DOZENS of students gained an insight into the work of the European Union during an action-packed visit to Belgium and France.
Forty teenagers from St Hild’s CE Secondary School were met by Martin Callanan, the Member of European Parliament for the North-East, as they toured Brussels.
Mr Callanan and other representatives helped the youngsters understand the role of the EU, how it works and the benefits of the UK being part of it.
And the students on the joint history, languages and citizenship residential also took the opportunity to experience the Menin Gate Ceremony, a memorial in Belgium dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are unknown.
The youngsters also got the unique chance to tour Fort Breendonk - a fort which was used as a concentration camp during the Second World War.
Cath Hurst, a history teacher at St Hild’s, in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, said: “The students had an absolutely fantastic time in France and Belgium thanks to the help and support of our local MEP Martin Callanan.
“They were given an insight into the role of the EU before enjoying days experiencing the Menin Gate ceremony and touring Fort Breendonk, two truly unique experiences.
“With visits to the Christmas markets of Brussels, Bruges, Ypres and Lille, everyone had three days I’m sure they will never forget.
“The feedback we have from our students since has been fantastic, they thoroughly enjoyed the trip and the experience, as did the staff who accompanied them.”