Two outstanding Welsh schools named Top 3 finalists for $250,000 World’s Best School Prizes 2023
Cadoxton Primary School makes final 3 for World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity 2023
Cardiff Sixth Form College makes final 3 for World’s Best School Prize for Supporting Healthy Lives 2023
Jeremy Miles, Welsh government Minister for Education and Welsh Language, congratulates the two schools.
Two outstanding UK schools – both for the first time in Wales – have been named Top 3 finalists for the $250,000 World’s Best School Prizes 2023. The five World’s Best School Prizes, founded last year by T4 Education in collaboration with Accenture, American Express, Yayasan Hasanah, and the Lemann Foundation, are the world’s most prestigious education prizes.
Cadoxton Primary School, a state school in Barry, Wales, UK, which has transformed the lives of its children and become a beacon for its disadvantaged community through a trailblazing ‘pay as you feel’ shop to tackle food poverty amid the cost-of-living crisis, has made the final 3 for the World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity 2023.
Cllr Lis Burnett, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “I’d like to pass on my congratulations to Cadoxton Primary School and wish them every success as this exciting competition reaches its climax.
“Whatever the outcome, there can be no doubt as to the significant and lasting impact the school’s community initiatives have had on those living locally.
“During the pandemic and the following cost-of-living crisis, times that proved so challenging to many, Cadoxton Primary staff and pupils were there to offer support.
“Whether it was compiling food parcels, launching the pay-what-you-feel shop or the community laundrette, the school’s efforts have made a real difference and are appreciated by so many.
“Well done to all involved. As a local Authority, we are so very proud of your achievements as I’m sure is the whole Vale of Glamorgan.”
Cardiff Sixth Form College, an independent international school in Cardiff, Wales, UK, which has revolutionised the way its high-achieving A-Level students approach their mental and physical health, has made the final 3 for the World’s Best School Prize for Supporting Healthy Lives 2023.
Both schools were congratulated by Jeremy Miles, Welsh government Minister for Education and Welsh Language.
The five World’s Best School Prizes - for Community Collaboration, Environmental Action, Innovation, Overcoming Adversity, and Supporting Healthy Lives - celebrate schools everywhere for the pivotal role they play in developing the next generation of learners and for their enormous contribution to society’s progress, especially in the wake of COVID. The Prizes were established to share the best practices of schools that are transforming the lives of their students and making a real difference to their communities.
The winners of the five Prizes will be chosen by an expert Judging Academy based on rigorous criteria. In addition, T4 Education has launched a new Community Choice Award this year – open to the 15 schools that make up the Top 3 finalists across all five World’s Best School Prizes – and given to the one school that inspires the most support in a Public Vote, which opened today. The winner of the Community Choice Award will receive membership to T4 Education’s new Best School to Work programme, an independent, evidence-based mechanism to certify schools for their culture and help them transform their working environment to attract and retain the best teachers.
Jeremy Miles, Welsh government Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said:
“It’s brilliant to see two Welsh schools as finalists for this prize. I’m so proud of the important work Cadoxton Primary School do to support pupils and families. The school has been a big part of helping the Welsh Government find the best ways to tackle the impact of poverty on educational achievement. Llongyfarchiadau to Cardiff Sixth Form College too, it is great to hear how their students have been focusing on their physical and mental health – an important priority for all schools in Wales. Pob lwc pawb!”
Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education and the World’s Best School Prizes, said:
“Congratulations to Cadoxton Primary School and Cardiff Sixth Form College on being named Top 3 finalists for the World’s Best School Prizes 2023. You, and your fellow finalists, have inspired me with the leadership, vision and culture you have fostered and for the exceptional teaching and learning environment you have built.
“As the world seeks to tackle a deepening education crisis, these outstanding Welsh schools light the path to a better future. It’s time for governments everywhere to listen to your voices and learn from your expertise.”
About the schools:
Cadoxton Primary School, a state school in Barry, Wales, UK, has transformed the lives of its children and become a beacon for its disadvantaged community through a trailblazing ‘pay as you feel’ shop to tackle food poverty amid the cost-of-living crisis, and programmes to engage families in students’ learning. Thirty-five percent of pupils are entitled to free school meals – well above the national average – and 40% have additional learning needs. But while nearly all the children enrolling at Cadoxton Primary begin below the expected level, almost every one has reached the expected level by the time they leave school with half exceeding it.
