Project meeting from 6th to 10th November at Erpeldange/Luxembourg
Nine teachers from schools in Germany, Spain, Romania and Scotland met for a project conference in Luxembourg. The aims of the second year of the project were discussed and the experiences of the last year were exchanged. The teachers agreed on common themes to be integrated in the classroom. Possibilities of teaching in the different countries using modern media were investigated. Meetings in the virtual classroom took place. A workshop demonstrating video conferencing was organized by the Luxembourgian school with the support of ICT specialists from a regional company. During the week the Comenius team contacted their home schools via internet and webcam.
The aim was to link two or more schools using English as the common language but German and French can also be used depending on the student’s language abilities. Teachers will communicate in a variety of languages during the project.
The duration of this Comenius project will last three years. The European Union (EU) supports the exchange of teachers and pupils to visit partner schools. Five girls from Germany and two girls from Scotland joined this project meeting. At the beginning of this school year there was a student exchange between the Luxembourgian and German schools in Weiskirchen.
A main part of the work in Erpeldange was to adapt the international project work to the curricula of the different countries. Yves, the project manager of the Ecole Primaire in Erpeldange, said: “The challenge is to work out common themes for all participants and to enhance the present curriculum of each school. Last year we were very successful. In recognition for our common project work we received the eTwinning quality certificate.”
The teachers of the different countries show great enthusiasm about the project work, students are inquisitive and eager to work together with their partners. The principle theme was decided at the last meeting in Barlad/Romania in June. Results will be presented at the next meeting, in Scotland in May. Each school will develop their projects on “Regional Specialities” for example famous people, landscape, local cuisine and so on. Pupils will work to develop their own projects. ICT will be used to present the works completed across all partner schools.
The coordinating school of the project is the German school. As well as the Comenius project an official school partnership exists between the German and Luxembourgian school. This partnership has been established since 1998 and in recognition of its success official certificates were exchanged signed by the mayor of Erpeldange and the commissioner of county Merzig-Wadern.
Further project schools are Scoala „George Tutoveanu“ Nr. 11 in Barlad, Romania, I.E.S. „Valle del Tiétar“ in Arenas de San Pedro,Spain and Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans, Scotland. Karin Pundel, head of the Luxembourgian Comsnius National Agency, visited the Ecole Primaire Erpeldange during the project meeting. She has been an important member of the project in providing support and resources.
The cultural exchange is also a very important part of the project meetings. Despite the busy program a sight seeing tour of Luxembourg city cannot be missed. The agenda included a visit to the Hydro-Electric Pumping Installation and the castle of Vianden. Mayor François Dahm held a reception in honour of the importance of the Comenius project for the community of Erpeldange.
During the meeting we agreed to work on the following topics. Results should be presented at the next meeting from 21st to 25th May in Scotland.
o Projects on weather and exchange of weather data
o Birds of our region
o Chat and/or discussion in the forum of the virtual classroom on special topics proposed by the students (One topic a month)
o Starting in December with “What do you usually do at the weekend?”