International links


The Academy at Shotton Hall is proud to take part in Erasmus, a British Council initiative that gives students the opportunity to take part in international exchanges and study experiences.

Over the past five years over 450 Shotton Hall Academy students have visited many European countries studying abroad, learning about different cultures and most importantly making new friends!

Erasmus aims to:

  • Give young people a glimpse of life in other countries from a perspective beyond that of a tourist.
  • Raise students’ horizons and thereby empower them to have the confidence to travel throughout Europe for higher education and/or employment.
  • Supplement the curriculum by participating in academic fieldwork in other countries.
  • Encourage active citizenship through developing an understanding of democratic processes and an awareness of other cultures.

Our international work is led by British council ambassador, seasoned globetrotter, and self-styled international relations ambassador, maths teacher, Ian Kell.

As well as racking up lots of air miles, Mr Kell has presented training to teachers from four countries in Athens and 29 countries in Warsaw. He has also led training sessions on internationalism at British Council conferences and through The Academy at Shotton Hall, he has supported international project start ups in County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. 

About Erasmus

Erasmus helps students develop new skills, raise their aspirations and gain vital international experience.

To illustrate some of our project aims; our collaboration with Spain is a Mathematics project, our collaboration with Finland is in ICT and other projects have a firm emphasis on Food Technology, promotion of reading strategies or Citizenship.

In addition to this, staff can teach, train or job shadow abroad, develop their professional practice, and build relationships with international peers gaining fresh ideas. Staff working in Shotton Hall SCITT did experience a work shadowing experience in Finland.

As a school, we have collaborated with international partners to drive innovation, share best practice, and offer new opportunities to young people. In the last 12 months, students and staff have had the opportunity to visit Finland, Budapest, Norway, Slovenia, Ciriè, Bremen, Gdansk, Croatia and Warsaw to name but a few!

Around 32 students have been involved this year and they have engaged in projects, which have focused on:  Migration, ethics of food production, identity, stereotypes, challenging sexism, racism bullying and homophobia, virtual reality and sustainable cities

In recognition of the Academy’s experience and expertise in international projects, our staff have delivered training sessions to an international audience of teachers in Tblisi Georgia, Corinth in Greece and Warsaw

We have also played host to a number of schools from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Cyprus, Finland and Slovenia. 

As a supplement to our Erasmus projects, Shotton has been actively engaged in E-Twinning, this is a virtual platform where students can communicate in a safe and controlled manner with students abroad. The Academy is a designated E Twinning School and has won the UK prize for the overall best project twice, most recently in 2019, but for seven successive years we have been awarded a major UK prize in one or more category.

In September 2018 The Academy was awarded International School Status and Mr Kell was presented with the award at a special ceremony in the palace of Westminster by the Minister of Education.

Erasmus and E-twinning is not just about international cooperation, over the years we have collaborated with other schools within the trust, and also worked with schools from Liverpool, Manchester, Belfast, Glasgow, and London.


Recent and current international Erasmus projects

Smart maths

Partners from Spain, Italy, Newcastle, Estonia have been working on 'gamification' in maths creating an interactive maths game website inspired by Tomb Raider. The group also created a play and developed maths trails in Pompeii, Denia, Estonia, Corbridge and Durham. The Academy at Shotton Hall has hosted students from all these countries with students visiting all of the partner countries. Take a look at our Smart Maths website here

The Bridge

The Bridge is a history project with partners from Norway, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands, where students have created newspapers from key dates in our national histories - out students chose 1066. The project resulted in a big conference which was attended by teachers from 24 schools (including students from Brazil) with presentations from Dutch, Spanish and Serbian schools.


Shotton Hall students, along with partners from Finland, Malta, Croatia and Malta, have been working on a project that project that challenge stereotypes. This will culminate in a big conference where we have secured a visit from a Greek parliamentary minister to speak about refugees in Greece. This conference will also include speakers from Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and Macedonia specifically aimed at developing links between schools from countries which were embroiled in a bitter war until 2001 and which continues to feature in the news.

Green jobs  

Partners from Martinique, Lithuania, Germany, Spain, Norway, Romania will soon be coming together with Shotton Hall students to work together to promoting job prospects and career advice.

Circuit sesame  

In conjunction with our Duke of Edinburgh work, partners from Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy came together to learn about geo-mapping.  Students have worked on creating maps and routes for hill walking and cycling in the area and have visited all partner schools. The project has been so successful that it won a quality award from the British Council. 

Recent and current international e-Twinning projects

My classroom my world   

A maths project which was awarded first prize at the British Council Awards for e-Twinning projects. It was also awarded the European quality label as one of the best projects in Europe and it has been long listed as the best STEM Project in Europe and Eurasia - the short list is due to be announced in March.

Maths is life    

A project with partners from Serbia, UK, Bosnia which was highly commended at British Council Awards for e-Twinning. It was also awarded a European quality label as one of the best STEM projects in Europe.


A maths/cookery project with partners from Georgia, Serbia, Ukraine and Belgium.