Nobel International School Algarve, located in the central Algarve, Portugal, learnt this week that the school has been shortlisted as a finalist for The PIEoneer Awards´ Progressive Education Delivery Award 2020. The PIEoneer Awards, organised by The PIE, are the only global awards to celebrate innovation and achievement across the whole of the international education industry. Four Globeducate schools are finalists in the 2020 awards.
Nobel´s Journey of Discovery for Year 10 was the programme highlighted and the nomination process asked schools to not only demonstrate why and how they developed the programme but also how the programme helps to develop students´ confidence and achievement, as well as to help them develop a sense of global citizenship and or to prepare them for the modern workplace.
Lead Outdoor Education Teacher and Head of Adventure Matt Harris said, “The Journey is carefully designed to make the students feel part of something bigger than themselves; it breaks down the barriers between the different nationalities, languages and cultures we see in the school. The “Journey” groups have always been shown greater understanding and acceptance of other cultures and the skills they acquire make them much more attractive to, and adapted to, the modern workforce. They have a far more collaborative approach to work and are more aware of the world that they live in due to spending time in nature with none of the trappings of modern-day society.
Head of School Mike Farrer explained: “Despite the natural tendency for teenagers to often show self-centred traits, the programme guides them to help one another at every turn and to demonstrate a greater understanding of needs and feelings of others. It also allows them to have respect for, and patience with, one another – two invaluable character traits that can be carried into the workplace and make a difference to how they experience working with others – be that in a team or as individuals interacting. We are all thrilled to have this programme achieve recognition on a global level at the PIEoneer Awards.”
During the last four years, 117 students have taken up the opportunity to go on the Year 10 Journey of Discovery. Prior to signing up, students and parent attend presentations from prior participants who also lead a question and answer session. Unsurprisingly, the concept of the journey does not have immediate appeal for all students and, to help them mentally prepare and decide on whether or not to participate, the information sessions are followed with a Buddy system during the journey.
Congratulations also to three other schools in the Globeducate network who are also finalists in these awards: Agora Sant Cugat International School in Barcelona and Stonar School in Wiltshire, England, are finalists for the secondary learning international impact award and Rome International School is a finalist for the Sustainability International Impact Award. The final winners will be announced during a ceremony end of September -this year it will be a virtual ceremony due to Covid-19.