COMENIUS PROJECT – IES VALLE DEL AZAHAR “COME´N IMPERSONATE US”
SCHOOL YEARS 2010-2011 AND 2011-2012
I.E.S. Valle del Azahar will participate in the Comenius Project this and the following school year. It is financed by the European Union under the School Partnership Action. This is a multilateral partnership action in which students and teachers from Turkey, Belgium, Lithuania and Spain will be able to learn about different languages and cultures through theatre.
The teacher Isin Pelhivan of the school “Yasar Saniye Gemici Lisesi” in Turkey, is acting as general coordinator of the project. A group of teachers from our school has worked in collaboration with Pelhivan, whom one of our co-workers met on another Comenius project, on activities that have been presented in the last two Comenius Programme notifications. As you all know, the first project was not admitted, reason for which we decided to continue working on it. In the last notification that was sent out, our co-worker Celine Camerlynck got into contact with the high school in which she studied in Belgium. She also got into contact with an old classmate, who is now a teacher there, and decided to join our project. We have also gotten the collaboration of a school in Lithuania, whose coordinator we also met through a previous educational endeavour. With everyone working together in close collaboration, we have come up with this project that will be based on the presentation of traditional plays of each country, which has finally been approved and backed by the Spanish National Agency of European Education Programmes.
The participating students will act out the plays that come from the literature of each country that they are visiting, doing so in the official language of that country.
During the preparation of the play, the students will utilize English as the common means of communication, given the diverse nature of the languages involved in the project.
Through this activity, we hope to motivate our students in the acquisition of foreign languages and help let go of possible prejudices that could exist with respect to lesser-known cultures different to their own.
Our students will get to know others of their own age, share ideas and experiences, and live together through the activities. This way, the activity goes beyond just the academic as we hope that this experience becomes one of personal enrichment for them as well.
I.E.S. Valle del Azahar has prepared for this event a theatrical adaptation of the Moorish novel “The Story of Abencerraje and the beautiful Jarifa”, whose plot, in great part, takes place in the lands of Cartama.
The characters of the plays will be performed by students from Turkey, Lithuania and Belgium. All of them together, will perform the play on our school stage. They will receive the help of our students that are also participating in the project. Each one will help their corresponding foreign partner to prepare for their role through the internet, using sites such as Facebook, yahoo.groups or Skype. In this way, we hope to get the best possible Spanish pronunciation. At the same time, foreign pupils will understand the dimension of our characters and the peculiarities of our culture.
The other schools will work in the same way when our pupils participate in the performance of their plays. Some will travel to Turkey, others to Belgium and others to Lithuania. In those countries, they will take part in the performance on stage in every school. They will perform the play every school has chosen, sharing the acting with pupils from the other countries.
Such a combination of cultures and languages united on the same stage will promote a shared experience and knowledge base among the young people from the different European countries, which will help contribute to the European aspect of the project.
FIRST PROJECT MEETING HELD IN DENIZLI, TURKEY, 1ST – 5TH NOVEMBER 2010.
The first meeting of the project has taken place in Denizli, a city in the south-west of Turkey
The teachers Inmaculada Cepedello (coordinator of the project in our school), Céline Camelynck and Isabel Galés have attended this initial meeting together with teachers from Lithuania and Belgium.
Its goal was to establish how the programmed activities will be carried out in the four participating countries during the course of this two year project.
To that end, the plays have been presented that every country has adapted to be performed in their own country and (in their own) language by foreign pupils visiting their school.
Belgium has proposed a play depicting Saint Nicholas (Sint Nicolaas in Dutch), a legendary character of Belgian lore who brings gifts for children on the 6th of December. The holiday receives the name of Sinterklaas, the word from which Santa Claus is derived.
Lithuania has chosen a medieval legend that tries to explain how the castle of Vilnius (the capital of the country) was built, at the same time narrating a love story with a happy ending.
The teachers from Turkey have created a play that shows how a traditional Turkish wedding takes place, explaining the steps that the groom’s family has to take when asking for the hand of the bride, the preparations for the wedding and all the rituals that take place during it.
Spain has prepared an adaptation of The Story of the Abencerraje and the Beautiful Jarifa, a play highly associated with the history of Cartama. The fact that this play reflects how Muslims and Christians coexisted in our country for seven centuries, led us into choosing this play to represent our literary tradition.
In the initial meeting, the general activity schedule was also established along with how the teachers and pupils will be moved around and what means of communication will be used in order to plan and carry out the work during the course of the two year project.
Spain will be the first destination for the project, so that our school will receive the other countries during the week of the 25th to 31st of January 2011.
The teachers from Turkey have received us with love, kindness and generosity. They have shown us their city, customs, people and food. We have visited their school and been received with great enthusiasm. We have talked to their teachers and exchanged ideas about each other’s educational experiences. Their pupils have received us with great excitement and have really shown interest and curiosity for our country.
We would like for all of them to also feel welcome when they visit our country next January. The foreign pupils will rehearse our play in our assembly hall some mornings and will perform it before the public twice. They will come accompanied by their teachers, whom we will introduce. During that week, we will show them our city. In addition to this, we are also planning a visit to Granada and Cordoba. We hope we can count on your participation and help, and also that of the teachers and pupils of our school, to help make this educational experience an unforgettable one.
