Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd has visited St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School with the Chief Executive of the British Council, Ciarán Devane, to see how the school earned the British Council award for outstanding development of the international dimension in the curriculum.

The school’s teaching of global awareness and cultural understanding by partnering with schools overseas throughout the academic year has earned it the prestigious International School Award from the British Council.

Amber Rudd joined representatives of the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, to deliver the award. 

She said:

“I would like to pay tribute to St Mary Star of the Sea and its children, teachers and staff. The school fully deserves this recognition for the fantastic work it does to educate pupils about global issues and the international community.

“I was delighted to visit St Mary Star of the Sea to present the award in person having previously worked with the school on its Global Learning Programme, and its projects on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goal for education.”

The British Council set up the International School Award in 1999 to recognise schools leading the way in developing a global dimension to their teaching environment.

This can include projects between schools in different countries, video conferencing and exchange trips, but also cultivating a wider awareness among pupils that they are global citizens.

Among the projects and events organised by St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School are One World Week, UNICEF Day for Change, Fair Trade products and French breakfast, World Day for Migrants and Refugees, Black History Month, International Food Fayres and many more.

Gillian Rubi, International Coordinator said:

‘Our aim is to help our children to become well rounded Global Citizens; for them to know how to stand up for Social Justice; to understand the importance of Sustainability and to respect and celebrate Diversity. But above all, to take their responsibilities seriously as Global Citizens when they finally come to take their places in the world.’

Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive at the British Council, said:

“St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School has brought the world into its classrooms and I’m delighted that their impressive international work has earned the school the British Council International School Award. The school has enriched the education of its pupils through collaborative projects with partner schools abroad to develop the knowledge and skills children need to live and work in our increasingly globalised world.”


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About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries.

We make a lasting difference to the security of the UK by fostering engagement and debate across cultures in strategically important countries. We contribute to the UK’s prosperity by building trust to create favourable conditions for trade, investment and tourism. Our work also supports the UK’s international influence by increasing connections and networks with decision makers globally, including the number of people who know and trust the UK.

Through our work in arts and culture, education, English language, sport, science and civil society we make a positive contribution to the people, institutions and governments of the countries we work with. This changes lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. In turn these relationships enrich UK culture and society.

We work with over 100 countries worldwide. These include all of the places of high priority for the UK, from China, India, Brazil and Russia, to North America and the European Union and Commonwealth countries, to the Middle East and North Africa. We are at the forefront of the UK’s international networks and soft power.

Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.


The International School Award:

The award comes in three levels of certification which progress over time: Foundation; Intermediate; and Accreditation.

The award considers and promotes the following within the school’s curriculum:

  • An international ethos embedded throughout the school
  • A whole school approach to international work
  • Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
  • Year-round international activity
  • Involvement of the wider community

For more information on the British Council, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org.

For more information about the International School Award, please visit https://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/accreditation-and-awards/isa/uk