11th – 16th NOVEMBER 2018
SANTARÉM / PORTUGAL
KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
The first transnational meeting of the Erasmus + KA2 project “Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices” was held between 11th – 16th November, 2018, at “Escola Secundária Sá da Bandeira” in Santarém / Portugal.
The meeting was attended by delegations of all the participating schools from Hungary, Italy (Sicilia and Calabria), and Romania and Portugal.
The co-ordinator school Ady Endre Secondary School from Debrecen was represented by four members of the project team: Szilvia Drake, János Jánosi, Zsuzsa Peternainé Juhász and Rita Rácz.
The Liceul Teoretic “Orban Balázs” from Cristuru-Secuiesc, Romania, was represented by four members of the project team: Melinda Hatos, Tereza-Maria Bán, Edith Nagy and Enikő Nemes.
The ITET “E. Fermi” from Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, Sicily-Italy was represented by three members of the project team: Giuseppa Scarpaci, Antonietta Amoroso and Reeupero Filippo Neri.
The Liceo Scientifico Statale “Michele Guerrisi” from Cittanova, Calabria-Italy was represented by two members of the project team: Arianna Sturniolo and Angela Maria Colella.
The host organisation of the first Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices meeting was Escola Secundária Sá da Bandeira” in Santarém / Portugal. Warm welcome was given to every group who arrived in Santarém on 11th November at different times. In the evening we met all the other partners for dinner at the restaurant “O Capote”, where a pleasant and friendly atmosphere was immediately established and the desire to be plunged in the theme of the project made us discuss about the legend of St Martin, who was celebrated on that day.
On Monday, 12th November 2018, at 10:00 a.m., there was a Welcoming Ceremony at the Town Hall. It was opened by Inês Barroso, the Town Councillor for Education and Adélia Esteves, the school headmaster, who welcomed the vising parties and presented brief information about the city and the history Sá da Bandeira High School. We received a warm welcome inside the Magnificent Town Hall, the Mayor underlined the will to continue the friendly relationship and collaboration between the partner countries, at the same time we were given some information material relating to the places of interest in the city.
After that the teachers and students from the host school took the delegations on a cultural city tour in Santarém, where the students presented the most significant monuments and places related to the Portuguese “Legend of Saint Iria”.
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.
Everybody was instructed by the Hungarian coordinator partners to use the common website and the Google tools available on the common platform in order to gather and share information as well as project outcomes throughout our work. Other forms of dissemination have also been established (eTwinning, Facebook page, etc.) Additional topics for discussion included selection criteria for the participating students, choosing a common logo and documents required by the national agencies towards submitting reports on the project.
In the end, the teachers compared practices, shared ideas and exchanged methods. The literature and culture workshop and seminar ended with the presence of local musicians who performed traditional folk dances from Santarém.
There was a field trip to Lisbon. Inserted in the theme of this project “European legends / National Literary Heroes”, the objective of this field trip was to get acquainted with some facts of Portugal’s History directly related to national conquerors and literary heroes. By the shores of the Tagus River, important monuments like Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, which were erected as a tribute to the Portuguese maritime discoveries, were visited. All these heroic sea voyages were recounted and romanticized by one of the most famous Portuguese writers of all times: Luís Vaz de Camões.
In the centre of Lisbon, the visitors had the possibility to retrace the same paths as Fernando Pessoa, the most universal Portuguese poet. One could say that his life was dedicated to creation. One of his masterpieces is a collection of poems about the great Portuguese historical characters.
Wednesday arrived. Another study trip, this time to Sintra, one of the most beautiful, enigmatic and mythical villages with a romantic atmosphere just outside Lisbon. We visited Pena Palace and the beautiful gardens of Quinta da Regaleira, places revisited by Eça de Queiroz, another one of the most important Portuguese writers of the XIX century,whose masterpiece novel “Os Maias” is set in Sintra. Here the partners could experience the strong romantic atmosphere of old times and the heavy weight of historical facts that still linger in the narrow streets and alleys of this lovely village.
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.