Shown below is the project schedule, which will last two years:
– Spain: 25th-31st January 2011.
– Belgium: 2nd-9th May 2011.
– Lithuania: 24th-30th January 2012.
– Turkey: 15th-21st May 2012.
Thank you all for your collaboration,
Inmaculada Cepedello Dovao, Coordinator of the project in our school.
Who was Comenius?
His existence reveals and reminds us of the European heritage with regard to education. That is why his name was chosen to name this programme.
Comenius is the latinized name of Jan Komensky (1592-1670), theologist, philosopher and pedagogue born in Moravia (Czech Republic). He took part in the educational reforms of several European countries (Moravia, Poland, Sweden and England). He is considered one of the founders of modern Pedagogy and he is known for his educational principles, developed in the Didactica Magna (1626-1632). In this work he presents his concept of teaching: “Teach everything to everyone”. Comenius defended education because it was the only way for human beings to develop all their possibilities and lead a harmonious life. He was also a universal man, defender of human rights, peace among nations, social peace and the unity of humankind.
- To develop knowledge and understanding among young people and educational staff of the diversity of European cultures and languages and its value
- To help young people acquire the basic life-skills and competences necessary for their personal development, for future employment and for active European citizenship
- To improve the quality and to increase the volume of mobility involving pupils and educational staff in different Member States
- To improve the quality and to increase the volume of partnerships between schools in different Member States, so as to involve at least 3 million pupils in joint educational activities during the period of the programme
- To encourage the learning of modern foreign languages
- To support the development of innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practice in lifelong learning
- To enhance the quality and European dimension of teacher training
- To support improvements in pedagogical approaches and school management
Comenius School partnerships
Comenius School partnerships aim at enhancing the European dimension of education by promoting joint co-operation activities between schools in Europe. The projects give pupils and teachers in different countries an opportunity to work together on one or more topics of mutual interest. School partnerships help pupils and teachers to acquire and improve skills not only in the topic or subject area on which the project is focussed, but also in terms of teamwork, social relations, planning and undertaking project activities and using information and communication technologies (ICT). Participating in a partnership with schools from different countries also gives pupils and teachers the opportunity to practice foreign languages and increases their motivation towards language learning.
What kind of activities can be carried out in Comenius School partnerships?
- Project meetings between all institutions involved in the partnership
- Exchanges of staff and pupils involved in project activities (e.g. teacher exchanges, study visits, pupil exchanges)
- Exchanges of experience and good practice with partner schools abroad
- Fieldwork, project research
- Drafting, publishing and disseminating documentation related to the co-operation activities
- Producing technical objects, drawings, arts objects
- Performances (e.g. theatre plays, musicals)
- Organisation of exhibitions, production and dissemination of information material
- Linguistic preparation of teachers and pupils to ensure they possess the necessary competence in the working language(s) of the partnership
- Co-operation with other projects in related subject areas (including Comenius Networks), including mobility to network events if relevant, sharing experience with other institutions in the region
- Self-evaluation activities
- Dissemination of project experience and outcomes
‘Associated partners’ such as local or regional authorities, parents’ and pupils’ organisations and teacher training institutions may also participate in these activities.
When choosing the theme of a School partnership, schools are strongly encouraged to choose any topic of interest and importance to the participating institutions, as it will be the motivating force for co-operation and learning within the project. School partnerships focusing on pupil participation could deal with thematic areas such as arts, sciences, languages, environmental education, cultural heritage, European citizenship, use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) or fight against racism. Project activities should ideally be integrated into the regular activities of the schools and be included in the curriculum of participating pupils. Pupils should be able to be involved in all phases of the project, including the planning, organisation and evaluation of activities.
Some School partnerships focus on pedagogical or management issues. They provide teachers and school managers with the opportunity to exchange experience and information with colleagues in other countries, to develop together methods and approaches which meet their needs, and to test and put into practice new organisational and pedagogical approaches. In these cases, projects will often involve co-operation with bodies from the local community of the schools, such as local authorities, social services, associations and businesses.
Most partnerships are multilateral; i.e. they must include schools from at least 3 participating countries. Bilateral partnerships are only possible in the case of language oriented projects which include two reciprocal class exchanges lasting minimum 10 days each and involving pupils aged 12 or older.
Language oriented bilateral school partnerships seek to encourage the use of all the official languages of the European Union by giving pupils the possibility to practice their foreign language skills and acquaint themselves with the language of a partner country. Pupils involved in a bilateral partnership are expected to learn at least basics of the language used in the partner institution. Usually pupils use a third language as their working and communication language. During the project, pupils and teachers in both countries work together on a common theme and produce a joint end product. During the class exchanges, pupils attend school together and are hosted in each others’ families. The cooperation should not only be limited to the exchanges but activities should cover the whole project period.
Who can benefit?
Schools (institutions providing general, vocational, technical education – from preschool education to upper secondary and, exceptionally in the case of bilateral
projects including class exchanges, non-school institutions providing apprenticeship training)