As part of the Erasmus international schools programme, 140 students and teachers from three continents and 12 countries gathered at Durham County Cricket Ground for a 'Breaking Barriers' international conference.
Coordinated by our in-house foreign friendship ambassador Mr Kell and our German intern Amelia, the conference played host to visitors from different faiths and cultures and was designed to challenge stereotypes and give students opportunities to learn more about other people.
The key note address was from Dr Ira Papodopoulo, a Greek government minister with responsibility for refugee education. Other speakers included senior figures from the north east representing different faiths - Jewish, Christian, Sikh, Hindu as well as teachers from Croatia and Serbia who spoke jointly about the troubles their respective countries have endured in the past and the reconciliation process.
Other topics addressed at the conference included women's issues and LGBT.
Mr Kell said: "Although it took LOTS of organising, the conference was incredibly worthwhile, bringing students together, some from very different backgrounds, to learn about differences in society.
"Gathering people from many different backgrounds with so many alternative beliefs, traditions and characteristics in the same room gave everyone a unique opportunity to understand each other more and learn new things.
"We were very lucky to have senior members of distinct local groups and organisations in attendance and I thank everyone for taking the time to join us in this celebration of diversity."