The aim of this two-year project is to promote creativity and innovation at school. It will involve teachers and pupils from Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany (two schools) Italy, Spain and Austria. We wish to use curriculum-based subjects to allow pupils to develop their own ideas and thoughts with regard to European Youth Identity, which will be our key focus. How can they define themselves? How can they express this in art, music, drama, creative writing, cookery and sport? We will collaborate on joint work, exchanging ideas and techniques and spreading creative practices, taking creativity and innovation to a higher and more diverse level. Interaction between staff and pupils will stimulate pupils to explore their creative impulses. Pupils will evaluate their own work before submitting selected pieces towards joint collaborations contributed to by partner schools.We intend to share and exchange teaching strategies and pedagogical initiatives with European colleagues.
1st Meeting - Copenhagen, 22nd-26th October
The first official project meeting took place in Copenhagen from 22nd to 26th October 2012. On the agenda for this meeting were the following points, among others:
Choosing an official logo for the project
Presentation and discussion of ideas on how to cooperate and coordinate
Deciding on dates and locations for the remaining three meetings
During the course of this meeting it became clear that our intended methods of working together will require much closer cooperation and more effective communication than was the case in previous Comenius projects. It's going to be an interesting challenge!
2nd Meeting - Palazzolo Sull'oglio, 4th-8th February
The second project meeting took place in Palazzolo Sull'oglio in the Province of Brescia from 4th to 8th February 2013. Accompanying Mrs Schneidhofer and Mr King this time were two boys from 3e, Caleb Poms and Leon Fenninger, who, despite being by far the youngest pupils taking part, managed to integrate themselves extremely well. Their excellent English helped enormously of course, but we couldn't have been happier with their behaviour or manners either. They represented the school extremely well and we are very proud of them. While the pupils stayed with host families, all the teachers were accommodated in two hotels in Iseo, a lovely little village on the shores of Lake Iseo, about half-an-hour's drive from Palazzolo.
As far as working goes, the following points were on the agenda this time:
"Comenius Man" - swapping pieces so that every country would be able to display at least one whole person using pieces from every country. With twelve pieces per Comenius Man and several hundred pieces in total this proved to be quite an undertaking.
Presentation of the chord sequences for the "Comenius Song" project and further discussion of how this will be workable. Consensus was rather hard to achieve here and it will be interesting to see if this part of the project really works. Many thanks are due to Gabriel Mewald for writing a chord sequence which he then recorded on the guitar with the help of Mr King.
Learning the steps for the intended flash mob sequences. By the end of the project all the schools should be able to organise a flash mob using the steps choreographed by Didier and the French team.
Presentation of the "Comenius Dance" steps. Independently of the flash mob a Comenius dance is being developed via Facebook, whereby each country choreographs steps for a certain part of the song. This is still going to need quite a bit of work, as most of the pupils seemed to have forgotten their choroegraphies...
The first attempts at creative writing in multinational groups.
The real highlight of the meeting was skiing at the Colere ski resort, about 90 minutes drive north of Palazzolo. After an adventurous trip up the kind of skilift that hasn't been seen in Austria for quite a few years we arrived at our destination in the afternoon. Getting everyone kitted out with ski boots and skis proved to be a pretty complicated undertaking and by the time everyone had their stuff there was very little left in the storeroom. Just after dark it began to snow and the following day saw us skiing on completely empty slopes in bright sunshine, without a cloud in the sky. Due to the fact that the Italian holidays had not yet started and the resort is a bit out of the way, we really were the only people there. It was perfect. (Though a little bit of wax on my skis wouldn't have done any harm. I think they'd put glue on them by mistake.) There were lessons with Italian skiing instructors for the various ability levels. The Spanish pupils (and some of their teachers) had never seen snow before...
This proved to be a fantastic way for the pupils to get to know each other and forge friendships, which is, when all is said and done, the main aim of these Comenius projects - to give pupils the chance to get to know new people and cultures and to broaden their horizons.