A healthy mind in a healthy body
Welcome to the third newsletter of our Comenius Project “A healthy mind in a
experience in Breclav
Stef, Pjotr, Daan and Jesse from the Netherlands in the Czech Republic.
The content of this newsletter focuses primarily on the stories of participating
students of the meetings in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Italy. This
newsletter includes contributions from the schools that work on our Comenius
Project “A healthy mind in a healthy body”.
Slovenian reflections 6
My week at the
Greetings from Iceland
Since September 2012 our students,
staff and community have been involved in our project ,Healthy Mind
in a Healthy Body´or ,Heilbrigð Sál í
Hraustum líkama’ like Icelanders
call it…we concede that it sounds
easier in English.
Our first feeling is certainly satisfaction. A great number of tasks
have been achieved and we believe
that the impact on our lives has been
positive. Awareness about different
cultures, countries, societies has
been developed through cooperation,
physical activities and environmental matters. Our school is deeply
concerned about the respect of our
world and nature and such a project
can only reinforce our policy. We, by
instance, recently received at a national and international level by the
Green Flag award.
The Green Flag is awarded to EcoSchools as a mark of high achievement in environmental education
and performance as part of the EcoSchools Programme lead by FEE,
Foundation for Environmental Education.
The Green FlagTravelling has been a
cornerstone of this project. We specially aim to mention our visit to
Czech Republic and the wonderful
town of Breclav. Some wonderful
memories of the Czech team are still
in a corner of our minds. A country
made of soft valleys, green forests
and dark blue rivers. Hospitality of
our hosts was unforgettable. Back
home our students were very keen
on asking questions on school system
and life in general. We are sure that
some of them will have the curiosity
to pay a visit to Czech Republic, Breclav and its inhabitants in the
The Green Flag
My Comenius experience in Breclav
I was one of the students that took
part in the Czech Republic mobility
and I would like to write a few lines
about the experience:
When we got off the bus to get to
Breclav I was pretty nervous because
I did not know the family or the plane I was going to stay at but, five
minutes after I got to their house
and I talked to them I felt much better. I was quite tired because of the
long journey so I went to bed almost
The following day we got up at 8 oclock in the morning and went to
school, where we met the students
from the other countries for the first
We had many different activities but
my favourite was the “Sports Day”;
we had so much fun playing sport
and getting to know each other!
Other great activities were ridding a
Segway and of course… the barbecue
and the party we had with all our
colleagues at school.
During these days we went to visit
Breclav, Brno Spilberk Castle and
the Lednice – Valtice area and Castle and many other places and we
were pleasently surprised by the
beauty of this country.
We really got on well with each other
and the time we spent there seemed
too short. It was an experience I will
never forget. I deeply recommend
anyone to take part in such an activity if they have the opportunity.
Pedro Alvarez –Linera
(Colegio San Ignacio – Oviedo - Spain)
A healthy mind in a healthy body
Meeting Rohana - Adela Teturova (CZ)
It was a mixture of feelings for me at
the beginning. I was so looking forward
to meeting Rhona and welcome her at
our house. And at the same time I was
really nervous – What if she doesn’t
like me? What if she doesn’t understand my English? At the end it was
one of my greatest experience ever.
And not only for me but also for my
sister, parents and grandparents. We
enjoyed wonderful week, had a lot of
fun and time was passing so fast.
I remember how I saw Rhona for the
first time... I was waiting at the platform and when she appeared I
wanted to run away as I was shy and
scared she wouldn’t understand my
English. But I couldn’t because in a
while the Scottish teacher asked me
where Mrs Uhrova was and I had to
take them to the train station main
hall to meet my teacher.
Then Rhona met the rest of my family. My father who doesn’t speak
English could learn some introduction phrase, my mother could introduce herself in a nice way and my
younger sister wrote on Rhona’s
palm Hello and Hi and she was
In the car I tried to ask Rhona about
her journey but I really don’t remember the details as I was really nervous. Soon we arrived home and
Rhona could meet also my granny
Rhona was very nice and polite,
everyone in my family liked her very
much and cared about her.
I had many lovely memories on the
meeting at our school. Segways riding, sports day, trip to Lednice, big
barbeque party with the concert, trip
to Brno. I will never forget of this
Greetings from Penicuik High School
At five o’clock in the morning on
the 28th of May seven yawning students, two sleep deprived teachers
and the headmaster himself from
Penicuik High School embarked on
The Czech Republic trip had been
long anticipated by the staff and
group of seven students that I was
a part of.
In the weeks leading up to the trip
presentations of the theme A
Healthy Mind, A Healthy Body
were produced, rehearsed and perfected.
This involved taking photos of the
contents of our fridges after a big
shop and comparing them to The
Eatwell Plate. On the whole, our
fridges provided healthy balanced
diets, the most offensive item being
a can of Irn Bru.
The most enjoyable project we
worked on as a group was creating
sporting equipment from recycled
materials. We created ten pin
bowling; the ball was made by
scrunching up plastic bags and tying them with elastic bands and
the pins from ten two litre plastic
The most enjoyable project we
worked on as a group was
creating sporting equipment
from recycled materials.
bottles a third full of water.
The preparation took many weeks,
and a few days before departure we
were presented with massive,
matching Penicuik High School Tshirts to sport in the Czech school,
identifying ourselves proudly as
the Scottish group.
On arriving in the Czech Republic a team united by the previous
weeks of preparation and the giant
blue T-shirts tucked in our bags we were each escorted off by a different Czech family.
All to stay for the week with Czech
pupils somewhere around the town
of Břeclav, we were plunged into
We all had very different
experiences, but they all had
the common trait of being very
different from our home lives.
their lifestyles, their culture, their
The diet came as the biggest shock
for most; provided with at least
four meals a day, plus constant
snacks, tea and cake breaks and
late night munches, we were turning into a team of walking carbohydrates.
