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Our Lady’s Catholic College

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British Council International School Award

British Council International School Award success for Our Lady’s Catholic College


 Our Lady’s Catholic College in Lancaster has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The International School Award is a badge of honour for schools that do outstanding work in international education, such as through links with partner schools overseas. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need to live and work as global citizens.

The award was presented to Mrs Knowles at a ceremony hosted in the British Council offices in London by Jo Beall, Director of Education & Society.  In giving the award, she said “The International School Award promotes shared understanding between different cultures, particularly important in the modern world… This is a great achievement for your school and I know that it reflects a lot of hard work from you and your staff”.

Our Lady’s international work includes activities in subjects across the curriculum including Art, Humanities, Technology, RE, Modern Foreign Languages and ICT. However all subjects are embedding Global learning and International work in to their curriculum. All year 8 pupils spent a day off timetable taking part in various activities for the European Day of Languages and year 9 took part in a cross-curricular day based on the WW1 Christmas Football Truce. The Art, Humanities and Technology departments are currently working on joint projects with our partner school in South Africa, Durban Girl’s High School. Mrs Knowles was able to further develop the link between the two schools during her visit to DGHS in May and Ms De Vries, an Art teacher from Durban and Erica Hayes the principal were both able to visit Our Lady’s in July.

On hearing the news that Our Lady’s had received the award, Helen Seddon, Headteacher said: We are delighted to have been given this award. We have worked for many years developing our curriculum links with schools in South Africa, Uganda and more recently Italy and it is wonderful that the work our staff and students have put in is being recognized. Global education is very important to us as a school and we look forward to developing this further.

British Council Chief Executive, Sir Ciarán Devane, said: ‘The school’s fantastic international work has rightfully earned it this prestigious award. The International School Award is a great chance for schools to demonstrate the important work they’re doing to bring the world into their classrooms. Adding an international dimension to children’s education ensures that they are truly global citizens and helps prepare them for successful future careers in an increasingly global economy.’

The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Egypt, Lebanon and Pakistan as part of the Connecting Classrooms programme, which is delivered by the British Council and supported by the Department for International Development (DFID).

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

“Young people must be at the heart of our work to create a safer and more prosperous world for everyone and we need to ensure their voices are heard if we are to win the fight against global poverty. That is why I am delighted to celebrate the international work of [name of school here] and the energy and passion of the young people involved.

“The International School Award is a great way of highlighting how young people have the potential to change things for the better. I’m sure that schools getting involved will be broadening the horizons of their students, which will not only help their careers but benefit their wider lives in the future.”

Around 5,000 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.

The International School Award encourages and supports schools to develop:

  • An international ethos embedded throughout the school
  • A majority of pupils within the school impacted by and involved in international work
  • Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
  • Curriculum-based work across a range of subjects
  • Year-round international activity
  • Involvement of the wider community