The Observatory School on the Wirral has been awarded the prestigious Tes International School of the Year title for 2019.
The award recognises the community secondary school’s strong commitment to international work, including its Erasmus+ projects, supporting young people with a range of social, emotional and mental health needs.
"We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the International Award at this year’s Tes Award Ceremony,” said Sarah Gower, assistant head teacher and international co-ordinator at the Bidston, Birkenhead, school.
“We couldn’t wait to share this extraordinary news with our pupils. They are the real superstars in all of this. They face many difficulties and challenges on a daily basis and they amaze us every day with their enthusiasm for completing international work.
“Working on international projects has enabled them to participate in the wider community and experience different cultures first-hand. They have made friends for life with their international peers and memories they will never forget.
“The experiences and opportunities eTwinning and Erasmus+ have given our pupils is invaluable. We are looking forward to our next Erasmus+ exchange to Spain in September and creating more memories with our pupils."
The Tes Schools Awards celebrate the extraordinary commitment, quality and innovation shown by teachers and support staff across the UK.
The judges said: “The Observatory School is a shining example of how education can open up and widen pupils’ perceptions of the world.”
Bidston is a small village where there is little cultural diversity but eTwinning, an online platform for international collaboration between schools, and Erasmus+ have allowed the school to give pupils opportunities to work with young people from different countries and cultures.
One of the Observatory’s Erasmus+ project’s saw 24 pupils visit one of their partner schools in France for four face-to-face meetings while the awards panel were particularly impressed with another which involved a trip to Finland for five children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autistic spectrum conditions.