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UK: int’l school to open with £800k HSBC backing

A new international school is set to open in Gloucestershire in the UK, after securing a £800,000 investment from HSBC.

Wotton House International School in Gloucestershire will open its doors this autumn. Photo: Facebook/Wotton House International School

Wotton House International School will open its doors this autumn to students aged 11-16

Wotton House International School will open its doors this autumn to students aged 11-16, and will be using a blended learning curriculum.

The school, owned by International Village Education, will begin as a secondary school, with aims to expand to an international baccalaureate curriculum for sixth form in a couple of years’ time.

“It’s very difficult to change a traditional school with a traditional ‘chalk and talk’ mentality”

HSBC was introduced to International Village Education through a growth hub at the University of Gloucester, which helps businesses connect with local knowledge and expertise in the county of Gloucestershire.

“[They] knew the gap in the market for something a bit different from the mainstream education offerings, and it all sort of fitted together so we were delighted with that,” Daniel Sturdy, owner and director or International Village Education, told The PIE News.

Sturdy, who along with his sister set up Cambridge International School, has also established a Wilderness Education Centre in Gloucestershire, around 15 minutes from the site of the new school.

Wotton House International School will combine this outdoor learning approach along with its plan to embed blended learning into its curriculum.

Sturdy said harnessing educational technology to create a blended learning environment frees teachers up to do more coaching than just transferring knowledge.

“It seems like education is quite slow to make the transition to using the best available technology,” he said.

“I know there’s a lot of money spent on it, and a lot of lip service, but it’s very difficult to change a traditional school with a traditional ‘chalk and talk’ mentality into actually using educational technology in everything it does.”

“I think we’ve got a certain advantage in which we’re starting from scratch,” he added.

The school will be seeking to grow its international student numbers organically, targeting families who have relocated to the area from overseas.

International Village Education also hopes to grow into a six or seven-strong network of international schools located around the world over the next five years, initially looking at launching in Ghana, Hong Kong and China.

“My mother adopted nine children from all over the world,” said Sturdy. “That might sort of be our first thought about where to go, but we won’t necessarily be restricted by that.”

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