In 2022, we will be celebrating our first OWL Day on 26 September. This is deliberately planned to coincide with the European Day of Languages.

The plan at International School Hilversum is to have OWL Day on the European Day of Languages as a recurring event on the calendar - and to make this a celebration of multiculturalism and intercultural understanding across the school.​

The European Day of Languages is on 26 September and is an initiative of the Council of Europe - it has been running every year since 2001.​

We have chosen to call the event OWL Day for 2 reasons:

  • The symbol for AT Scholen is the owl, so it makes the day more personal to our school community
  • We have taken the letters of owl to signify:
    • OUR
    • WORLD
    • LANGUAGES

We are planning to use OWL Day to promote 3 big priorities from the school's action plan:

  • intercultural understanding​*
  • multilingualism**​
  • student agency​

​International mindedness within the context of the International Baccalaureate encompasses three dimensions: multilingualism, intercultural understanding, and global engagement: 

*Intercultural understanding: “developing knowledge of other cultural groups, appreciating different ways of being and behaving, developing positive attitudes to others” 

**Multilingualism: “a reconfiguration of how we think about languages that takes into account the complex linguistic realities of millions of people in diverse sociocultural contexts” 

Global engagement: “undertaking activity outside of schools, in the global community and/or foreign communities”

It is an opportunity for us to promote the languages that we teach (including English) as well as give the students and our broader school community the opportunity to celebrate their own diverse cultures and languages.​

We are actively involving students in the planning and delivery of activities - and we are also working with our parent community and external cultural and language organisations.​

Our planning obviously builds on existing good practice across the school – we are not trying to replace all the excellent initiatives that are already in place, including language of the month and mother tongue day. The intention is to consolidate and build on what is already there and to engage and involve the whole school community. The intention is also to be very explicit about our priorities to promote multilingualism and intercultural understanding.

Activities will take place across the whole school – all the way from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The day is documented by our film club so we will have a permanent record – and something to inspire the school community for OWL Day 2023!

We are delighted to be supported by our colleagues across AT Scholen in our plans for OWL Day. 26 September has been set aside as OWL Day for all schools across AT Scholen to celebrate multilingualism and intercultural understanding, which is a priority for all AT Scholen schools.

 

Written by Mr. Claxton - Head of Multilingualism