TEACHERS and their pupils at Eastburn Junior and Infant (JI) and Steeton Primary Schools won recognition for the high standard of artistic work they produced using digital software.

Diana Linford, Ruth McMeekin and the youngsters are celebrating after their international project, Christmas Connections through Art 2017, received a Highly Commended Award at the 13th annual British Council eTwinning National Conference.

They also picked up an eTwinning School Award for both their schools.

Teachers from across the UK came together for the conference in Coventry earlier this month (June). The event was themed in line with the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

To secure Highly Commended status, the Eastburn and Steeton pupils worked with their peers in 12 European countries to create an outstanding project using digital equipment.

This entailed researching an artist then designing a Christmas card based on the artist’s work.

The cards were exchanged with the other partner schools around Europe.

School children at Eastburn and Steeton also held a video call between the schools to discuss the project and to show their work to each other.

Both schools also received the eTwinning School Award at the conference. The accolade, which was launched earlier this year, has only been achieved by 29 UK schools to date.

To achieve it, the local schools had to demonstrate a long-standing involvement in international eTwinning projects, good digital and safety practice, and innovative, creative approaches to teaching.

Schools judged to be worthy of the award also have to be involved in staff training for eTwinning, including the promotion of the scheme amongst other schools.

Ms Linford, who is a teacher and international school co-ordinator in both schools, said: "We are delighted to have been given a Highly Commended award for our project.

"All pupils who were involved at Eastburn JI and Steeton Primary have loved the work, and to secure a prestigious eTwinning National Award is a real honour for the pupils and teachers who've participated.

"It is also very exciting to be among the 29 UK schools who have received the eTwinning School label in its first year.

"Our involvement in eTwinning projects has widened our pupils’ horizons and made them much more aware of other countries and cultures."

At least 500,000 teachers in 43 countries across Europe and beyond are now involved in eTwinning, which is funded by the European Commission and managed in the UK by the British Council.