A school that numbers Zadie Smith, Doc Brown, Rachel Yankey, and Sadie Frost among past pupils raised thousands of pounds to celebrate its history of giving sanctuary to vulnerable children.

Hampstead School made nearly £3,000 during its annual International Arts Festival - an annual recognition of its ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity - on the 35th anniversary of a project to help refugee children.

All profits go towards uniform, equipment and other resources for the school's vulnerable students.

Muna Alshammary, a Year 9 student from Kuwait, said: "My life was not safe when I was younger because of the war, but I had my family.

"When I came to the UK, everything started to get better."

Staff members oversee a food stall at the festivalStaff members oversee a food stall at the festival (Image: Hampstead School)

The 14-year-old added: "When I first started at Hampstead School I was scared, because I didn’t understand the language and I didn’t have any friends.

"Now I am proud that this is my school, my teachers have always helped me with my English and I have many kind friends who understand me, some who had to leave their homes too - I feel grateful that I am here."

In 1989, the school began a project called Children of the Storm, providing social welfare support for refugee children, attracting celebrity support and media attention.

That ethos has underpinned the school throughout the 35 years since.

Half of the students in the Camden state school are bilingual, speaking about 60 different languages, with more than 120 of them refugees.

This is celebrated at the annual festival, where students are encouraged to be proud of their heritage.

Joanna De Regibus, head of bilingual support at Hampstead School, said: "The beauty of our school lies in the diversity of its students and staff.

Students pose at the festival in national dressStudents pose at the festival in national dress (Image: Hampstead School)

"Cultural differences do not separate us from each other; cultural diversity brings collective strength we all benefit from.

"Our students are encouraged to celebrate the culture of the country they come from; they are not expected to cast off that language when they cross the threshold of Hampstead School."

The event included country stalls, international food, handmade crafts, henna decorations and cultural performances.

Camden’s deputy mayor, Cllr Eddie Hanson, also attended the event.

Born in Sierra Leone, he survived various conflicts before making London his home.