ST MARY’S, Menston welcomed Mr John Rolfe MBE from the British Council who presented the school with the International School Award.

The International School Award is a badge of honour for schools that carry out outstanding work in international education, such as through links with partner schools 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 international work includes long standing annual exchange visits to France and Germany, World Challenge expeditions (this year’s expedition to Costa Rica and Nicaragua involves 38 students), the Connecting Classrooms project, a global programme run by the British Council which creates partnerships between groups of schools in the UK and in other countries, and a long standing partnership with a high school in South Africa, The Bambisanani Partnership.

Mr Rolfe said: “We are delighted to be working with such an outstanding place of teaching and learning as St. Mary’s, Menston and are thrilled to be part of the inspirational 10 year partnership between the school and Mnyakanya High School in South Africa. This partnership has had enormous positive impact and is a very powerful example of the wide values and benefits of international collaboration and fantastic mutual learning.”

During his visit, Mr Rolfe was presented with a copy of the Bambisanani Partnership’s fourth book, ‘Bambisanani: Ten Years of Working Together and Learning Together’. The new book chronicles the first ten years of the Bambisanani story from 2006 – 2016.

Mr Darren Beardsley, Headteacher at St. Mary’s said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome John Rolfe to St. Mary’s as we celebrate these key aspects of school life.”