Last week we celebrated our Comenius Project with a joint day across all partner schools. This British Council funded project has been a fantastic experience for us at Hawes Side and we are gaining an awful lot from our work with schools in Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Italy.
Last Friday, 30th April was agreed by all partner schools as a day of celebration. We all began the day with a celebratory assembly (we played a photostory for the children showing previous visits and asked them questions about differences and similarities) we waved flags from different countries and told the children all about the project and what we’ve learnt.
10.00am gmt was agreed as the moment we would all release balloons at our schools – a collective shared moment greeted with much excitement by the children (particularly the ones that escaped the net in the hall before we got outside – I like to think this helped the build up!) Following a countdown (rehearsed several times to ensure we were spot on 10.00am) we launched the balloons, with designer address tags attached courtesy of the children, to a fantastic ovation from over 550 of us on the playground. I didn’t realise how exciting this would be for the children but they really enjoyed the moment and asked lots of questions after. By lunchtime our first emailed responses were coming in as balloons drifted their way across Lancashire and on into Yorkshire – sadly none have yet reached any of our partner schools! We filmed the whole event and will be sharing stories and findings at our next meeting in Finland next week.
The rest of the day was devoted to creating work in classes to share with children in our partner schools. Again, activities were filmed and the results will be put into our European Treasure Box to share with our partners. The day was a big success and heightened everyone’s awareness of the project. I think it gave us all an idea of how we might further benefit from such work. It allows us to be creative, imaginative and resourceful. The children’s work has a sense of purpose, a real audience and allows them to get genuine feedback from peers around the EU. The work we receive from our partners also gives the children a real sense of differences and similarities not only in partner schools but in the children’s lives. The Comenius project has benefitted the school in so many ways and continues to do so. Long may our partnerships continue!