Shakespeare Lives

Shakespeare Lives - 12 April

A pack called Shakespeare Lives was in January sent out to all schools in the UK. The pack was sent by the British Council and is aimed to non-specialist teachers of 7-14 year olds and you do not have to be a teacher to use it!

In order to encourage learning across the curriculum, the resource is split into five key themes:

  • Leadership and Power
  • Family and Relationships
  • Identity and Equality
  • Fate and Destiny
  • Justice and Rule

Ambassadors for the British Council are running a FREE course for teachers at Gateshead EMTAS on this the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare´s death.

Date: Friday 13th of May 2016, 9.30am to 3pm

Place: The Dryden Centre, Evistones Road, Gateshead NE9 5UR

Register: Send an email to or call 0191 4338647

Shakespeare Lives Flier

Students from Teesdale goes to Euroscola

Earlier we have written an article about the Euroscola programme that is being held in Strasbourg where students can experience how it is to be an MEP for a day. If you want to read that article as well just click this link – A day as an MEP in Strasbourg.

Six sixth form students from Teesdale got the opportunity to go to Strasbourg and act as an MEP for the day. The students that went were Maddie Cooper, Bridie Fitzgerald, Rhian Llewellyn, Abigail Kent, Jack Parker & Emma Turner. They submitted a winning script about the EU in a county-wide competition.


With the six students from Teesdale a total of 550 students, from all member states in the EU, where attending the Euroscola programme.

Cassie Flint, the teacher that went with students to Strasbourg said: “Euroscola offers a fantastic opportunity for young people to come together and discuss the sorts of issues that really matter to them”.

The day in Strasbourg started with a presentation about the countries that where attending and the UK´s presentation was given by Jack Parker. Jack talked about county Durham and also how young people are responding to the upcoming referendum regarding whether or not Britain should stay in the EU.

After that a one hour question and answer session took place and the students got to ask questions to a real MEP, Michael Theurer from Germany.

“Because of the nature of the competition, students from all over Europe are able to speak on the basis of excellent research and through their questions and listening to others´ responses, they are able to both empathise and respond to such important issues”.

Euroscola proved to be a highly-rewarding experience. Not only did it show how big and all-encompassing the modern Europe is, but also offered a fantastic insight into politics on one of the world’s biggest platforms.



Save the date for our annual teachers’ conference

Our annual teachers’ conference is to be held in the Castlegate in Newcastle upon Tyne on Tuesday 5th July. Working in partnership with the region’s local authorities and The Academy at Shotton Hall and its partners, the FREE conference promises to be an inspirational event.

The conference, entitled Building Bridges,  aims to demonstrate how schools can improve pupil motivation and engagement with an international dimension to learning

Save the date – registration opens soon !!

Building bridges – flier

Easter and different traditions

Christians celebrate Easter to commemorate Christ´s resurrection while other cultures sees it as a day to welcome spring.

The “normal” traditions in the UK includes attending the mass, making and eating Easter eggs, decorate Easter bunnies as well as eating chocolate bunnies. However, in other places around the world the traditions are very different from ours and they are quite interesting.

Slovakia whipping

The women in Czech Republic & Slovakia are being “whipped”, in a non-harmful way, with the believes that this will make them healthy and beautiful.


The children in Finland dresses up as witches with broomsticks and goes trick or treating in a Halloween fashion way. Bonfires are also lit as it is believed that witches becomes more powerful during Easter and the bonfires are made to scare them away.

The traditional Easter menu in Colombia is a bit different from the UK´s. Instead of eggs and chocolate they eat green iguanas, turtles and big rodents.

It is very interesting to learn how other countries celebrate the same holidays as we, and if you want to know more about traditions around the world connected to Easter, just click on this link and real all about it – Easter traditions.



A day as an MEP in Strasbourg

Euroscola 2016. This year 23 sixth form students from Durham participated in the Euroscola programme in Strasbourg. The students came from Framwellgate School Durham, Teesdale School, Durham Johnston Community School and Consett Academy.

The European Parliament set up the Euroscola programme in 1990 and every year since, thousands of students aged between 16 and 18 from all 28 European Member States have participated.

Euroscola lets students experience how it is to be a Member of the European Parliament. They get to engage in decision-making debates in the hemicycle, negotiate with their “colleagues” and vote on topical European issues.


By bringing all these students from different countries together, it helps them to learn and experience foreign languages, but also about the importance of cross-cultural cooperation. The students are given the chance to introduce their school and the region they are from. This is meant to highlight the cultural diversity and enriches the cultural dialogue.

About 20 Euroscola sessions are held each year and it is the European Parliament Information Centres (EPIC) that are in charge of choosing the students that gets the opportunity to go to the programme. The EPICs chooses the students through organising competitions in their member state.

The Euroscola programme is an important tool for the European Parliament to reach out to the young people.

The 23 students from Durham that went this year had a day planned that involved:

08.30 – Day begins and breakfast is served

10.00 – Introduction to the EU, school presentations and opportunity to ask questions

12.45 – Lunch

14.00 – Split up into committees to debate a given topic

16.00 – Present the committee report in the plenary

18.00 – The day ends

Here are some of the thoughts of the students from Durham about the day in Strasbourg

“We really enjoyed:

  • Speaking with people of different nationalities- we counted 17!
  • Learning more about how the EU works and is structured.
  • The Eurogame- although we thought having it over lunch was a little chaotic.
  • The session in the morning with the opportunity to direct questions towards a real MEP.
  • The live translation and exposure to other languages and culture.
  • The fact the teams in the afternoon debate were made up of people of different nationalities.
  • The presentations (introductions to each country) and felt the pace was good.
  • We enjoyed the chance to socialise over our evening meal with the people of different nationalities we had met earlier in the day.
  • Amazing vegetarian/vegan food.”


Do not miss the opportunity to be the next group that gets the chance to participate in this exciting programme! You can get more information and read all about Euroscola by clicking this link – Euroscola.



A visit from Sweden

In the beginning of this month a group of students from the Linnaeus University in Växjö Sweden came and visited County Hall in Durham. The students are part of a programme that is dedicated to international studies within different sectors. Some of them will study to become teachers and others will continue on with studies about political science.

Our International Office has hosted this visit from the Linnaeus University for a couple of years and very well-functioning partnership has been established. Perhaps the most prominent evidence of the ongoing partnership is that the programme International Administration with English as a study language, once a year sends an intern to complete their internship before graduating.

The group of students that came to visit the County Hall is on a trip through England and have stopped in various places as they are travelling from London to Edinburgh.

They were greeted by our current intern David Nörell, our head of the International Office, Brian Stobie and Vice Chairman Edward Bell.

At first the students had the opportunity to ask questions to the Vice Chairman and the general theme of them were about the upcoming referendum. After the Q&A, David Nörell held a presentation about County Durham and how his time as an intern has been so far.  

The visit ended after a very pleasant time with the students and hopefully some interest for Durham awakened in their minds.