An international perspective to the recovery curriculum

As our learners return to classrooms, we are mindful of areas of lost learning during school closures but we cannot simply pick up from the next page in our scheme of work. Learners’ experiences during the pandemic need to be acknowledged and their appetite for learning rekindled. It is important to give time to re-build relationships between peers and between learners and staff.
The global nature of the pandemic allows our learners to understand that their sense of loss was shared by peers in the UK and across the world. Adopting an international perspective to learning can enthuse and engage groups of learners, encourage enquiry and promote reflection.
Durham County Council’s International Relations Team is happy to work with schools to build and develop an international dimension to the curriculum. Schools which follow this pathway will be able to gain accreditation from the British Council’s International School Award programme, which is recognised as an indicator of a school’s commitment to the broader British Values agenda and to promoting SMSC among its learners.

If you would like support with any aspect of developing an international perspective to the curriculum, please contact Tel 03000 268500

Below are some of the services which we can provide at no cost to schools and academies in County Durham

International School Award
The British Council’s International School Award is given at three levels :
• Foundation, Intermediate and Full Award
The award is valid for three years and recognises a school’s commitment to help its pupils make sense of the wider world, develop respect for people from other religious and cultural backgrounds and build a sense of national identity in a diverse and interconnected world.
Support is available to schools at no cost. It begins with a short audit and then together we develop an action plan to work towards the most appropriate form of accreditation for your learning community. To explore this further contact

For primary schools

My neighbour and me

We are looking to recruit a number of schools to work in partnership with schools in County Durham. This will typically involve two exchanges of pupils’ work before Christmas and another before Easter with a physical meet up taking place around April (social distancing regulations permitting). The project will allow reflection on community, consider similarities and difference and provoke discussion about diversity and what makes a good neighbour. The project is ideally suited to Class 5 pupils. To register interest email

Primary language resources

Colleagues in Amiens have kindly recorded stories for young learners in French. These have been uploaded to our youtube channel and are accompanied by useful teachers’ notes and classroom guidance. They are FREE for schools to download.
We have also posted lesson ideas for primary language sessions which have been trialled and developed by teachers in County Durham

European Day of Languages – 26 September

We ask schools to consider all of the languages which are spoken and taught across Europe on this special day, the European Day of Languages. We have put a number of free resources on our web page at
Please let us know how you marked the day in your school.
Lingotot colleagues are streaming a FREE full day of activities on Friday 25 September. These include taster classes in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Welsh, Arabic, Mandarin and Dutch. There will be an adult conversation class, teacher CPD, storytelling and even karaoke!
Here is the link where schools can register:

Diwali – 14 November

We are working with a local arts organisation and with the Hindu community to arrange three separate sessions which will celebrate diversity in our community. The sessions will be delivered live online with an option to watch the recorded session later. They will be streamed around 14 November, one of the 5 days of Diwali this year. The sessions will include the chance to virtually visit a Hindu temple and ask questions about the Hindu faith and Diwali, listen to a traditional Indian tale narrated by a wonderful story teller, take part in an energetic celebration of contemporary Indian Bollywood dance with an online workshop.
To register interest in joining one or all of the sessions, email

European Christmas tree decoration exchange

We are looking for primary and special schools which would like to take part in this lovely project.
Schools make decorations to send to up to 30 different European schools together with information about how Christmas is celebrated and receive up to 30 handmade decorations in return from schools across Europe. To register interest email

Discovery weeks

The chance to organise a residential five or six day visit to a study centre in France or Germany; to practise language skills and discover another country with support from our teaching resources.
The above link has information about the centres we use, powerpoint presentations to share with pupils and parents/carers and suggested itineraries. A great way to bring language learning alive.

Geography resources

Photopacks about Japan, Brazil and India together with classroom notes and lesson ideas are available to download FREE. The resources are adapted for use at both KS1 and KS2 and meet requirements of the primary geography curriculum.

For secondary schools

We have created some FREE resources and organised special events to engage pupils and underline the value of language learning.
This A3 poster which presents the soft skills which language learners develop can be downloaded from
We have also produced a downloadable A5 booklet for pupils and a series of job destination posters with our colleagues at Durham University. These can be found at a special spot on our webpages to together with a video link showing language usage in games manufacturer, UBISOFT.

European Day of Languages

During the Autumn term, there is opportunity to highlight the European Day of Languages, September 26th. It is a chance to show the range of languages spoken and traded in across our continent. Classroom ideas can be found at

The Spanish Apprentice

We are hosting an online intensive Spanish Day in December for pupils in Y10/11. Teams of 5 pupils will be partnered with a Durham University undergraduate. Together they will work through challenges and produce a short pitch to a Spanish tour company to encourage Spanish tourists to visit Bishop Auckland.
Previous years’ events have produced incredibly high levels of spoken work, which Y11 teachers may wish to consider as part of a pupils’ speaking assessment.
To register interest, contact

Visits to France and Germany

We are planning to run our full programme of tailor-made study visits to France and Germany in 2021. Research shows that visit to a country where the language is spoken can inflate results by 1 grade. We have produced new teaching resources and pupil workbooks to meet the challenges faced by schools and to ensure pupils get the most from their visit.
Full details of the language study visits and French battlefields tour together with sample itineraries and powerpoints to show pupils are at

Working in German

A Microsoft Teams meeting with business people in our region, who use German in the workplace, is to be organised for KS4 and KS5 pupils in January 2021. To register your interest, contact
Our team’s work is to demonstrate the link between language learning, intercultural awareness and employability. We are keen to provide opportunities to pupils across the region which support learning and encourage dialogue.

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