Torquay school who held out hand of love wins international recognition

Celebrating their awards - Barton Hill Academy teachers Paula Bell (left) and Angela Farrell with pu

Celebrating their awards - Barton Hill Academy teachers Paula Bell (left) and Angela Farrell with pupils Chelsea Hutchings and Sarah Earl - Credit: Archant

A Torquay school which held out the hand of love and friendship to Italian children suffering the worst of the pandemic has been recognised internationally.

Barton Hill Academy were the stars of an eTwinning Awards Ceremony, hosted by the British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

Teachers Angela Farrell and Paula Bell were instrumental in the European projects and virtually attended the finals of the awards.

The school’s ‘The Red Zone: Isolated but Connected’ project was recognised as ‘Outstanding’.

It forged links between Barton HIll and the schools first shut down in Northern Italy during the initial stages of the pandemic impacting Europe.

Head Christopher Taylor said: “We already have close professional friendships before this project, which only strengthened these bonds. It was highlighted for its ‘tangible results through collaboration.”

He added: “Our leaders’ work in this field has been truly remarkable and innovative, which was reflected throughout the evening.

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“As the Principal, I’m hugely proud of how both these leaders and our pupils have worked so hard to achieve this accolade. To have the vision and passion to link learning in this manner is truly incredible.”

The school was also recognised through a Year 5 project, ‘Blitz and Pieces’. This was highlighted for how it facilitated the sharing of history internationally. Each Academy linked their local knowledge and history of WW2.

It also took part in the overall winning project, ‘Hands of the world’, led by University of Dundee.

The eTwinning School Title was awarded to Barton Hill this year. It recognises the school at a European level as ‘role models’ of eTwinning and as European leaders in a range of areas including digital practice, e-Safety and collaborative process for staff and pupils.