A party of 34 pupils and staff from Queen Katherine School at Kendal returned from an eight-day educational visit to Russia in 1990.

Their first four days were spent in Moscow, where visits included the Kremlin, Lenin’s tomb, the Moscow State Circus and Gorky Park.

Their next stop was Leningrad, where they saw the Summer Palace of the Tsars, the Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum and Art Gallery, among other attractions.

Queen Katherine School had a successful academic year and had become more closely involved with the community, said the school’s head teacher, Bill Duxbury in 1991.

He praised the efforts of staff and pupils when he made his first report since being appointed, at the annual prize-giving.

At Advanced level, 87 per cent of students achieved grades A to E, against a national average of under 78 per cent. At GCSE level, 54.7 per cent of pupils gained A to C grades, with the national average standing at 49 per cent.

Mr Duxbury said links between education and industry had been strengthened, and strong parental support had underpinned the successes of the school.

He emphasized the charitable fund-raising done by the school.

That year the school had supported the Romanian Appeal and the CT Scanner, as well as among others, Age Concern, Comic Relief, Savt The Children, the Kurdish people in Iraq, and a school in Malawi.

On the music front, nine trophies were won at the Mary Wakefield Festival.

But Mr Duxbury added that not all departments of the school were in the public eye.

“The real work goes on day-in, day-out, often unsung, and yet that is where the real work is done.

"That is what school is about children in challenging, learning situations, benefitting from well-planned lessons, and learning skills and values as well as facts.

“That is the professional skill of our teachers, and it is too often unrecognised in our society,” he said.