MINUTE OF THE 2nd TRANSNATIONAL MEETING
23th – 28th APRIL 2019
DEBRECEN / HUNGARY
KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
The second transnational meeting of the Erasmus + KA2 project “Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices” was hosted by Ady Endre Secondary School.
4 principals and 17 teachers represented the 5 participating schools in this second mobility. This was the first meeting where students also actively participated in the programs and workshops following the goals and guidelines which were stipulated on the occasion of the first mobility held in Santarem, Portugal last fall. Altogether 24 students arrived in Debrecen: 6 from Portugal, 7 from Transylvania, 5 from Sicily and 6 from Calabria.
On the occasion of this meeting in the capacity of being the main coordinator we did our professional best to meet all the requirements of the project and facilitate „cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices” at a high level.In the course of the programs and workshops organised for the teachers and students we managed to learn from each other, exchange ideas and further develop international cooperation.
After the arrival of the participating groups on the 23 April students of Ady Secondary School organised a program for the guests.Students were put up by host families, since it is of utmost importance that in international exchange programs students should get to know the everyday life of the host country, familiarise with its culture, customs, traditions, thus become more tolerant and responsive. We have already received a positive feedback in this regard, since friendships were made, sometimes even special bonds were formed with the host families.
On 23 April the teachers participating in the mobility also met in a welcome dinner, which was a relaxed meeting where we could also discuss the weekly program ahead
We organised three excursions for our guests:to Budapest, Hortobágy, Eger and Felsőtárkány. We aimed at getting them acquainted with the respective legends of Hungarian poets, authors, saints, as well as showing them the beautiful Hungarian landscape and our rich cultural heritage.
Our students introduced the sights to the guests in English in the course of each of the excursions including the one in the capital city.The programs of the week and the excursions were organised by Dr Edit Bagossi, János Jánosi, Rita Rácz and Zsuzsa Peternainé Juhász.
On 24th April all the guests and a group of teachers and students from our school travelled to Budapest.We visited some of the outstanding legendary sights of the capital city including the well of „gaffer Elek” in Döbrentei Square. Here we tried to invoke the intellectual heritage of Sándor Kányádi and Elek Benedek, who were the creators of the well.Later we walked halfway up to Gellért Hill showing our guests the breathtaking panoramic view of the city. We walked along Váci Street and the Danube bank passing by the Parliament and Saint Steven Basilica, which some of our guests visited. We stopped at the Monument to the Victims of the Holocaust and the statue of Attila József. In the afternoon we visited Heroes’ Square, Vajdahunyad Castle, Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion. Finally, in the evening as the highlight of our sightseeing we took them to the citadel to show Budapest at night. The beautiful lights of the Hungarian capital city captivated our guests.
On 25th April the principal of our school, László Türk greeted the guests in the building of Ady Endre Secondary School.Later we showed the school library to them.In the meantime in the „podium” some of the members of our debate club, which had excellent results in various Hungarian and English debate competitions, had a workshop led by Péter Belinszky with the students.The festive opening of the second mobility started with the principal, László Türk’s speech,which was interpreted by Szilvia Drake in English. After that the musical adaptation of an Ady poem entitled I am your Silence was presented by Dominik Gyarmati from class 11. C, Olívia Ivett Katona from class 10. C, Lilla Hodik and Lilla Pajkos from class 11. B. After the „Ice-breaker” game conducted by Rita Rácz we gave our presents to the guests.Later on Viktória Pesti presented the results of the online tasksheets dealing with the Hungarian and Portuguese legends.She gave some useful tips to the students how to improve the results of their future online text comprehension task sheets.We also announced the winners of the online text comprehension competition from both legends.A student from Ady Secondary School and another student from Székelykereszttúr got a reward for achieving the highest score.
The first workshop was conducted by Dr. Edit Bagossi, Zsuzsa Peternainé Juhász , Rita Rácz and Szilvia Drake.The target languages were Italian and English.
The students formed three groups on the basis of their verbal skills.Those belonging to the WORD group could express themselves on the level of words, those who dared to conduct longer communication and could express themselves in SENTENCES belonged to the second group. Finally ,those capable of creating even longer TEXTS comprised the third group.
Students of the first group collected keywords to the Portuguese legend of Santa Iria and the Hungarian legend of the Golden Hind. Those belonging to the third group had to write a letter on behalf of the statue of Santa Iria to a stranger visiting the River Tagus and later from the point of view of the Golden Hind about the origin of Hungarians.
The students and teachers showed the facilities of the host school to the parties, who had the opportunity to observe part of some classes both in regular classrooms and in laboratories. We also visited the impressive building of the school in which an interesting museum of zoology and geology can be found.
