Staff and students at Abbeyfield School in Chippenham are celebrating after gaining prestigious UNESCO Association Schools approval this week.

It has taken the school four months to work through the application process, and is the result of five years embedding education about international issues into the life of the school.

Headteacher James Fox said: “The school values international partnership work – and the experiences on offer to our students through visiting and working with foreign students is often life changing.

“The UNESCO award is a result of the commitment of staff, students and parents to this work.”

UNESCO Associated Schools is part of a global network of schools, which promotes the values of human rights, mutual respect and cultural diversity among youngsters.

Abbeyfield gained the award as a result of its international work, including a partnership with Maahad Senior Secondary School in The Gambia.

Students raise on average £2,000 each year to support community work in The Gambia, and in February staff from Africa will visit Abbeyfield with a return visit by sixth form students in April.

Assistant headteacher Mark Fuller, who is due to visit China to establish school links, said: “As a business and enterprise school it is important we establish links with other countries as our students will be working and competing in a global economy.”