Ashington school's prestigious award for international teaching

A secondary school has been recognised for a second time by the British Council for its outstanding work to integrate international teaching and learning into the curriculum.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 8:00 am
International Coordinators, James Pearson and Elizabeth McNally with a student from Duke’s Secondary School next to the Gratitude Tree.

Duke’s Secondary School, in Ashington, has been reaccredited with the International School Award having demonstrated how elements of international education have been embedded into the culture of the school.

It has resulted in pupils having an increased knowledge of other countries, cultures and languages, awareness of key global issues, global citizenship attributes, and an appreciation for cultural diversity.

The school was assessed against 13 different activities, ranging from taster sessions in Modern Foreign Languages including Mandarin and German, as well as Art, English and Maths-based projects carried out in partnership with schools in Belgium, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Croatia.

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Duke’s was praised by assessors for its innovative approach to international awareness, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Elizabeth McNally, International Coordinator at Duke’s, said: “While the pandemic was and continues to be a challenge for schools, in regard to the activities we had planned to support our international curriculum, the worldwide handling of coronavirus added a new dynamic to our programme and allowed us to adopt new activities which focused more on the promotion of international friendship through shared experience.

“Our pupils found common ground with the students from overseas in their experiences of lockdown and disruption to their schooling.

"Working closely with our twinned school in Remscheid in Germany in particular, the students formed friendships and wrote to each other, practicing their written and spoken language skills translating messages back and forth.”

The assessment also explored how Duke’s has been able to promote understanding of its local community in Ashington to international students and how international culture has also been shared with other schools locally.

Russ Atkinson, Principal at Duke’s Secondary School, added: “We are delighted to have once again been awarded the International School Award.

"Promoting understanding of international cultures and supporting all of our pupils to become global citizens who can contribute positively to their local communities is an important part of our ethos here at Duke’s and we’re honoured to have had that commitment recognised once again by the British Council.”

For more information about Duke’s Secondary School, visit