Comenius 2010/2011 NEWSLETTER 6 LIVING BY THE SEA Winning logo, Collège des Albères, FranceWelcome to the sixth newsletter of the Comenius project “Living by the sea”. Our groupconsists of eight schools from Denmark, France, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia,Greece and Portugal. This project will be developed between September 2009 and July2011.Comenius teachers visit Gug Skole, Aalborg, in Denmark.Friday, May 6thThe French group (12 pupils and 4 teachers) arrived in Aalborg on a clear afternoon andwe were heartily welcomed by Henrik and Lars who drove us to Gug skole where families skole,and teachers expected us. Each one of us was given a file nicely decorated by pupils andcontaining all the necessary information about our stay (program, map, bus timetables...)and then we were taken home by our guests.By then, almost every participant had already arrived, particularly the Portuguese studentswhom some of our students met in the evening on a football ground !
Saturday, May 7thAll the participants (all teachers and students from France, Portugal, Greece and Denmark)met in the town centre and felt very happy to see each other again. We walked toNordcraft,Nordcraft an old power station turned into a huge leisure centre).While the young ones took part in sports activities (climbing, games), the other groupvisited the centre and watched a film about the refurbishing of the building. We walked upto the top of it and had a wonderful view over the city of Aalborgand the fjord. Then, we headed to the Utzon Centre a Centre,modern art centre as the City Council representative, Catherine, wasexpecting us. We were very warmly greeted and her speech was deeplyappreciated as she compared our pupils to « diamonds and pearls » forthe future of Europe ! She then offered gifts to our schools and we allgathered around festive drinks and snacks.After lunch in a restaurant in the city centre, we had a free afternoon.Some students chose to visit the town with their penpals and some otherswent home.Sunday, May 8thWe left Gug skole at 9.30 and went to Lindholm Høje a burial ground excavated in the Høje,nineteen fifties and a museum. There, the students learned about the life of Vikings andtried a rowing game on a ship.
Then, we were driven to Farup park where all the students spent the day while some teachers went up to the West coast to Løkken. There, they Løkken admired some thatched cottages and a beautiful beach with fishing boats. After lunch, we visited the town and drove to Rubjerg Knude an Knude,enormous sand dune and walked up to see the North Sea. It was so windy that everyonewas covered with sand for a few days afterwards ! Then, we visited Lønstrup, a nicevillage where artists live and decorate streets and shop windows.In the meantime, the students had a greattime trying all the attractions. At lunch, theydiscovered how Danish people simplybarbecue their own meat and sausages in apublic place and how things stay surprisinglyclean afterwards !! Students enjoyedthemselves together and for them time flewtoo fast !In the evening, we all ate at a fish restaurant in thecentre of Aalborg. The food was delicious and theservice was just perfect. Everyone enjoyed theDanish seafood dishes and socialised happilyaround the meal.
Monday, May 9 thWe spent the day at Gug skole.We arrived in the morning and were greeted by studentsin the hall. We were then guided around the school byDanish pupils from the 8th grade. During the coffee break teachers had the opportunity to meet other Danish teachers while the students were taken in the playground. Then we were welcomed by our adopted class and could see all the work that had been done by them, we answered pupils questions and followed them in their class. The French teachers were particularly impressed by the spaghetti Eiffel tower and the collection of Mona Lisas.After lunch, everyone enjoyed theconcert and dance show given bypupils of all levels.Then, we were ready for theComenius meeting ! While twoteachers from each country metand worked together, exchanging views and discussing thefinal report, the students were shown an alternative way of learning by using their body.
In the evening, everyone was gathered around a festive meal with the hosts families, andthe staff, and joined to learn some Danish dances. This is when our guests were thankedand given some presents.Tuesday, May 10thWe all went to Egholm, Limfjorden a small island where pupils Limfjorden,learn about marine life. Niels was waiting for us and hadorganised fishing activities. Our students had a great time catching crabs and shrimps, and fish of all sorts. It was a real experience ! Then Annette kindly barbecued for us and everyone enjoyed a picnic in the sun. On the way back, we stopped at the Marine museum and the students had fun visiting a real submarine and learned about the history of Danish shipping. Afterwards, everyone went shopping for souvenirs in the city and the Portuguese group said goodbye as they were leaving in the evening.
