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Welcome to Mougins British International School
Welcome

A warm welcome from the Head of School

James Wellings Head of School in Mougins British International School

Welcome to Mougins School! The school is a very special place to learn and a very special place to work. I am privileged to be the Head of School here. We are located near the beautiful hilltop village of Mougins on the Côte d’Azur in the south of France. We are also part of the Sophia Antipolis technology park and surrounded by some of the leading and most innovative companies in France. This provides a setting that is beautifully balanced between the natural world and the best of human innovation.

We have just over 500 wonderful students on campus aged from 3 to 18 and are happy to serve both the local and expatriate community here in Mougins. With over 40 nationalities making up our student population we are a British inspired school with a truly international feel. This combination of our location and our community makes our school a very special place to be.

As the Head of School I believe we have a responsibility to ensure that all of our students can enrich their lives through a wide range of activities and programs that allow them to find their passions. We are values-driven with a focus on student achievement, in whatever form that takes. Education is a journey and learning is a nonlinear process so through effort, perseverance and the embracing of challenges our learners will go on to positively shape the lives of themselves, others and the world around them.

I hope you will come on that journey with us.

James Wellings,
Head of School

Thoughts from the Head

The Learning Curve
  • Thoughts from the Head
James Wellings

Welcome to the Learning Curve, 

It’s International Day and as I type the sun is shining. Different weather apps are showing different possibilities for this afternoon and I find myself praying to Anẓar, Hyades and Varshini not to bring their rain today (rain gods from Africa, India and Europe, I looked them up). 

The very word inter - national is an interesting one. National and nationalism certainly have negative connotations from both history and the present. They conjure up images of building walls, placing our own above all else and limiting rather than seeking cultural understanding. 

I listened to a talk a number of years ago that argued we should stop using this word and instead consider referring to ourselves as cosmopolitan which comes from the Greek work kosmopolitēs meaning “citizens of the world”. This is a lovely idea. If we see ourselves as citizens of this planet we might do better at looking after it and each other. 

That talk has stayed with me for a long time because I’ve had to wrestle with the ideas within it. I’m being completely genuine about this, I’ve thought about it more than is normal. 

My conclusion - I think we should seek to be citizens of the world. However,  the reality is that we are people of places, cultures and groups that have an identity that is important to the individuals who hold them. In the effort to be cosmopolitan we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Instead, we are much more likely to become true world citizens if we can seek to better understand, celebrate and respect the places and histories of those who are from different places to our own. 

This does not stop us from celebrating our own cultures and backgrounds but should help us to ask questions as to whether there is anything in those backgrounds that might get in the way of better understanding others. Nationalism is often ugly but truly understanding our own cultures and histories can help us better to both celebrate them and to see any barriers they may place between us and cosmopolitanism. 

This is called intercultural competence. It is something that I hope we can all strive for here at our school. It cannot be achieved only between the hours of 8.30am to 4.00pm so today offers us all the opportunity to find out more about another culture, ask questions and have conversations. It should be a fun day with a serious message. As I shared last week, equality and diversity are two areas for exploration in our strategic plan for next year and today is a great way to kick that off. 

At the last count over 100 parents have volunteered to bring this event to life. This is amazing. With teachers and students all heavily involved, this is a wonderful celebration of our international community. Thank you to you all. 

So, with a last wish to Chaac (Mayan rain god, I looked this up too) to keep his downpour for another day, I hope you all have a wonderful day. 

 

Have a lovely weekend everyone. 

James Wellings 

 

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