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Sharples School has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom, giving pupils a global perspective in whatever they do.  The award recognises the work schools do in partnership with others abroad throughout the academic year. At Sharples, we are proud to have sustained partnerships with schools in France, Spain, Guadeloupe, Finland and South Africa. We strive to create new links every year, so that staff and pupils alike have the opportunity to experience more of the world. For example, pupils across all year groups have pen pals to practise the language they are learning at school.

We have also been awarded over £110,000 in Erasmus+ funding in the past 3 years, allowing staff to access CPD from across Europe, such as Spain, Finland and Latvia. This funding continues to allow our staff to embed what they have learnt from different countries into our teaching here at Sharples. Erasmus + funding has also enabled pupils to travel and develop new skills and friendships they will carry with them through life.

As a school, we seek out every opportunity for funding, to ensure that we provide all our pupils with new experiences. The Turing Scheme has replaced Erasmus funding from 2021 and we are set to secure more funding. The Turing Scheme is a UK government scheme with the aim of offering pupils life-changing experiences to study abroad. All these opportunities for staff and pupils contribute to our commitment to International relations and to ensuring that our pupils leave Sharples with an open-minded perspective of the world and all the possibilities it has to offer.

Our partners in Spain

IES Punta del Verde, Seville, Spain
Pupils in Y8, Y9 and Y10 have been working with pen pals in Seville, sending emails to each other throughout the school year. We have been practising our Spanish and French skills to share ideas about cultures and traditions in Bolton and in Seville. IES Punta del Verde is a Bilingual school, Spanish and English, which offers a range of academic and vocational training to pupils aged 11-18. For more information about our partner school, here is a link to their website:

IES Virrey Morcillo, Albacete, Spain
Pupils learning Spanish in Y8 have been sending letters to their pen pals at IES Virrey Morcillo, a secondary school in Albacete, throughout the year. We have shared our views on food, television shows and holiday destinations. In May 2021, pupils also had the chance to meet their pen pal virtually thanks to a video conference. This was a great experience and we look forward to our next video call. For more information about IES Virrey Morcillo, please go to:

Our Partners in France

Collège Théophile Briant, Tinténiac, France
Two Year 7 French classes have been sending letters to their pen pals in France, demonstrating what they have been learning throughout the year, as they develop their knowledge of French. Pupils from Collège Théophile Briant have sent us videos of Christmas carols in December and have even given us a tour of their school. All the pupils have enjoyed writing letters and finding out about France from a person their age. Collège Théophile Briant is a middle school for pupils ages 11-14 in North Western France. For more information about our partner school, please visit:

Collège François Gondin, Chabeuil, France
One lucky class in Year 8 has been practicing their French by sending pen pal letters to their peers in Chabeuil. Pupils have shared information about food and eating habits, technology and holiday destinations, and have learned about foods in France. Pupils have also identified some similarities and differences between our hobbies and the hobbies of their pen pals in France. We look forward to learning more from our pen pals next year. For more information about Collège François Gondin, a middle school in south-eastern France, please go to:

Collège Sadi Carnot, Guadeloupe
We are working with French-speaking pupils beyond mainland France. Guadeloupe is a French overseas region. We have worked with Collège Sadi Carnot for two years now, and the Year 8 pupils involved this year have enjoyed learning about life in the Carribean, along with practising the French that they are learning in class. Collège Sadi Carnot is a middle school which caters for pupils 11-14 years old. For more information, please visit our partner school’s website:

Our partners around the world

We have also developed relationships with partner schools around the world, in order to enrich pupils’ education here at Sharples. We have partner schools in South Africa and Finland. Staff and pupils are working closely with our colleagues abroad to develop our understanding of the world and to gain perspective when teaching.

Tembisa West Secondary School, Tembisa, South Africa
Miss Liddy was fortunate enough to visit our partner school, Tembisa West, in March 2020. Tembisa West is a Secondary School which offers a range of academic and vocational training to pupils aged 11-18. The school is in a deprived area, and along with providing an education, provides many children with the only meal they have all day. We established a project based around gender-based violence, and the pupils in South Africa started the project by making posters, doing research and writing poetry about their experience of gender-based violence. The poems have been shared with our pupils here at Sharples, and pupils in Year 9 have been preparing their responses, sharing the experience they have of gender-based violence here in the UK. This project is thanks to Connecting Classrooms, and we look forward to representatives from Tembisa Westl visiting Sharples, to share more ideas and continue our collaboration in the future.

Gradia School, Jyvaskia, Finland
Senior Leaders from Sharples have worked with a school in Finland thanks to Erasmus+ funding. The focus of their trip in February 2020 was to share best practice and to learn more about vocational training. We have secured funding until 2022 and we will be sending Middle Leaders in February 2022 to continue to share and learn from different teaching practices. For more information about Gradia School, please visit: