Sunita Poudel, Principal of Kathmandu Pragya Kunja School in Kathmandu knew about the British Council’s International School Award (ISA) from her network of educational institutions.

“I knew about the ISA programme in 2016 and was immediately impressed with the modality of the programme – how it focuses on promoting international collaboration with partners, supports professional development of teachers and engages young people through activities to ensure the holistic development of students,” shared Sunita.

In the same year, Sunita enroled her school in the ISA programme and actively participated to contribute towards the school improvement. Through the ISA, they implemented different activities for students to develop their skills and knowledge. To name a few, they organised field trips, model making, cooking, drama, and waste management activities in school to give students hands-on experience and enable them to build a connection between theory and practice.

“One of the best things we learned during the process of conducting activities was time management. Every school has a timeline to design an action plan and implement it. We had to manage our time out of our regular school responsibilities and work on the plan. It was a bit difficult at first, but we were persistent and eventually learned to manage time constraints,” said Sunita.

For Sunita and her team, the second-best part of participating in the ISA programme was learning about 4 C’s – Collaboration, Communications, Creativity and Critical Thinking.

She shared, “We practiced the 4 C’s in a true sense through the programme. Whenever we design activities for students, we consider these C’s and ensure that our activities are composed of these elements. An activity that includes collaboration, two-way communication, encourages critical thinking and brings out the creativity of students or teachers is always the best activity that leads to effective outcomes.”

Like many school leaders, Sunita is open to changing the traditional educational system and promoting progressive learning in her school. She believes programmes like ISA play a vital role in such transformation allowing schools to enrich education through international networks, activity-based learning opportunities and most importantly, developing much-needed 21st Century Skills in students and teachers for a better present and the future.

The British Council’s International School Award (ISA) is a global accreditation scheme that supports and recognizes schools for incorporating an international dimension in their teaching. The accreditation process support schools to develop action plans and deliver lessons according to the plan. The programme encourages partnerships and collaboration between schools – both internationally and locally.  The ISA is a part of the Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning Programme which is co-funded by the British Council and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. This global programme is currently being implemented in 34 countries. Across Nepal, over 60 schools were involved in the 2018-19 cycle and over 300 schools participated in the 2019-20 programme.