This week we launched our newest programme: Global Citizens. It has been developed working closely with the Heads of Languages in two of our partner schools, Bridge Learning Campus and St Bernadettes Catholic Secondary School, and is designed to engage young people in the academic, social and cultural benefits of learning foreign languages.

The Year 8 students who participate in this programme get to learn first hand the importance of language and communication, as well as the importance of cultural understanding. Crucially, they are shown that, in the words of MP Jo Cox, “we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”.

The programme began with a specially designed session with the Royal Navy engagement team, looking at language and culture through the lens of the Royal Navy as a global navy. The students explored what it meant to communicate without a shared spoken language and how the Royal Navy has its own culture, and own language – Jackspeak.

We also have exciting trips planned to: The Museum of East Asian Art in Bath, learning Chinese and producing creative responses to art works; Sparks Bristol for the Migration and Movement workshop; a visit to Stop Mo Animations to produce a language and culture focused animation; and, the University of Bristol for a languages taster day.

We are also working with Bridges for Communities, another Bristol-based charity, for a Somali language and culture day. The final trip of the programme sees our students visit Cardiff to learn more about the distinct culture and language of Wales. They will tour the Senedd to learn about the role of the Welsh government before taking a boat tour from the bay into central Cardiff to visit Cardiff Castle.

All of us at SBY are really excited to work together with so many new partners on this programme and we are even more excited to see how the chosen students develop over the course of their year of Global Citizens!