Pakefield Primary School in Lowestoft has been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The International School Award is a badge of honour for schools that do 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.

Pakefield’s international work includes working in partnership with a number of schools far and wide. The pupils and teachers have worked with children in France, India, Uganda and closer afield, Great Yarmouth.  All of these schools have a completely different context to Pakefield.

Projects vary but the over-riding aim is to make them meaningful to all the children and to promote a view of themselves as Global Citizens. One of our projects involved working with the local photographer, Julian Claxton to share a day in the children’s life with their peers in Uganda and producing a book to record this. Several of our projects are ongoing; our children write termly to their pen-friends at a school in the Loire in France. They have also completed several projects with our link school in Kanpur in India and teachers from the school have visited us twice.

On hearing the news that Pakefield Primary School had received the award, Mr Payne, Headteacher said: “I am delighted that the school has received this award. As well as providing experiences for the children in our local community, staff have worked hard to enable children to connect to others from around the world, and we have successfully managed to do this in many different ways. I would like to say thank you to the children, staff and international colleagues for their hard work.”


John Rolfe, from the British Council, said: “The school’s fantastic international work has rightfully earned it this prestigious award. The International School Award is a great chance for schools to demonstrate the important work they’re doing to bring the world into their classrooms. Adding an international dimension to children’s education ensures that they are truly global citizens and helps prepare them for successful future careers in an increasingly global economy.”


The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus and Pakistan as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme. Around 5,000 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.

The International School Award encourages and supports schools to develop:

  • An international ethos embedded throughout the school
  • A majority of pupils within the school impacted by and involved in international work
  • Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
  • Curriculum-based work across a range of subjects
  • Year-round international activity
  • Involvement of the wider community