In the afternoon a workshop focusing on the exchange of good practices took place in the school library. Introducing 5 partners – 5 schools, each delegation presented its respective country, city and school using ppt presentations and videos. Related to the theme of our project “European Legends / National Literary Heroes”, the students presented the Portuguese legend using ppt images.
The activities of the week centred around the two major objectives of our meeting: exploring the Portuguese legend and discussing the practical aspects of our project work. In connection with the legend of Santa Iria we visited the major historical and religious sites in Santarem and Tomar, while listening to the oral presentations prepared by the students and teachers of the host school. We had a meeting with Humberto Duarte, who lectured about the subject “a writer and a teacher… a teacher and a writer…”. He is both a teacher at the host school and an author of Um anjo pela metade and O ourico malicioso e outras historias de amor, ciume e resignacao. He has rewritten the legend of Santa Iria. He offered us an insight into the creative process dwelling upon the importance of balance between historical facts and fictitious elements added to the story. Another workshop was dedicated to sharing good practices, methods and techniques in dealing with the target legends. On behalf of the Hungarian coordinating school Zsuzsa Juhász presented the international Read more competition to illustrate ways of motivating and engaging students in reading literary texts, while the Sicilian partners described their approach to text interpretation with the help of a contemporary Italian writer. Each partner was made responsible for a particular aspect of recreating the legends in different forms of artistic expression; for example the Transylvanian team will focus on visual arts and handicrafts.
Discussing the issues pertaining to organisation and project implementation was an equally important goal. We managed to clarify some of the practical aspects of working on the legends: each legend will be processed prior to and during the project week hosted by the respective partner school. Thus, before our next meeting in Hungary – scheduled for April 2019 – each partner will get familiarized with the legend of the “Miraculous hind” and will come up with their own interpretation of the legend. During the project week mixed groups of international students will recreate the legend together. We have also agreed on the tasks of each school hosting the project week and put forward a few guidelines for each partner to follow. In order to maximize the potential for intercultural dialogue, we have decided that the students taking part in the exchange will be staying with host families.
After lunch the festive opening of the second mobility started in the main hall of the Déri Museum.Vice Mayor of Debrecen, Szabolcs Komolay greeted the audience.His speech was followed by those of Dr Andrásné Vántus, Deputy Head of The Educational Board of Debrecen and László Türk, Principal of the host school of the event. Szilvia Drake interpreted the speeches, Márton Karácsony served as the moderator of this part of the program.
After that students of Ady Endre Secondary School entertained the guests with their performance including a Portuguese song, an Italian poem and ballet as well as folk dances from Vajdaszentivány (Transylvania) and Nádudvar. Blanka Sándor from class 11. C introduced our school with a PPT and she talked about the group of creative students presenting their works (illustrations, drawings). Dominik Gyarmati, who was in charge of the creative rewriting group, related their achievements. He summarised the plot of the new Hungarian and Portuguese legend giving details about the concept of the short story entitled Awakening. That is the new version of The Legend of the Miraculous Hind created by the students following the instructions of János Áfra, contemporary Hungarian writer.
Then students of the partner schools introduced their own respective countries, schools as well as their rewritten legends in form of short films, presentations, illustrations,, drawings, poems.
In the rest of the afternoon the guests could see the Munkácsy Trilogy accompanied by a play of lights.They also participated in another workshop. In the research room two creative groups of students in Déri Square four more groups worked on creating a blog, a short film, an interview about the importance of the mutual understanding, knowing our legends and those of other nations. The students uploaded their products in the formerly created online group.
The DTV broadcast the opening ceremony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZzXl_uTdK4&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR2wE6D-2b-9WMQ5WeMMC4RhvmaMb29dH_WVJQFI2PG5Z3J-Bwcpkg3H5YY
In the evening most of the teachers participating in the project and the principal as well as the vice principals of our school had dinner together.The two contemporary writers, Humberto Duarte and János Áfra could meet in person on this occasion. They play an important role in instructing students how to rewrite their respective legends.
Meanwhile in the Great Forest the students participated in a program where they could get to know each other in a playful way.
On 26th April students had another workshop in the „podium” hall under the leadership of Dr Edit Bagossy.They played games boosting team spirit and finalised the creative working process. Meanwhile Arianna Sturniolo, a teacher from Calabria, had an eTwinning upgrading course for the teachers. The use of eTwinning is of utmost importance in our project for both teachers and students.