A typical meal there was a slab of
meat and bread or dumplings,
A healthy mind in a healthy body
The village I stayed in, just outside of Břeclav was
a wine village, and I got a fantastic tour of the
vineyards from my host family. A fellow student
of mine was staying in a house decorated extravagantly with stag heads, antlers, framed butterflies, cacti and a boar’s head. We all had very different experiences, but they all had the common
trait of being very different from our home lives.
When we went to their school, along with students and staff from Holland, Iceland, Italy, Slovenia and Spain, we first attended a performance
by the nursery children. They sang us many
Czech songs and performed a short Czech play,
then presented us with gifts they had made; little
clay houses. Next, we got a tour around and it was
similar to our schooling in Scotland, however they
had separate buildings for seniors and juniors.
day, where everyone mingled together, and made
friends. We taught each other basic vocabulary from
our own countries and by the end of the day everyone
had at least ten new Facebook friends.
The trip seemed to pass in a blur and before we knew
it we were embracing our host families at the Břeclav
train station, clutching gifts we had received or were
giving as a thank you. We made friends and shared
experiences that week that will stay with us for a long
time. It was a fantastic opportunity.
We also learned how to segway, and aside from
my embarrassingly public crash landing, it was a
hilarious and highly enjoyable experience. As the
theme of the trip was health, we had a big sports
My Italian Experience
I was sitting on the plane for the first time in my life.
And it was amazing. We were flying above the Alps
and I couldn’t believe my eyes how beautiful it was:)
I lived in a very nice and friendly Italian family:)
Morever, they had a really lovely dog which was great.
The first nights there I was sad, I felt homesick.
However, all members of the family were great and
helped me a lot. We started chatting in a dining room
I felt much better.
Italian school was a bit of surprise, it was completely
different from my school. But shorty afterwards I felt
like home there, especially thanks to warm-hearted
people and a very good programme. I loved mainly
trip to Rome. There was a Roman solider who wanted
to cut off my head. (He just pretended, of course). I
could see Colosseum, Vatican and lots of other remarkable places in this city. I was just a bit disappointed that we didn’t have time enough to visit Spanish
Stairs. In short, I really enjoyed it.
It was a wonderful trip.
But shorty afterwards I felt like
home there, especially thanks to warm
Another amazing experience for me was
the last day in Italian school. We had a
five-course dinner and we were sitting altogether at the longest table I had ever
seen. The food was delicious and we had a
lot of fun. After meal we went to the
school garden where Italian students performed traditional dances and music. The
boy dancers had very long and funny
shoes. They also taught us to dance and at
the end we all were dancing together.
It was hard to say goodbye. But I have so
lovely memories. I'm still in touch with
the family where I lived. We write e-mails,
talk together via skype. But I miss them
and hope I will meet them again.
Another great experience for me was when
a Scottish and Spanish girls lived in our
house during the Czech project meeting.
We were really excited about their arrival
and my mother who cannot speak English
was very shy and nervous. But she handled that perfectly and I think we managed
to make girls feel like home. We had a lot
of fun together, took many photos.
I miss them both.
Tamara Svobdova, CZ
Slovenian reflections about the first year of our project
Last school year I attended a meeting for Comenius project. Before
this meeting the teacher and the students made a presentation about
how healthy the habits of the students in our school were. We made a
survey, talked about results and improvements, and did the presentation.
In Holland-that was the place of our meeting- all the students from different countries and schools
had their presentations. We all talked about the same topic and it was very interesting to hear what
the habits in other countries were. We couldn’t believe that some facts were true. They were a surprise to us.
On our trip we met new friends, and I think friendships in each group which travelled together became stronger - we know each other better.
When we came home, we talked about our impressions, experiences… We made a poster with the
photos of our trip.
There is one more positive thing about this meeting: we were in a foreign country, so we couldn’t
speak our mother tongue - we had to speak English, if we wanted the others to understand us. We
became more confident about our English because we used it very often.
I think it was an unforgettable and educative experience for all of us.
Meta Mekuč, Slovenian student, SI
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„My week at
Visit to th
I was flying for the first
I was flying for the first tim e in my life and I had
never been to the Netherla in my life and I had never been to the Netherlands nds before. I didn’t
know how Dutch kids would before. I didn’t know how
Dutch kids would be like and be like and I was very
nervous. When I had a loo I was very nervous. When
I had a look at my classmatek at my classmates who
were travelling with me, s who were travelling wit
me, I wasn’t much calmer becI wasn’t much calmer h
because they were even mo e they were even mo
nervous. Just our teacher wa re nervous. Just our re
teacher was completely cal s completely calm, smiling
and blinking at us on the pla smiling and blinking at
us on the plane whenever ne whenever she saw that
she saw that
we were getting really scared we were
getting really scared.
When I I sawBartt and his family for the first time, I
saw Bar and his
was immediately calmer…I family for the first time,
I was immediately calmer…I lly liked them and I was
really liked them and I
really were. I really enjoye
And they really were. I rea stay there and could
learn a lot. Also about mysel lly enjoyed my stay
there and could lea
lot. I saw places which I
didn’t guess I would rn a see Also about myself. I
saw places which I didn’t
gue could eat Dutch foo I
ride Dutch bikes, visit Amste ss I would ever see. d,
rdam and Nemo centre.
could eat Dutch food,
will never forget. And I ride Dutch bikes, visit Am- I
sterdam and Nemo centre still very grateful to Bart’s
. I will nev
family which I am still in tou er forget. And
I am still very grateful to
Bart’s family which I am
Tadeas Figura, CZ ll in touch