italian-internsHi, I’m Francesca, eighteen years old, and I come from Padua, and old University City in the north-east of Italy, near Venice.  In Padua I will be attending the 5th year at Pietro Scalcerle High School, a language Institute where I study English, German and Spanish.

Padua is a very nice and friendly city, since it’s populated by many young people who go to University there. It has a very important history because of its ancient Roman origins and it’s also known thanks to Galileo Galilei, who spent some time there as a Professor at Uni.

I arrived here in Durham about one week ago, on the 28th of August and I’m currently working as an intern at Durham County Council Hall, more precisely at the International Office. Everyone here is very kind and friendly with me and Valentina, my Italian co-worker, and we are given many tasks to do such as working with the computer, doing researches, attending meetings and other more general administrative work.

Durham is very different from Padua, but both cities are nice and welcoming. Durham has a sort of mysterious aura and maybe that’s why I like it a lot: it’s surrounded by nature and, with the Castle and the majestic Cathedral, it looks like it’s controlling the entire world. Moreover, the town’s narrow streets, full of cafes and shops, together with the riverside, are a good place to relax, talk with friends, or simply enjoy the breath-taking landscape.

I think this work experience has helped me a lot, in terms of the language and the technical abilities acquired with it.

I truly hope to be back here in Durham very soon!

Bye for now,




Hello, I’m Valentina, I’m seventeen and I’m from Padua, a really nice city near Venice. In Padua I’ve attended the 4th year at Fusinato, a language High school where I study English, Spanish and Chinese, even if I don’t speak the last one very well because it’s very difficult. My city is an important historical and cultural site because of “Prato della Valle” and “Il Santo” that are always visited by many tourists.

I arrived here in Durham on the 28th of August and I work as an intern at County Hall’s International Office with Francesca and many friendly and kind people. In this office I do all the sort of things, for instance packing envelopes, making photocopies and writing e-mails and power points on the computer. Francesca and I also have to prepare a sort of short film to encourage the study of foreign languages; fundamental knowledges that everybody should have.

So far, I haven’t met a lot of people, but with my Italian friends I’ve visited the Castle and the Cathedral, two beautiful places full of history where some scenes of the Harry Potter movie were filmed.

In this city there are a lot of tea rooms, libraries and theatres where you spend your free time after work or during the weekend.

I like Durham very much because, even if it’s not a huge city, it’s very welcoming and it is amazing walking surrounded by nature.

I will be leaving on the 19th of September and by then I hope I’ll improve my language and abilities.

This has been a beautiful experience and opportunity to enter the work world and I hope to come back to Durham in the future.

See you soon,





This is a short film about the importance of languages in the workplace, hope you will enjoy it!

Durham Business Information Exchange

Our EDIC will be represented at the event; the most significant gathering of business support services in County Durham in 2016.

Over 50 organisations   will be present to assist with funding, skills and apprenticeships, programmes to support the automotive, process, digital and creative sectors, and more.

If you’re thinking of starting a business, have started a business or run established business there will be something for you. Book your place and drop in anytime between 09:00 – 12:00

To book a place, register here

Brazil – a resource pack for KS1 and KS2 geography


This planning pack was produced with teachers from County Durham following a visit to São Paulo. The materials support the teaching of geography at key stage one and two within the context of the 2014 National Curriculum. In KS1, pupils are required to develop an understanding of geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country. The São Paulo city / home enquiry in this planning can support this area of study.

In KS2, pupils should have the opportunity to understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of the human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North or South America. The learning activities based around the São Paulo region support the study of this aspect of the curriculum.

This pack has been produced following a visit by teachers from County Durham schools to São Paolo as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme. For more information about this professional development scheme see:

Thanks to the Academic Section of the Embassy of Brazil, London for their help in the production of this pack.

Durham County Council’s International Relations team can help support schools with curriculum based international school partnerships.

Brazil pack    Teachers’ pack with overview of all resource packs and background material

Where in the world                 Powerpoint to support a locational enquiry at KS1 and KS2

Destination São Paulo                  Powerpoint of images to use in the classroom

Destination São Paulo2                  Photo pack resource of São Paulo

What can I find in this place        Photo pack resource for KS1

What can I find in this place         Powerpoint of KS1 resource

Images                                                 Archive material to provoke discussion

KS1 My place, your place worksheet

KS2 extension resource – location challenge

Dates for the new term

We will be hosting several staff information sessions during the new term to keep everyone up to date with what is happening :

26 September – European Day of Languages – what is your school doing to mark this day ? Send us your photos and stories

27 September – International School Award briefing for all schools interested in making application to the accreditation scheme; regardless of level.

Meeting is at 4.00p.m. at County Hall, Durham

International School Award briefing 2016

10 October – Lefevre Trust briefing – support for secondary schools wishing to bid for £10,000 to support a cross curricular project with a French partner school

Meeting is at 3.45p.m. at County Hall, Durham

Lefevre briefing notes

14 October – International School Award Presentations – this year’s gala award event for all schools which have obtained the full International School Award will take place at the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne from 10.00a.m. – 1.00p.m.

8 November – Funded professional development courses – Briefing session about opportunities to take part in funded professional development courses in other countries. Of particular interest to those who would benefit from support in developing confidence in using foreign languages in the classroom.

ERASMUS + briefing

Meeting us at 4.00p.m. in County Hall, Durham

11 November – Deadline for entries for Euroscola competition – competition for Sixth Formers to win an all expenses paid visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Competition for Sixth formers in North East England

Guidance notes

14 December – Beat the rat race – Languages and employability event for KS3 pupils hosted at Newcastle University- further details will be published in due course.