According to the original plan Józsefné Egri, eTwinning embassador was to lead this workshop, however, for technical reasons she could not arrive in time, so the Hungarian teachers’ team is going to meet her later.
Later on we took our guests on a sightseeing in downtown Debrecen.We showed them some of the iconic monuments and buildings of the „Calvinist Rome” including the Great Church and the Reformed College.They could climb up to the the tower of the Great Church. In the meantime we talked about the history of Debrecen, its coat-of-arms, some of the legendary sights of our city including the Csokonai Theater as well as distinguished authors like Magda Szabó.
After this program we set out for our trip to Hortobágy to get acquainted our guests with the atmosphere and the sights of the Hungarian”puszta” as well as make them try some traditional dishes typical of the region such as „slambuc”. They went on a cart ride to see the flora and fauna of Hortobágy, could ride a horse, watch the show of the wranglers called „csikós”.In the evening they could learn some of the traditional folk dances.We had dinner in the tavern of Hortobág, then the highlight of the evening was a performance on a shaman drum accompanied by singing. The cultural program was designed in a way so that our Portuguese, Transylvanian and Italian guests could have a better understanding of our story of origin and the legend of the Miraculous Hind.
The last trip of the second mobility took place on 27th April in Eger and Felsőtárkány. By this time some really strong friendships had been formed among students.In Eger we visited Dobó Square and the Basilica. Our guests had some free time to enjoy the atmosphere of this beautiful historic town. Some of them visited the wonderful baroque church in the main square, others climbed up to the minaret. After that we travelled to Felsőtárkány to take a walk in the Bükk mountains and meet our legendary friends, the deer, the earthly representations of the legendary miraculous hind. It was a unique experience for teachers and students alike to feed the deer and mouflons with apples and carrots.
Meeting the deer as a totem animal and a symbolic representation of our legend inspired the students to prepare even more lifelike illustrations of the rewritten legend called Awakening in the oncoming e-book, the final intellectual-artistic product of our project. In the evening both teachers and students had their respective farewell dinner where they received their certificates and attendance register.
e Calabrian, Transylvanian and Portuguese group left on Sunday morning, the Sicilian group on Monday morning. Our students organised some optional programs for them on Sunday.
All of our guests arrived home safe and sound full of good experience.
On the basis of the feedbacks we have received so far the Hungarian meeting had a profound impact on our guests.Their acknowledgement proved that it was worth putting all our efforts into the organisation of this program.The teachers became real friends successfully cooperating with each other, the students could also strengthen their friendship with each other and their host families.
The words of our Portuguese colleague, Pedro Vargas speaks volumes:
„ This is more than friendship.We have become a family.”
In the course of the second mobility in Debrecen we clarified the time of the next meeting to be held in Cittanova beginning with 23rd October 1919.
We also agreed that we share all the news, articles puplished in the press in our online group as well as on the respective webpages of the partner schools .
We are going to write a report as hosts of the second mobility.and publish it on our common webpage www.eulegends.eu .We need the respective report sent by each partner school to be able to upload our summary on the Mobility Tool.We are going to submit the annual report to the Tempus National Agency by 30th July2019.
We are planning to compile a satisfaction survey for all the participants. All the students of Ady Secondary School participating in the program are going to write a report about their opinion regarding the weekly program of the mobility. They have to elaborate their contribution to the preparatory phase as well as the implementation of the program.
Before leaving for yet another field trip, the exchange partners met, once again, at the school library in order to learn, from the Hungarian group, how to make Google Form online tasks sheets and also how to select the students for the next project meeting. The teachers also presented the logos of their countries’ legends, expressed their opinions and exchanged ideas in order to create a Common Logo. The logo is a result of our joint cooperation and planning based on the drafts we received from each of the partners (created by students).
Off to the city of Tomar, we visited the Convent of the Order of Christ,which inherited the Templars’ knowledge in terms of construction and maritime navigation. Tomar is directly related to the Legend of Santa Iria as being the place where the nun was killed and thrown into the river.
Afterwards, the hosts took the guests to one of the most sacred temples and places in the world: “Fátima”, where the Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three shepherd children in 1907. There was a religious service going on, which the guests could attend. On the way back to Santarém, the last stop was in Óbidos, a cosy, lovely little medieval village.
The group of teachers had the chance to witness a wonderful sunset.
Closing remarks were addressed by the organisers and participation Certificates were handed out as well as some farewell souvenirs.
We reached the following agreements on the first mobility in Santarém.:
- On the occasion of the oncoming two mobilities, where students will also participate, the host schools are to organise at least two creative workshops. The international mixed student groups are going to rewrite and process the local legends. Contemporary writers and teachers are going to assist them in the creative process. On the first such meeting in Debrecen the Portuguese and Hungarian legends are going to be rewritten.
