Students from Denmark, Spain and the Czech Republic were welcomed to Otley this week as part of an inter-schools project.

The visitors are enjoying a stay in the town as part of Prince Henry’s Grammar School’s two-year Comen-ius Project, which is being funded by the European Union.

Pupils from Otley have already enjoyed stays with Czech, Danish or Spanish families and now students from the three continental schools are here to experience life in Wharfedale.

During their four day visit the students will work with children at Prince Henry’s to explore cultural similarities and contrasts and take part in a mock United Nations Summit to debate some of the burning issues of the day.

Otley Town Mayor Councillor Ray Smith will also lead a conference, tomorrow afternoon, that will examine how consumer choice can affect the global distribution of wealth.

Then on Saturday, April 2, a Cultural Celebration Evening should provide a rousing finale to the whole scheme. The event will include music and dance performances by each school, a Ceilidh band and a demonstration by Otley Morris dancers Wharfedale Wayzgoose.

Prince Henry’s assistant headteacher Chris Lillington said: “By learning with one another and from one another, students develop their understanding of and appreciation for other cultures, as well as their own.

“This also encourages them to consider their sense of identity as young Europeans, and to think collectively about some serious global issues.

“Most importantly, it gives them the opportunity to establish cross-cultural friendships, and celebrate their similarities as well as their differences as young people from different countries.”

Comenius Projects are part of the European Union Lifelong Learning Programme, and provide funding for students and staff from schools in three or more European countries to work together on joint schemes.