Wednesday, May 11thLast day in Aalborg ! In the morning, the Frenchstudents said goodbye to their hosts at school and weredriven ( like everyone else) to the airport thanks to Lars,Paula and the school minibuses ! So many things to tellfriends and families !Thank you to everyone who organised such amemorable trip and who even managed to get goodweather on our side !THE MEETINGWe started the meeting with the evaluation of this last period and by exchangingdocuments about the activities that had been done during that last part of the school year.Then we started talking about the final report. We studied the model of report available inagencies to agree about the common contents.Then we talked about the European Database and how to publish our work there.We agreed on finishing the writing of the common part of the final report during our nextmeeting in Iceland.Impressions from students and teachers • A word from PortugalBetween the 6th and 10th May we were inAalborg, Denmark, to attend a meeting of theComenius Project Living by the sea. Ourgroup consisted of eleven students and fourteachers from our school - José Carlos daMaia, in Olhão, Portugal.There we found a way of life very differentfrom ours. The school we visited, Gug Skole,has about 900 students and nearly all go toschool by bike, because there are bike lanes everywhere. Students learn how to cook, ironand sew. There is no canteen, so the teachers and pupils must bring their lunch fromhome or eat the food that is sold at the bar. That school has also got something that can’t
be seen at a Portuguese school: dentists!!!We were very happy to be with our Danish friends again – they had been in Portugal inMarch 2010, for the Portuguese meeting, and since then we had been in touch throughFacebook and MSN.We also met French and Greek pupils who attended the meeting, but the French were tooshy and most of the time they kept to themselves, and the Greek were too young.Five of us stayed at private homes and the families were very friendly. We want to saythank you to Hanin, Jacob, Mikkel and Thea’s families. We had a wonderful time with you!During the five days we were there, besides visiting the school, we had sports activities(including fishing on the island Egholm), we visited cultural sites and tasted typical food ofthe country. Our favourite day was the one we spent at Farup Sommerland amusementpark. That day the weather was very nice and warm and we tried many different attractions.It was an unforgettable and very enriching experience!Thank you all in Gug Skole!!! • Our impressions ( from the French pupils, Collège des Albères, Argelès-sur-mer)12 French pupils aged 14 and 15 took part in that visit. They were hosted by Danishfamilies and welcomed by Danish students with whom they had previously been in touchwith through the Internet. Here are some of their impressions about the visit. From the French pupils « This trip was very interesting to me. We had the opportunity to do a lot of things like visiting the Marine museum (we got on a real submarine !), fishing in the fjord, … and above all, we met very friendly Danish students of our age. It was great, we played football together with Portuguese students too. I really enjoyed staying with my hosts who took great care of me. We had good fun together. Thank you to everyone there ! » (Pierre) « There were three of us staying together with our penpal but she was really nice and patient and tried to communicate with us. Our hosts were very very generous. I enjoyed speaking English and I loved the Danish houses. They have big windows and they are very open to the street. It shows it is a secure place to live. The dinner at school was a great moment. There were a lot of decorations and colours. The food was really good, we danced together and we saw a fantastic show. Everyone did a lot of work for us ! » (Maxime)
« Denmark is a very nice country. The Danish were very friendly and generous to us.The trip was wonderful and instructive. I think the students are more respectful ofteachers and their school there. We visited and did many things related to the sea butmy favourite moment was when we went toschool because we could mix with studentsof our age. » (Elodie) « I enjoyed Lindholm Høje, the Vikingcemetary and museum. There, I learned thatVikings were brave and sometimes violent warriors but they werevery good sailors and explorers. I also enjoyed the Marine Museum withmany things from the army. » (Clément) From the French teachers :• Discover Experiences New way of life Mixture of origins and communicating anyway A such different way of learning and living together. Remember these wonderful moments Knit a knot between our communities. (M. Claude)• A wonderful stay A such different school Link with English Be so different and communicate Over the seas will these moments go Recall the mat any time around you Going now with your community in our mind and heart. (M. Claude)
• « It was the first time I took part in a Comenius project and I realise now how different things can be for everyone when you are involved in a European project. Pupils staying with their penpals family is undoubtedly a major asset that Gug skole offered our students. The visit allowed them to practise languages, share experience, go beyond stereotypes and possible prejudice over different culture. We particularly want to thank Gug Skole and the hosting families for their warm welcome, efficient help and strong efforts to make our stay as pleasant and easy as possible. This visit was a real success thanks to them. » (Frédéric)• “I would qualify the visit to Denmark with 3 words: welcome - respect - autonomy . It is with an incredible sense of hospitality that we were welcomed both in families as well as by children and staff at school. We never came across anyone who did not say "hello" or did not wish us welcome. It is in the silence and respect that students work. The workspaces are open and in- vite for exchanges. Everyone seems to respect others by listening. Everyone seems to respect the place that allows classes to remain open, to have access to different books freely with a permanently open space at the library to meet in working groups or study. That may be the key to autonomy because no adult intervenes to monitor or repri- mand. The rules are respected and there seems to be no useless bans but duties that the Danes seem to apply perfectly.” (Monique)