Comenius

Comenius Cookery Book

 

Comenius visit to Belgium

Miss Pracy, Miss Jackson, Miss Jeffrey and Mrs Tindall represented the school on a visit to Belgium as part of our Comenius links.

We were based in a town called Mechelen, a town steeped in history, relatively close to the capital city Brussels. Here we met with staff from our link schools in France, Italy, Wales, Spain and our hosts from Belgium.

 

Our first night was a chance to get to know one another and put faces to names, for some it was an opportunity to greet friends from previous visits.

The next day we were taken to the school we are linked with. This is based in a town a few km away; - Willebroek, like Swindon, it relied heavily on one industry for many years, we had our railway heritage and they had a newspaper factory which has since closed down. It is a relatively small town compared to Swindon. A large canal system flows on the edge of the town, so there are links with our past here too.

                                                                      

The school itself is called HIMO - based in the middle of a housing estate and bordering the canal. Children start school as young as 2 / 2 ½   years old and leave in year 6 at 11 years old the same as us. We were entertained by the youngest children with a dance based on the Olympics and by the oldest children singing their National Anthem. We were then given an opportunity to visit a range of classes in the school - we were split into groups allowing us to get a good overview of the school and to ask lots of questions. We were particularly impressed by the confidence of the younger children, Key stage 1 staff observed special ‘write/dance’ lessons which they have been able to use in our classes here. All the children were pleased to see us and many were keen to try out their English, but also to teach us something about their country and traditions. We felt very guilty because everyone conversed in English from our partner schools, but languages are taught when children are quite young and they are heavily influenced by TV and films which give them their vocabulary. The visiting teaches could converse in several languages.

 

Part of our time there was spent on our Comenius project with formal meetings, exchanging of cards and presents from the schools and agreeing our next projects to link the schools.

The following day we joined the older children on a school trip to Technopolis, similar to Techniquest or @Bristol, but with a lot more large scale science exhibits. Much of the sections we visited linked to food and healthy diet which is the focus of the next stage of our joint project. In the afternoon we attended an interactive Science demonstration, conducted in Dutch throughout, we managed to understand a lot of it and were pleased that we could work out the questions and got our answers right.

 

Later that evening we were invited back to the school to a ‘Flemish evening’, all the staff had made dishes of typical Flemish food - we even tried eel! We enjoyed our supper and the entertainment that followed.

Saturday was a day where we toured the town of Mechelen, visiting the De Wit tapestry makers, enjoying  traditional frittes with mayonnaise for lunch and then a climb to the top of the cathedral tower. Not for the faint- hearted. During the climb we stopped at various stages to be treated to some bell-ringing and the ‘carillon’ - an instrument which has its roots in Flanders and a world-renowned school for musicians in Mechelen itself. This was a unique experience for us and we were able to play the instrument ourselves. Once at the top of the tower we were rewarded with views of the town, on a clear day it would be possible to see the Atomium sculpture in Brussels, but it was a little hazy that day for us.

 

As we had some time to wait for the flight home, we travelled with our Welsh friends to Brussels itself to see the ‘Manneken Pis’ monument and the main market square and then made our way to the station and the airport.

We came back with lots of ideas to share with staff and our classes as well as letters and gifts from the other countries. We look forward to being the host country in March when everyone will come to visit our school. We are looking forward to it very much and feel proud to share our Shaw Ridge values with them.

 

 

Click on the link to take you to our Olympic Opening and Closing ceremonies.

Our Comenius Projects is called Living within and developing an Olymipc Community.

Teachers from each partner school will meet 6 times during our two year project to share the work each school will have done, learn about Education in different countries and discuss how our project is developing and how we can take it forward.

Each child in Shaw Ridge Primary School will contribute to our Comenius project in a variety of ways.  Through:

* Writing and sending Christmas cards/ Easter card/ Happy Holidays card.

* Sending letters.

* The sharing of photographs.

* Holding and 'Olympics' sports day.

* Having an International picnic.

* Taking part in mini group projects.

Our partner schools are in:

(Click on the name to go the our partner school in that country)

Belgium

Spain

Italy

Wales

France

As part of our Comenius work, all of the Year 1 children in the partnership schools completed a unit of work on Giacommeti.  Alberto Giacommetti was a swiss sculptor who was famous for making sculptures of thin animals and people. 

                         

 

                           

 

Our sculptures were based on a person competing in an Olympic sport.

Once we had finished we took our sculptures into our garden area and had an art exhibition.