Under Executive Headteacher Janet Hayward OBE, Cadoxton Primary connects families and the community for the good of all. The children, parents and volunteers run a ‘pay as you feel’ food shop in an old shipping container outside the school community centre, offering nutritious food that would otherwise be thrown away by supermarkets. The project’s success in tackling food poverty while teaching students to tackle waste has led Cadoxton Primary, with funding from the Welsh government, to assist over 60 other schools across South Wales in setting up their own Big Bocs Bwyd (Big Food Box) shops to help families in the cost-of-living crisis.
Cadoxton Primary’s food literacy programme, which helps families understand the importance of food in physical and mental wellbeing, sees it run Soup and Song sessions where children and parents sing songs and learn to cook nutritious meals that they then serve to older members of the community.
Key to Cadoxton Primary’s success is its programmes to engage family members in children’s learning journeys. Projects targeted at the bespoke needs of families include getting DUGs (Dad, Uncles and Grandads) involved in activities; FRED - Fathers Reading Every Day to their children; and True Tuesdays – wellbeing sessions involving physical activity, healthy eating advice and mental health support. Programmes see parents spending 1:1 supported time with their children, while three times a year parents experience learning alongside their child in the classroom, enabling them to better support their children at home. This parental engagement has seen significant improvements in attainment and wellbeing.
If Cadoxton Primary wins the World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity it will use the funds to develop and diversify its buildings, including its sports hall, to create multifunctional spaces to serve the community.
Cardiff Sixth Form College, an independent international school in Cardiff, Wales, UK, has revolutionised the way its high-achieving A-Level students approach their mental and physical health. Through the school’s innovative CREATE© Portfolio, students are not only maintaining academic excellence but are also developing the resilience and balance needed to succeed in life. Over nine in 10 pupils feel the College equipped them with valuable skills that they will be able to use throughout Higher Education and beyond, increasing their sense of wellbeing and allowing them to develop in areas that they would not have had the opportunity to have done previously. This bespoke solution has set a new standard in the education industry, positioning Cardiff Sixth Form College as a trailblazer in the field of student wellbeing.
Cardiff Sixth Form College frequently tops school league tables for A-Levels and the school recognised that it would need to be extremely proactive in providing balance, developing resilience, and attaining a consistency of approach to healthy futures. The school’s CREATE© Portfolio was designed to strike this balance. Each of the portfolio’s six key areas represents a letter of the word CREATE – Community, Respect, Engage, Active, Thrive, and Enrich – and each key area has its own theme, such as staying active, resilience, and self-care, that are linked to local and national mental health initiatives and positive psychology models.
Students choose specific areas based on areas of their lives they would like to develop further and are then set tasks, such as volunteering, for which they are awarded points over the course of two years. The aim of awarding points is to encourage engagement. Due to the large multicultural nature of the college, global perspectives on wellbeing and mental health were also embedded into the programme to make it more readily relatable to all learners.
In addition to improving student wellbeing, the programme has led students themselves to reach out to the local community with their own support and wellbeing initiatives, like tutoring disadvantaged pupils and a free advisory service on applying to universities in the UK.
If Cardiff Sixth Form College wins the World's Best School Prize for Supporting Healthy Lives, the school intends to use the prize funds to further develop the CREATE© Portfolio programme, both within the school and with its wider community, while continuing to support its students' mental health and wellbeing to maintain academic excellence.
The winner of each of the five World’s Best School Prizes will be announced in November. The winner of each Prize will be chosen based on rigorous criteria by a Judging Academy comprising distinguished leaders across the globe including academics, educators, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, government, civil society, and the private sector.
A prize of US$250,000 will be equally shared among the winners of the five Prizes, with each receiving an award of US$50,000.
The winner of the new Community Choice Award – chosen by a Public Vote – will be announced at the same time. The Community Choice Award may be given to any Top 3 finalist who receives the most public votes, irrespective of whether they win one of the five World’s Best School Prizes.
All the Top 3 finalists will share their best practices through School Transformation Toolkits and events on the T4 Communities app.
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