The journey began with our Italian team made up of 4 teachers and 14 pupils flying to Thessaloniki on Sunday 24thof March. The Italian group had time to enjoy the local parades which celebrated the Greek Revolution and the Annunciation (a religious festival). The next day, Monday 25thMarch, 14 Spanish pupils made the long journey from Cordoba to Malaga to Brussels to Thessaloniki where we met our Italian and Greek friends! We arrived late to Naoussa, but the streets were still lively as the celebrations were still going strong. We arrived at the Dellagio hotel at 22:00. Spanish pupils then went to try Greek fast food before returning to their rooms to rest up for the start of the activities the following day.
On Tuesday 26thMarchwe enjoyed a very fulfilling day. After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, we took the bus to 3rdGymnasio of Naoussa, where we were overwhelmed by the official reception and welcoming ceremony given by primary and secondary school pupils. Some of the Greek pupils who took part in the pupil exchange in Spain gave a thorough presentation of the history, landmarks, food, and other interesting info about Thessaloniki. Following their presentation, EEEK’s representatives from the local Special Needs School gave a presentation about the amazing dessert they had prepared for the teacher training event. To end the official reception we exchanged gifts and presents. We especially loved the handmade decorations with the flags of the three countries.
You can find all the details in the following video “Welcoming Ceremony to 3rdGymnasio of Naoussa”:
After this event, we took part in Socio-Emotional Learning group dynamics as Ice-breakers. The Greek team recreated this reception in the following video “Breaking the Ice”
We then walked to Body Control, one of the most local reputated dance schools where we learned the choreography for our Flashmob. After this, the three Coordinators had time to meet the local Major who welcomed their visit and offered wine local products as a souvenir.
The entire group then enjoyed a welcoming lunch together at the Italian restaurant “Da Ellio”.
Later in the day we learned that Naoussa is one of the most important places for textile industry. However, during the recession, many companies left the area. We saw some of those factories during our stay, including a significant one named Vetlans.
Greek pupils worked very hard a gathering all the collaborative materials based on the 7 project themes that we have uploaded in Twinspace, linked it with Greek History and Mythology and created an outstanding presentation. We finally had a quick tour of the town and had dinner at the restaurant “Paradosiako”.
On Wednesday 27thMarchwe visited Saint Nikolas grove, an amazing Natural Park with the river Arpitsa and its waterfalls. Later, we enjoyed a modern version of the historical Olympic games. Promoting sport and healthy activities amongst youngsters is an added value of our project and so we played Tug-of-War and skipping. Pupils and teachers then divided by teams according to their favourite sport. Most of the Spanish group played football and most of the Italians played Volleyball. We then gathered together to do two competitive speed and resistance races.
You can find a summary of all the sport activities in the following video:
After lunch we walked to school where we had the chance to see many Peach trees. Once there, we took part in a Masterchef activity to learn how to make healthy Greek salads. A collaborative work methodology was used so that each pupil had a role in the team. Then they tried the recipes from each country participating in the project. We must give a special mention to the two Greek mums who do such a great job helping with this workshop.
It was then time to learn entrepreneurial skills. With digital equipment, each team created a food company and created their own advertisement for a business before finally doing a presentation about their ideas.
After that, we sang songs for equality to prepare for our performance that would come later.
Thursday 28thMarchwas a one-day trip to Thessaloniki. Listening to a local tour guide, we learned about the rich history of the city. Starting from the Byzantine walls and castle, we visited the Rotunda, Byzantine Churches such as St Demetrious, as well as the Ancient Agora, the Arch of Galerious, and the Aristotle Square before ending at the White Tower where we enjoyed the local gyros.
After lunch, we had time to walk along the beach and the port and even buy souvenirs for the families.
Friday 29thMarchwas a thrilling day as we rehearsed the three project songs: “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars, “It’s my Life” by Bon Jovi, “Don’t let me down” by The Beattles and “One” by Bob Marley. We also practiced the Flash-mob and had time to enjoy some dancing. We gathered a big crowd with local people who came to see the pupils performing three songs. We were proudly wearing our project t-shirts. The Spanish pupils danced a traditional flamenco song and the Italians pupils sang a classic Italian song. The entire group then performed the Flash-Mob. The performance was a success and gave a sense of collective achievement to all the pupils who made it possible and gave it their very best.
On Satuday 30thMarchwe visited the Macedonian Tomb of Philip II in Vergina. One parent of one pupil from the Greek school was our guide and informed us of the complex history of all the places we visited. We then went to Isvoria to enjoy the beautiful sceneries of the School of Aristotle. Finally, many generous families from the school prepared a goodbye party with a barbeque for us in a distillery where we enjoyed football, traditional dances, and cried many tears at the end!
The second pupil exchange was a tremendous success thanks to the perfect organization, effort and attention of the Greek teachers, as well as the priceless support of pupils and families. We must also thank Spanish and Italian pupils for their continuous collaboration. Together we make a top team!
OUTPUTS AND RESULTS
Each of the activities has a corresponding Lesson Plan created by Greek teachers: Concert, Masterchef, Entrepreneurship, and the 7 themes.
Following the pupil exchange, the three countries have completed the booklet prepared by Greek teachers to assess what they had learned as well as aiming to encourage critical thinking and reflection upon their experience.
Pupils have also prepared a Travel book with photographs, videos and oral archives recounting their emotions about the trip. Teachers have also prepared videos about the events and presentations to share the experience with the Spanish and Italian families.
Celebrating the Erasthotenes experiment in Greece, Italy and Spain. A new initiative in our Erasmus + project. STEM teachers working collaboratively at a European level to improve their pupils skills in Maths.
At 12.40 CET ,which is the solar noon at Naoussa, we measured the shadow of a stick and after some mathematical calculations we found the circumference of the earth and the radius as well.
Inspired by our Greek partners we have celebrated International Pi Number Day 2019 in the three schools in Spain, Greece and Italy measuring the length and diameter the circumference of everyday objects in Maths.