International School Award 2016–19

For the third time, St. Mary’s, Menston have been re-accredited with the British Council’s prestigious International School Award, in recognition of our 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.

St. Mary’s international work includes long standing annual exchange visits to France and Germany, World Challenge expeditions, the most recent of which was held in Nepal, the Connecting Classrooms project, a global programme run by the British Council which creates partnerships between groups of schools in the UK and in other countries, and a long standing partnership with a high school in South Africa.  Sixth Form students are also given the opportunity to take part in a visit to Iceland and a new item added to the school calendar this year is a visit to the Bay of Naples.

The Award is recognition for the wide range of partnerships that St. Mary’s has developed internationally over many years. We believe that as a school community, we learn so much from working with our international partners and I would like to congratulate all students who have taken part in these activities and to thank all staff who provided the opportunities.
— Mr Darren Beardsley, Headteacher

“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.”
— John Rolfe, from the British Council

The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and Pakistan as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme. 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

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