Pupils at Christ the King Catholic Primary School have set their sights on forging links with a school in the developing world after being recognised for their efforts to learn about other countries and cultures.

The Thornaby school has achieved the coveted British Council International School Awards’ foundation level certificate, which celebrated efforts to fostering an international ethos and embedding it in the curriculum.

Children learned about the American Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks, who refused to give up a bus seat that was reserved for white passengers, and Black American artist Faith Ringgold, whose colourful quilts depict stories including the lives of African women sold into slavery.

They have also been involved in joint projects with neighbouring St Patrick’s Catholic Primary, including sharing experiences about Covid-19 with a school in Italy and exchanging Christmas carols with a school in Portugal.

Pupils, staff and parents and staff were praised for their commitment to gaining the recognition by assessors from the British Council, UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

“You have a whole school approach to make global connections through your commitment to increase understanding of other nationalities,” they said.

“The school is committed to developing enquiring young learners who are keen to take action to bring about a better, more informed world.”

Christ the King’s international school coordinator Stephanie Sherrington added: “We are passionate about international work and allowing our children to experience the wider world.

“We want to teach our children to address and celebrate diversity and understand a range of backgrounds, languages and cultures and we aim to work with others to make our planet more equal, fair and sustainable.

“Working towards this award has ensured we have placed significant value on international awareness and understanding of our global family.

Christ the King has now set its sights on achieving the intermediate certificate by further strengthening links with St Patrick’s and establishing a relationship with an overseas school.