When DHSG was accorded Specialist Languages College status in 2005 the school took this opportunity to work with organisations such as British Council to widen the range of international links which, over the next 11 years, would provide very exciting and beneficial cross curricular projects, from the Sustainability of the Environment, European Citizenship, research into the Magic of Sound, and Social Enterprise, among others. Through programmes such as Comenius, Connecting Classrooms and Erasmus+, all administered by British Council, the school has enjoyed links with partner schools in Croatia, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Japan, Nepal, Poland, South Africa, Spain, USA and Zimbabwe.
DHSG has been the hub school for the Peninsula Group Confucius Classroom since 2009, collaborating with 3 other local schools where Mandarin Chinese is taught, and hosting up to 4 Chinese teachers seconded by the Hanban organisation. They have provided excellent cultural and language workshops for a large number of schools in the South West. And for the past 11 years the school has organised visits to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, for Sixth Form students from a number of local schools, where the students have participated in a European Youth Parliament – Euroscola Day.
These links and activities have contributed to the success of the school in achieving the International Schools Award since 2006 which it has won four times. It has also been recognised by British Council as a Best Practice ISA School (2015). Students and staff have gained a greater global perspective and understanding of other cultures, and the participating students in particular show greater self-confidence and ability to cope well in unfamiliar situations, thus preparing them for the employment market on a world-wide scale.
As part of the Erasmus+ Social Enterprise Europe project between DHSG, and partner schools in Poland and Hungary, the students took part in a workshop at the National Marine Aquarium recently which was run by Carve Productions. The company is involved in the annual Coca Cola Business Challenge and the Erasmus+ students were lucky to benefit from the expertise of Carve representatives on creating and designing Apps. They worked in mixed teams to produce some very creative ideas for Apps which they will be able to develop over the next two years. Click here to view the video.