Comenius visit to Germany

Comenius school partnership projects promote cooperation among schools in Europe, help students and teachers to gain new knowledge, develop social skills, give the opportunity to work in team, to plan and implement project activities, to acquire new uses of information technologies, to widen students and teachers’ horizons as well as promote learning different languages.

Comenius partner countries are Poland, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Latvia un Turkey.

This year from 10 to 14 March 4 students of Kārsava Secondary School: Elīna Oļipova, Jana Dūmiņa, Linda and Ingus Martinsons accompanied by teachers Rita Nagle and Lilija Krivteža went to Bocholt (Germany).

Bocholt is a rather small city in Germany with 75 000 inhabitants. It is a cycler-friendly city with cycler lanes everywhere. Every the morning students cycle to school but adults – to work. In the school area there are special parking places for bicycles.

MGB teacher Silke Brune – Berns with the host students and their parents met us at the railway station, so, we parted; our students went with hosts to their homes but we – to the hotel. The first evening was free but next day the mayor of Bocholt and the principal of MGB welcomed us at the Town Hall, we watched video and got acquainted with the history of the city. Then followed Comenius group and business plan presentations.

Excursion to Dusseldorf was very exciting; we went sightseeing around the city, observed its interesting architecture, like Frank O. Gehry’s three “dancing towers”. We also enjoyed the walk in the Old City on our own.

Students were fascinated by Sarazeno installation where they could try walking on the metal net located 25 metres above the ground. There were also two 8.5 diameter balls which could be climbed. Installations themselves are built at three levels but joined together in one orbit.

The following day we visited the Bocholt Textile Museum where the guide told us about the background of the textile industry, its development. We also watched looms at work, looked at sample textiles and could buy towels and other linen products, different games and souvenirs.

Afterwards students were divided into groups, every of which were given T-shirts of the certain colour to identify which group the student belongs to. On the stage of the Assembly hall there was a court where students played roles of judges, defenders, accused and public prosecutors. Manufacturers, who use cheap workforce, produce non-quality goods though inexpensive so causing losses to those whose products are more expensive but of good quality were judged.

Later students and teachers had an opportunity to take part in workshops modelling their own clothes. Some girls had a chance to put on ancient costumes dated by 12th to 20th centuries and demonstrate them dancing at the appropriate music of the certain century.

The farewell party was held at the pub “BUENO VISTA”. All teams performed national songs; there was music to dance at as well as confectionary brought by the teams of all countries.

Students had an opportunity to experience life in another country, to become familiar with the host families that stimulated communication in foreign languages.

The main conclusion was; we should learn languages to communicate better with the people living in EU.