Monday, 13 October 2014

Exchange visit to Siedlin, Poland

What a wonderful time we have just had in Poland. The staff, teachers and students at the primary school in Siedlin, Szkola Podstawowa, have been so welcoming.

Our visit began with a wonderful presentation of traditional Polish songs and dances and a performance about the magazine that the schools have all been involved in producing.

After a short break, we looked around the school, which was bright and well equipped. It has children attending from the ages of 6 – 14, as the school is a primary school and a gymnasium combined. Classes in this school had about 16 pupils per class.

On Tuesday, we visited a different school in Lisewo. This was equally bright and welcoming. It was clear that education is a priority within this region of Poland. We then returned to Szkola Podstawowa for lesson observations in various classes.

After lunch, we had a meeting to discuss how the project was going. Each of the schools involved said that they were getting a lot out of the project and making scrapbooks and video conferencing were the favourite activities of the group so far. Each school has had to work hard, but we all felt that this work was rewarded with large numbers of children from each school being involved and developing relationships between the staff involved within the project.

Each school was then presented with copies of the historical magazine about means of transport in each partnership country. Every school had worked hard to contribute several pages, which were interesting and informative, but special thanks must go to staff at Szkola Podstawowa, who produced the magazine very professionally.

We talked about how valuable a tool the blog is proving to be and set dates for the next videoconferences.

During the evening, we returned to school for a National evening with the headmaster, teachers, students, parents and members of the school council. We showed a presentation about each of our schools so that we could see what each of the schools was like. Each school then performed some traditional songs from their country. This was an interesting evening with some very good performances.

On Wednesday we visited Warsaw. We were shown around by a very knowledgeable guide who helped us really understand the city’s past.

On Thursday we planned the preparation of a mini guide, a web quest game and a lip dub, all of which we will create during the coming year. We then all went to classes to teach English to the Polish students.

On Friday, we went to visit the Mayor and the commune council who talked about the changes that were being implemented in Poland to the infra structure and about his involvement with the schools within the region. After a brief coffee break, we went to explore PÅ‚ock. All in all, this was a very enjoyable and educational trip All the staff involved are collaborating well and real friendships are developing. Personally, I feel so privileged to work with such wonderful people and I hope that I continue to be involved with such a meaningful project.

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