puppetry, Commedia del’Arte and Stanislavski. Students study a dedicated Global Citizenship programme in form time, recently examining migration and the reactions to it around the world.

We are also very excited to be looking at organising student exchange visits for authentic cultural experiences in 2025. This partnership, and the support from the GSA, means the world to us, and we look forward to cultivating a long-lasting relationship between Holme Grange and Tsuda Gakuen!