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International Links at St James
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

A large majority of pupils at St James live locally and approximately 60% of pupils come from homes, which are economically disadvantaged. The area the school serves was recently identified as the most deprived area overall in Wales (WIMD). All pupils are English speaking and there are very few pupils from ethnic minorities. 59% of pupils on role take up free school meals. Attainment of pupils on entry into nursery is below average. However, a significant number of nursery pupils join school as a rising 3 and by the time baseline assessment is completed have been in school for over 2 terms. Poor attendance is an on-going problem for many of the nursery children. As of January 2015 there are 366 pupils on roll in 15 classes (including 2 Complex Needs Classes). The school provides two classrooms for the Welsh Assembly Governments’ Flying Start Initiative. The school hosts 2 Specialist LEA Resource Base Classes (Complex Needs), which are funded by the Local Authority. The classes make provision for up to 16 pupils. Many of these pupils live outside catchment area and come to school by taxi. In respect of other pupils with Additional learning needs (ALN) 36% of the school pupils are on school action or school action plus. The school has a small number of children that exhibit challenging behaviour. All staff work proactively with pupils, parents and other agencies in ensuring these children remain within a school setting wherever possible. These projects have been created to help prepare learners for a diverse labour market, our aim is to arm pupils with key skills that echo the demands of modern European employers. St James Primary school which is located in a 'Communities First' area in which the majority of learners hail from disadvantaged back grounds and unfortunately have an ingrained insular outlook on their place in the European community. The project will help and support communities, parents, teachers, and pupils broaden their horizons - about European citizenship as well as cultural and geographic issues in particular. Children and the wider community will be exposed to cultures, languages and traditions of participating European partners. It will help teachers deliver key curricular skills across Literacy, Maths, Science, PSD and ICT in an innovative and stimulating way, particularly through the use of the outdoors. Seven teachers from our school, led by the International manager will participate in key European in-service training opportunities to enhance the pedagogy, resources and overall attainment of learners across the whole school. Participants will visit Iceland and Sweden to develop approaches in outdoor learning to raise standards in Literacy, Maths, Science and PSD. Other participants will visit Liechenstein and Finland to raise standards in Maths and Science respectively and a final participant will visit Finland to develop strategies for teaching and learning in the outdoors and ICT, specifically for pupils with complex needs. Learners and the wider community will share these European mobilities, experiencing the a huge variety of cultures, language and tradition. Learners will gain key entrepreneurial skills through business enterprise weeks and home work research projects in collaboration with their European class counterparts. Pupils will manage their learning through child led tasks which investigate each of the European partner's school, culture and geography. Baseline data will be collected to inform the impact of this project; levels will be collected in all core subjects and compared as will attendance figures of pupils at the end of the project. Results will be disseminated across the whole school, wider community and consortium through INSET, cluster meetings and an open door policy to discover more about the projects. We have outlined a 2 year duration for this project however we aim to set the foundations for the future with this project. Our aim to up-skill both teachers and learners to create engaging and challenging learning within a stimulating and exciting context and a realization of a wider European identity and the importance of this.

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