CRAVEN primary schools are celebrating after being recognised for their 'excellent and enriching' international work.

Christ Church, Skipton; Cononley Primary, Cowling Primary, Kildwick Primary, and Thornton-in-Craven Primary, have worked together and with partner schools in Zimbabwe to bring the world into their classrooms.

Four of the schools received the intermediate level of the British Council’s International School Award, while Cowling got the foundation level award as the leading teacher was unable to participate as fully as he would have liked due to the impact of long Covid -19.

The primary schools join Settle College, which has also received the intermediate level of the British Council award.

Each primary school in Craven had a partner school in Zimbabwe and together the children thought about their vision for the world and how this might be achieved, for example by reducing waste and using waste to create something new.

They learnt about the causes and impacts of climate change in their own locality and compared those with the impact in their partner’s corner of the world. They considered possible solutions to hunger here in the UK and in Zimbabwe and acted upon what they had learnt; collecting food for the local Foodbank and growing food in the school grounds.

Exchanging ideas during regular meetings on Zoom led to a lot of learning for the teachers and their pupils and has widened everyone’s perspectives and understanding of each other and the climate crisis.

Diane Cooper, head teacher at Christ Church Primary School, said, “Our work with Bumburwi Primary School in Gweru, Zimbabwe, enabled the children and staff in both schools to deepen their understanding of the local issues each school faces.

"It was very challenging communicating as internet connections were erratic but with determination all round we managed to share pupil work and to have a live link up. The partnership has enabled children to develop skills that they need to make change happen”.

John Rolfe MBE, schools outreach manager at the British Council, said: “We are proud and delighted to work with these schools.

"Many thanks to everyone for all their commitment to developing international work and sharing excellent classroom practice and resources. This is enriching education for their pupils; and their excellent collaborative projects with partner schools overseas are bringing the world into their classrooms. International work is key support for the development of skills young people need to be the globally aware citizens of the future.”