ACS International Schools is celebrating an inspiring milestone of completing one million hours of practical, experiential, out of the classroom interaction through its partnerships activities with local schools.
In 2019, the organisation set ambitious goals with its overall charitable aim to advance the education of school age children. These included facilitating one million hours of student interaction and 30,000 hours of teacher training, both by 2025. Now, at the start of year four of the five-year strategy, the organisation has surpassed both targets, with 96,000 hours of teacher training and one million hours of student engagement undertaken. At ACS International Schools, students are encouraged to work alongside the partnerships team and local schools to support this work, whilst also gaining important future life skills through their (International Baccalaureate) IB studies and other extra-curricular activities.
Graeme Lawrie MBE, ACS Partnerships Director, said: “Our mission is to work closely with local state schools in the wider community and share facilities, resources and educational expertise across our network so that we can broaden horizons and extend the boundaries of learning.“
“I am particularly proud of our one million hours achievement, as it is not only one million hours of learning, but one million hours of engaging, fun and inspiring education. Some students would not have had access to these kinds of opportunities without schools working together in this powerful way, and I am so pleased ACS International Schools has made a positive difference to their lives. Now that we have hit the target, the hard work and dedication does not stop – we are looking forward to planning even more exciting events in the months ahead.”
In the last two years, ACS International Schools, alongside its partner schools, has arranged a number of inspiring events and initiatives for students which have played a pivotal role in its one million hours mission. In December 2023, 250 students from London and the South East reaped the benefits of the school group’s partnerships with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and Performing Perfectly, convening for a first-of-its kind event to perform alongside the RPO and West End professionals at G Live in Guildford.
Jointly organised by ACS International Schools, the RPO and Performing Perfectly, A Night at the West End gave students from nine state primary schools and all three of ACS International School’s UK campuses – Egham, Cobham and Hillingdon – the opportunity to play, sing and perform West End classics, including Food Glorious Food and Just Can’t Wait to be King. The event was a culmination of rehearsals with the RPO and workshops with Performing Perfectly, which lent its expertise in theatre to help students hone their performance skills ahead of the evening.
In the previous year, ACS International Schools invited 10,000 students to Thorpe Park to participate in STEAM-themed activities and workshops to earn their rides on the theme park’s rollercoasters. Organisations in attendance included: Airforce Air Cadets, Barclays Digital, Bloodhound Team, Endeavour Steam Engine, Intel, INTO Film, Satro, LEGO, Mercedes F1 car, the RAF, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Bloodhound Supersonic Car, TED Talks, Vex robotics.
Alongside these flagship events, ACS International Schools has also developed many smaller initiatives including a boxset of unfiltered stories on working and learning with neurodiversity and Football Family residential camps with Elite Football and United To Change And Inspire (UTCAI). All of the activity led to the team being externally recognised in the Global Good Awards and as one of the top 10 schools in the World’s Best School Prizes for community collaboration.
Tim Cagney, Chief Executive of ACS International Schools, said: “In 2018, we became a UK charity, and, in that short time since then, I am proud to say that we have become a charitable leader in the education sector. Our ongoing and unwavering commitment to working with local schools is highlighted best by the fact that we have already surpassed our bold goals that we first set back in 2019. I am so pleased with everybody’s dedication in making this achievement happen and look forward to continuing our mission of becoming a catalyst for change.”
To find out more about ACS International Schools’ partnerships programme, visit: https://www.acs-schools.com/partnershipsUncategorised