International Links

Archibald First School encourages its children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in their school, local community and the wider world. The staff aim to nurture the children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to society and to the world.  Archibald and its staff are ambitious and deeply committed to the creative and international curriculum it offers,  including teaching Spanish to all pupils from reception to Year 4 and current International partnerships with schools in Europe (Spain) and Africa (Ghana).

Archibald First School has been committed to International work for many years, obtaining the Full International School Award in 2012. Our first partnership with Bulseschule began in 2011 through Schools on Line and as a first step an informal visit was made by our then MFL leader. Gifts and letters were then exchanged. At this time pupils in Archibald First School learnt German. Our partnership was further strengthened in 2014 when six teachers from Germany visited our school and the first in depth e-twinning project between the schools was planned.  In September 2014 the school began to teach Spanish instead of German in response to the Framework for Languages at Key Stage 2.  The school then found another partner school in Spain – La Xara in Denia.  In 2016, three members of AFS visited Gelsenkirchen partly funded by the UK German connection. The time was used in Germany for both schools to communicate with AFS’s Spanish partner school.  A year later, two German teachers returned to AFS through funding secured via Erasmus+ which provided the opportunity for closer collaboration.  In March 2018 two Spanish teachers visited AFS and then went to Gelsenkirchen in the autumn.  In 2019 our MFL teacher joined German colleagues in Spain. The partnership was very strong, based on friendship and shared values and the commitment and drive of one of the German Teachers who was an ambassador for e twinning in her region as well as the ICT co coordinator for Gelsenkirchen.  Sadly, a very successful 8-year partnership with the schools in Germany and Spain has now waned due to changes to E-twinning following Brexit, staffing, working days, and the pandemic.  However, we are delighted that our school is fostering new relationships with schools in and beyond Europe.

Language Ambassadors are chosen from year 3 and year 4to promote the importance of learning another language, read stories to younger children for World Book Day, organise class games such as juego de la oca, 21 and round the world.  

The Language Ambassadors also ensure that the Language of the Week is celebrated by the children from reception to year 4 by getting them to say a greeting word in that language (which was taught in the previous Friday whole school Assembly).

Links to other Languages of the week

Archibald children celebrate European Day of Languages (EDL) and Spanish Day in September and take part in World Book Day activities in March.  In 2023 and 2022 judges commended the Archibald entries to the annual EDL competition organised by the Association for Language Learning.  In 2023 the children also received a certificate for their entries to North East Festival of Languages competition on the topic Where Language Can Take You.

Our friends in Spain and Africa:

We currently have strong partnerships with schools in Europe and in Africa.  Our partner school in Europe is in the south of Spain, in beautiful sunny Seville, and is called CEIP Arias Montano andour partner school in Africa is located in the capital of Ghana, in Accra, and is called Ghana International School.

Seville school – CEIP stands for Colegio de Educación Infantil y Primaria.

Ghana school –

Spanish is taught at Archibald from Early Years to year 4 and our links with our partner school in Seville, Spain, enrich the children’s language learning journey.   The Spanish Teacher used to live in Seville and is able to share her own experiences of living there with the children.  The exchange with the Seville school began after the two lead contacts, Señora Dunlop and Señora Salgado, met on a week-long CLIL course in July 2023 and both wanted to enhance their children’s learning experience through a mutual meaningful cultural and language exchanges.  

The children in year 4 exchanged letters and cards with the children the Seville school to learn about the similarities and differences in their daily lives, food, culture, festivals and languages.  The year 4 children initially wrote in English about their home town, some North-East England’s landmarks and climate and a short paragraph in Spanish with their first name, age and where they live accompanied with a simple picture of themselves.  The Spanish children wrote about themselves, their home town of Seville, famous landmarks in Andalusia and their different climates.  

At Christmas the children exchanged cards and the year 4 children and Spanish children sung some traditional English carols and traditional Spanish Christmas songs such as Feliz Navidad.  At Easter the children were shown pictures and videos taken by Señora Salgado in Seville so they could learn about local traditions during Semana Santa.  To celebrate World Book Day the children jointly read a book and wrote letters describing what they like to do in their free-time in both Spanish and English.  

The partnership with the school in Ghana started because we wanted to broaden our International links to outside Europe in order to further enrich our curriculum and raise awareness and appreciation of other environments and what is happening in the world.  The partner school in Ghana, Africa, was chosen because an Archibald member of staff has close family ties with a staff member there, who visited the Archibald children in person for a special assembly in December 2023. The year 1 and 2 children have exchanged Christmas cards and letters with the children in the school in Ghana and learned their beautiful school song “Understanding of Each Other” and will sing it to the children in our partner school in Africa in June 2024. 

Spanish Culture and Language in the World:

The children at Archibald learn about the culture of Spain and other Spanish speaking countries during Spanish lessons.  

The children learn about traditional food such as Tortilla Española and Churros, landmarks such as Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, music such as the Marcha Real, dance such as flamenco – and traditional festivals like the Feria de Abril and the Semana Santa in Seville, Spain.

The children in year 4 also learn that there are around 550 million Spanish speakers around the world, most of whom live in Latin America ( – and about some famous Spanish language speakers.  

Children from year 1 to year 4 were given a flamenco lesson by a Specialist teacher who visited the school and were also able to taste some Spanish food on Spanish Day in September 2023.

