A primary school in South Shields has been officially recognised for its commitment to excellence in teaching international awareness and understanding.

Awarded by the British Council, SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School received the International School Award for embedding internationally themed activities across their curriculum, providing pupils with a worldwide education.

The school, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, was particularly praised for its collaborative work with partner schools in China and in the Czech Republic. This has led to Mandarin being taught to two SS Peter and Paul classes online with a Chinese teacher. The lessons were complemented with pupils across the school learning about the Chinese culture through pen friend initiatives and Chinese New Year celebrations.

Maria Butt, headteacher at SS Peter and Paul,  said: “We’re so proud to receive this award as we’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort into broadening our core curriculum to ensure all pupils are exposed to different countries and cultures.

“Understanding other traditions and languages is fundamental to developing young people and providing them with a well-rounded education.

“I want to extend a huge thank you to the staffing team for making this possible as well as our children who have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the wider world, which forms an exciting part of our learning.”

The teaching approach at SS Peter and Paul has been praised for its creativity and engagement. Teachers, for example, used the Tokyo Olympics as a focus for learning about countries, as well as supporting healthy living. Teachers were also able to provide an Iranian pupil with the opportunity to teach his peers about his family’s culture.

Shannon West, Head of the International School Award at the British Council, said: “Congratulations to everyone at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School for working so hard to co-ordinate such an impressive range of international work.

“This will enable young people to develop the knowledge and skills needed to live and work in a globalised world.

“The variety of opportunities available is inspiring and a credit to the teachers, pupils, and wider community.

We wish SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School all the best in their future international activities.”

For more information about SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School, visit: https://sspeterpaul.co.uk/