A Newcastle school has won the Pearson Teaching Award for Outstanding School Team of the Year in the North of England.
The judges said it was "a privilege" to visit the Federation of Arthur's Hill Primary School, led by "outstanding head" June Foster OBE.
"Whilst the schools are based in an inner city area which faces its share of challenges, aspirations are high and the schools buzz with positive energy.
"The schools are endlessly creative, providing opportunities for new and exciting projects.
"These include the opportunity to learn Latin and a drama production which will enable some pupils to visit Singapore for the production! We were delighted to see that the schools are going from strength to strength."
– Judges' comments
Selected from more than 24,000 nominations received by the Pearson Teaching Awards in 2013, 62 celebrations are being held in schools around England, Northern Ireland and Wales on May 17 to present prestigious Regional Teaching Awards to outstanding local heroes of education.
The awards, which annually celebrate exceptional teachers and teaching, aim to recognise the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of their young pupils.
"We want to recognise and support inspirational teachers, for their commitment to teaching and learning and improving the life chances of the next generation. It's really important that we create opportunities to say thank you."
Rising numbers of pupils are being entered for a qualification viewed by some as a tougher alternative to GCSEs.
115,000 children from across the country - including pupils from 54 schools in the North East - have been entered for the international GCSE exams, which are known as IGCSEs.
That is twice as many as last year according to Cambridge International Examinations' latest statistics.
The exams are used in many private schools and have been for some years. After a 2010 decision by ministers to allow state schools to offer the qualifications, they are becoming more popular.
963 schools currently offer IGCSEs (UK)
368 schools offered IGCSEs last year (UK)
"Cambridge IGCSE has grown significantly in popularity over the past few years. Schools recognise that its linear structure offers rigour and effective preparation for the next stage of their students' education.
"For sure, they are also mindful of planned educational reforms such as the recently proposed changes to GCSEs and A-levels."
– CIE chief executive Michael O'Sullivan
IGCSE papers are usually taken at the end of a two-year course. Many GCSEs are modular, where students sit exams throughout the course.
Ministers and the exams regulator Ofqual are now making changes to bring final exams back to GCSEs.