Planet Protectors:

Children at Archibald First School are encouraged to have greater involvement in environmental issues.  The curriculum has a range of topics organised under the theme of Planet Protectors and some children from each class are chosen to be Planet Protectors and take on additional responsibilities such as recycling monitoring.  The Planet Protector topic broadly concerns ways we can protect our planet’s environment:  the importance of bees in year 1, plastic pollution in the world’s oceans in year 2, air pollution across the world in year 3 and deforestation in year 4.

In addition, Archibald First School children and its local community also have taken part in a range of activities in recent years to support and raise awareness of environmental issues in their local area (for example volunteering in the upkeep of Gosforth Park and picking litter around Gosforth) and elsewhere in the world such as the JUST ONE Tree campaign.    

JUST ONE Tree, an official partner in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, is an award-winning non-profit removing CO2 from the atmosphere and reversing biodiversity loss through global reforestation, particularly in Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique & Brazil.  In doing so they have the greatest positive effect on limiting global warming whilst simultaneously alleviating extreme poverty within local communities through the provision of training, agricultural education and sustainable incomes.  In Autumn Term 2023 the children did a range of Art and Literacy activities under the theme of JUST ONE Tree.  For example, Early Years used broccoli and cotton buds to paint trees, year 3 learned about shading and tints while painting trees and year 4 also made beautiful cinquain poems about trees.  The felling of Sycamore Tree in Northumberland (about an hour from our school) in October 2023 made headline news across the world.  The importance of even just one tree to the local community was discussed in lessons and during a whole school Assembly.  The children, staff and local community also raised money which will be used to plant over 600 trees in areas severely affected by deforestation.  By raising money to plant trees, Archibald children understand the importance of being responsible global citizens and making our planet a much better place to be in the future.  

World of Art:

Art is formidable vehicle to learn about different cultures and ways to see the world.  A number of International Artists are studied by the children during their time at Archibald, including Beatriz Milhazes from Brazil when studying Modernism, Rembrandt from the Netherlands to learn about the Baroque style, Canadian Inuk Artist Annie Pootoogook for folk art, French painters Seurat and Monet when studying Impressionism, Italian artist Giorgio Morandi to study Still Lifes, American animator Walt Disney and the sculptor Gaudi, from Spain.

The school has Art Ambassadors selected for showing a passion for the subject to work with local artists, visit local art galleries and help with various school whole art  and writing projects using a range of specially selected books as inspiration.  In October 2023 the book chosen by the Art Ambassadors to inspire art projects across the school was “Door” by South Korean illustrator JiHyeon Lee.  For instance, in Early Years the children focussed on keys and talking about what that they would open, then paint and design their own keys and in year 3 the children focussed on the birds’ point of view throughout the story, using fronted adverbials, describing a scene and painting birds’ feathers using different tints (adding white) and shades (adding black). 

In addition, Archibald First School children and its local community also have taken part in a range of activities in recent years to support local initiatives through art, including designing “bricks” to make a community art wall and raise funds for the local community play park.


It’s a Musical World:

British-Norwegian composer Andy Smith wrote that “Music creates social cohesion, it speaks to all when words can fail, and wherever you go in the world, it is understood. Music is a universal gift and its power to connect people is without question. It is an art form with human interaction at its centre.”

Music is an incredibly powerful way to convey meaning and share common values such as being Caring, Curious, Creative and Courageous, which are the key qualities the Archibald children are encouraged to have.  Our partner school in Ghana, Africa, has for its motto “Understanding of Each Other” and a song of the same name with beautiful and meaningful lyrics.  The children in year 1 and 2 of Archibald have been learning the song and will sing it to the children in our partner school in Africa in a special video call in June 2024.  In December 2023, traditional Christmas carols and songs, such as Feliz Navidad, were sung by Archibald children in year 4 and the children in our partner school in Seville, Spain.

The Music curriculum at Archibald also allows the children to learn about many international composers, artists and music from other cultures.  The broad curriculum includes children learning about Indian composer A.R. Ramen in year 1, Aboriginal artist Ruby Hunter in year 2, reggae music and Bob Marley from Jamaica in year 3 and latin music and Cuban artist Celia Cruz in year 4.

Our Wonderful World:

Under the topic Our Wonderful World, children look at their local area in Early Years to answer the question “Where do I live?”

The UK in year 1 – “Where would Paddington like to live in the UK?”

Coastal environments in year 2 and looking at the differences between Newcastle in the UK and Newcastle in Australia

Extreme Earth in year 3 – “Just how powerful is our world?” and Destination Europe in year 4 – “Why do people visit Europe?”.
Destination Europe allows children in year 4 to locate continents, countries and seas on a world map, using atlases, maps and globes. 

They also label a map of Europe, which is then used as a focal point for the topic. They use the four compass points and four figure grid reference to locate features such as mountains, rivers etc. They identify capital cities and countries’ flags. Children use a range of sources to research information about European countries and compare data based on their similarities and differences. They study the climate of countries, physical and human features and the economy. They use Google Earth to obtain panoramic views and look at the major city sights. They also learn about famous European landmarks and their impact upon tourism and the economy. 

The children also learn about different cultures, including festivals and religious celebrations, across the world.

Food Around the World:

Pupils look at where food comes from, using packing, research, maps and atlases.  They explore what Fairtrade is and how world events can impact food production. As global citizens, they consider the impact of importing foods from different parts of the world and the concept of food miles.

Children also take into consideration the way food is produced in our own country and who benefits from selling locally produced products. Children explore a number of issues that farmers have and what we can do to help.

The children look at inequality in food production and look at trade links between countries and the distribution of natural resources. Location and place can also be significant markers for food growth and production. For instance, how do different climate zones effect this growth and production?