- Students are going to be put up by host families on each mobility.
- The host school is responsible for arranging a meeting with a local contemporary writer. ( Humberto Duarte, Portuguese writer is going to participate in the oncoming mobility in Debrecen).
- The host school is to organise at least one meeting for the participating teachers.They can exchange ideas, good practices, discuss practical and methodological questions, deadlines.
- The host school is to organise at least one cultural trip related to the local legend for the visiting partner schools.Thus the visiting partners can get acquainted with some sights in connection with the legend.
- Teachers of the host school are to keep the minutes of the meetings, evaluate the various activities of the mobility, keep an attendance register and submit the various documents to the partners.
- The host school is to finance either the welcome or farewell dinner of the guest teachers.
- At the end of each mobility there are evaluation sheets assessing to what extent the partner schools were satisfied with the mobility.First the co-ordinator of the Portuguese partner school then the local co-ordinators have to compile and assess the said evaluation sheets.
We came to the agreement that on the occasion of each mobility the given host school has to do the following tasks:
- prior to the mobility sending a letter of invitation to each of the partner institutions as well as distributing the documents confirming the participation after the mobility,
- giving help with the reservation of the accommodation, car or bus rental, arrival at the host city,
- organising the local programs, informing the partners about the programs as well as the possible expenses (entrance fees, travelling fares, etc),
- organising common meals,
- providing place and necessary tools/ equipment at the host school (classrooms, lecture room, laptops, projectors)for the workshops,
- 1-2 teachers should always accompany the guests on the excursions.The whole team of the host school should participate in the professional work,
- introducing the school, possibly showing some of the lessons,
- dissemination– announcement of the project in the local media, in the press and online, on upgrading courses, staff meetings,
- choosing the student group,
- the students need to get familiarised with the legend(s) and the sources ,then the teachers should arrange for a meeting between the students and a contemporary author
- students are to create a new text or other product( prose, poem, piece of music),
- creative students are also needed along with teachers of art helping the students to make illustrations.
Activities done in the first 3 months of the project
In September, as soon as we learned of the approval of the “European legends National Heroes” project, the Italian team, with so much enthusiasm and industriousness set to work to provide the best possible product to the European partners, both from the organizational-logistic point of view, both as regards the involvement of students. In fact, the Principal of the school, Dr Angela Maria Colella and the Contact person Prof. Arianna Sturniolo started working immediately by issuing a competition announcement highlighting the selection criteria for the students, which took into account some important criteria such as: linguistic skills also proven by Cambridge or Trinity certification; the ICT skills, the average marks in all subjects and in this regard the focus was in particular on the class 3C that obtained during the last school year a high average in some disciplines and whose students do not live in good socio-economic conditions; the vote of behaviour obtained in the evaluation of the past school year. At the same time the competition for the project logo was issued; on this occasion I noticed the enthusiastic and positive involvement of the Principal, who gave the students some suggestions. Before leaving for the first mobility, a logo was selected among others to be brought to Portugal and submitted to the attention of the team.
The organizational preparations of the first mobility were preceded by countless e-mails and messages on the app whatsapp and Messanger, to solve all those issues that gradually appeared. On these occasions the role of the Coordinator of the project, Prof. Zsuzsa Juhasz was fundamental: she always did her best to find the right solution among the partners. Thanks to her organization, the team chose the period of the first meeting (11th – 16th November) early so that, as a result of this it was possible to buy the tickets for the flight to Portugal with adequate advance saving on management costs.
This mobility has given the opportunity to meet special people, with whom I have established a very good relationship as if the limits of distance and culture have never existed. The excellent and human relationship that has been established among all has allowed the partners to work serenely and to appreciate the flawless organization of the Portuguese team (cultural meetings related to the theme of legends, moments of relax, dinners, walks, etc..). The time pleasantly spent in harmony together, has left an indelible memory that encourages us to do better, enriching each of us of culture, experiences and wisdom of living.
The most important activities of the past 3 months as a coordinator
1. As soon as we had been informed about the success of our application, we immediately started the organisational and administrative work. The main co-ordinator and her deputy got in touch with the school authority, the Tempus National Agency and the Educational Board of Debrecen.The first personal meeting took place with the rapporteurs of the tender. The representatives of the co-ordinator school were informed about the most important aspects of the subsidy contract.
2. At the end of August the whole project team held a meeting in the school library, and the participants of the first mobility were selected. The main co-ordinator informed the teaching staff about the project on the first staff meeting of the school year.She showed a PPT to the teaching body in the so called podium meeting hall of the school.
