St Mary’s goes for gold

A MAGHERAFELT school has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International Award in recognition of its work in bringing world issues into the classroom.

St Mary’s received the International School Award, a badge of honour for schools which carry out outstanding work in international education, through links with partners overseas.

Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need to live and work as global citizens.

St Mary’s Grammar School’s international work includes a two year Comenius project with schools in the Netherlands and Germany, participation in the European Studies Programme and collaborative curriculum work funded by the UK_German Connection.

John Rolfe from the British Council congratulated the school.

“The school’s fantastic international work is not only giving the young people a better understanding of the world around them, but it’s really making a difference to their future prospects too.

“Employers are telling us that international skills are just as important as exam results – so everything the school is doing is vital preparation for life in a global society and work in a global economy,” he said.

Principal of St Mary’s, Mrs Gillespie said the award recognises their positive approach to international awareness.

“We recognise the inherent value of preparing our students to take their place in a global society. I must pay tribute to the efforts, enthusiasm and energy of the St Mary’s staff, in particular Miss Sinead McAllister who led the Comenius project and Mr K McAuley, Miss N Mac Oscar and Miss C Donoghue. We will be very proud to include the kitemark on our website and our school stationery,” she added.

The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and Pakistan as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme.

Around 4000 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.

The British Council Schools online website is a ‘one stop shop’ to help schools find international opportunities, including the International School Award. Any school can find out how to apply by visiting