Preparing for the Year of the Rooster


The British Council has produced an exciting curriculum resource pack for primary schools which wish to mark the Chinese New Year with their pupils. 2017/18 is the Year of the Rooster. Those born in the year of the rooster are very observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, and talented. Roosters are very confident in themselves.

The resources are available at





с новым годом

To mark the Russian Christmas, we wanted to share with you two short films which were produced by pupils at schools in County Durham and which tell the story of the Snow Maiden, Snegurochka.

Snegurochka is the symbol of Durham’s twin Russian city, Kostroma. Made of ice and snow she was gifted to a childless couple but had an unfortunate end when she played too close to the fire. She is now seen at Russian Christmas time accompanying Father Frost, Ded Moros.

New Year …

Europe Direct North East England hopes that 2017 will be a very productive and peaceful year for all of our readers.

We are pleased that our work programme for 2017 has been approved and that we are able to offer a number of events to schools and organisations in the North East region. In the course of the next twelve months we are planning to support or run the following events :

Durham International Festival of Enterprise  – 28 Feb – 1 March

Song for Europe 23 May – A song competition for KS2 pupils

European Investment Funding – May/June 2017 – a guide to investment funding for businesses

Future Business Magnates Award Presentation – awards evening for schools involved in FBM 2017

European Apprentice,  July 2017 -A languages and employability event for KS3 pupils

Beat the rat race, November 2017 – Languages and employability event for KS3 pupils

We will also be offering schools the chance to bid for a £75 grant to mark the European Day of Languages on 26 September and supporting the Association of Language Learning with its European Day competition.Exhibition1



New teaching resources about India



Colleagues in Gateshead Council have complemented the Brazilian geography teaching resources by producing a set of materials about India.

The new resource comprises three powerpoint presentations, a teachers’ handbook and two pupil packs. All are designed to support KS1 and KS2 geography teaching. They can be downloaded for FREE here

Teachers’ handbook  india-with-graphics

Pupil worksheets  where-in-the-world-pupil-worksheets

Photo pack  what-can-i-find-in-this-place-pupil-photos

Powerpoint to accompany photo pack  what-can-i-find-in-this-place

Powerpoint   rural-india-ppt

Powerpoint  mumbai-ppt

Many Gateshead schools have developed links with schools in India as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme. To learn more about the school linking opportunities, see

How does the EU work ?

So many people have revealed that they know little about the way in which each Member State has direct influence on the workings of the European Union.

The organigram below sets out to show how the President of the European Commission is appointed after ratification by Heads of Government and the European parliament and after receiving a political mandate following the European Parliament election in 2014.

The diagram shows how the UK chooses to send its Commissioner to Brussels and how the budget and other Commission proposals are scrutinized and voted on by a democratically elected Parliament; 73 of its members represent the United Kingdom.

One tier which is not evident in our chart is how Heads of Government sitting as the European Council can block, change or supplement legislation and how the UK can use its veto in certain negotiations.


European Solidarity Corps

Spotlight on


Many young Europeans are ready to volunteer or work for a good cause, in projects where their help makes a difference, and to show solidarity with those less fortunate. Finding the right opportunity can be difficult. That is why the European Solidarity Corps has been set up.

The European Solidarity Corps will provide young people with an opportunity to gain invaluable experience, develop their skills and make a contribution to society. If you’re a young person looking for a volunteering or occupational experience, or an organisation looking to attract young people to your solidarity activities, then the European Solidarity Corps may well be the answer.

Erasmus+ funding deadlines

Schools considering applying for financial support from the EU’s education programme, ERASMUS+ should consult the published deadlines for the next call.

The UK government has indicated that any school which is successful with its application to this funding round will be guaranteed regardless of the EU referendum result.

Available funding has increased by 10% for this round so it may be a good time to apply for support from the programme.Exhibition1