3. The main and deputy co-ordinators participated in the meeting of the local project co-ordinators ,where they were informed about the most important preliminary tasks to do.In October they also participated in the orientation day of Tempus Public Foundation, where they met the other successful applicants as well as the representatives of the national agency.Beginning with September the project-team met every week to prepare for the travelling to Portugal.
4. We started regular communications with regards to the trip to Portugal with the partners via e-mail, Messenger, Facebook or on the phone.
5. The main co-ordinator assigned the various tasks to the team members: reserving flight tickets and accommodation, calculating the financies, translating various documents.
6. The first poster promoting the Erasmus project and stipulating the conditions of students’participation was made.The teachers worked out the aspects of the selection of students and they announced a logo-making competition. All this information was made public all over the school, on the web-page of the school and it was sent to the partners. The teachers evaluated the motivation letters and creative work submitted by the students. The best logo was chosen and later taken to Portugal, to the first mobility.
7. Still in September the principal of our school informed the selected parents’ committee about the possible benefits of the Erasmus project.The respective form-teachers did the same on the oncoming parents-teachers meetings.
8. On October 13 on the 2nd Conference of Read More organised in Kovaszna, Roumania, a larger dissemination of the Erasmus project took place.Both the local and the Hungarian press published articles about the event.In the November 5 issue of The Hajdú-Bihar Napló an article sums up the major goals of the project.
9. On October 18 on the Duna Television channel in a live program ( Családbarát magazin) there was an interview with the main co-ordinator.She mentioned that in the course of the project Hungarian, Portuguese, Italian students are going to read, interpret,rewrite and illustrate their respective legends while using various techniques and forms of art.
10. Prior to the trip to Portugal our project team made various presentations and a short video to the partners about our school, the good practice ( Read More) that serves as the basis of the project, the process of making online tasks, the use of Google Forms and Google Drive, the aspects of selecting students.
11. As the main co-ordinator school we provided help to the Portuguese host school with the program and documents necessary for the first mobility, since this is their first Erasmus+ project.
The week ended on a positive note, the participants feeling that they had experienced an eventful week in a useful and enjoyable way. Most important of all, interpersonal relationships were built and communication skills enhanced.
At the beginning of the school year,the Erasmus group has chosen the first and second classes of the Tourism address as recipients and users of the mobility related to it. After having explained the project, its aims and its organization in the faculty committee of the month of September, students’parents were also informed through a meeting and explained to them the aims of the project. All the teachers were asked to work with students and soon a team of Italian, English, computer science , law teachers and students have started working on the Portuguese legend, with reading, comprehension and analysis of the text, with the preparation of tasks sheets thus helping the process of the adaptation of the legend.
Also, in preparation for the transnational meeting in Portugal, as planned, our school has announced a competition among the students of the chosen classes for the creation of a logo to be presented at the aforementioned meeting. In the meantime ,contacts have been made with a contemporary author who is helping now the students to rewrite the legends. Cycles of meetings have been planned where the students are guided by our storyteller Matteo Abbate and ,through source research ,students explore the verbal and written version of the legends.Since October students have been working on the emotional impact the legend provokes in them . Students have been asked to share the world of colours, flavors, smells, memories, images, feelings aroused in them by the fairy tale environment. As Colapesce is a fairy tale with a seafaring setting, they are analyzing the impact that the sea environment has on every student, the emotions it arouses, the images it evokes, the reactions it provokes, the dreams and the desires it gives birth to. The story of our 1st meeting, a gathering that makes me wait unpatiently for the next one.
Given the importance of this meeting in implementing the project, preparations involved planning, making arrangements and drawing up materials to be presented and shared with the partners. The task sheet provided by the project coordinators listed all the main assignments to be carried out by each partner prior to the meeting. Thus we had prepared a short video to present our school; we had studied the legend of Santa Iria and had devised a sample worksheet to illustrate different approaches to text comprehension and interpretation, and had organised a contest for the project logo, so we could submit our entry for the logo contest in Santarem.
Besides focusing on the main objectives of the transnational meeting, our visit also had an inestimable cultural dimension. Our Portuguese hosts made every effort to share with us the best of their vast historical and cultural heritage. We visited famous sights in Lisbon and Sintra, watched their beautiful folk dances performed in authentic national costumes (even tried to learn some of them), tasted some of their traditional food, and most importantly, experienced the warmth and dedication of Portuguese people.
All in all, our week in Portugal was an excellent kick off to our project: it has opened new opportunities to connect and grow both on a professional and on a personal level.