Monday, 9 March 2015

7th International Comenius Conference in Lepe, Spain

From the 9 to the 13 of February we lived another fantastic Comenius adventure in
 southern Spain!

According to the invitation received last school year, sent by the former Comenius Spanish Coordinator, we would meet for another approach to the 4 ENs of Nature and Their Effect in Our Lives, in Lepe, Spain, in the beginning of February.

The programme was then devised by the current Comenius Coordinator, who put all his efforts to make it unique again! And he succeeded!

So eight Portuguese participants took part: the school  director, José Novais, Clementina Campelo, teacher of Physical Education, me as the Coordinator and teacher of English, and five students - 1 year 12 - girl studying Science and Technology and 4 students registered in year 10 of Economy and Science and Technology, being 3 boys and 2 girls total.

The Spanish school was ready to welcome us, full of interesting decoration related to the topic which joined us together, and to the eight countries that belong to the partnership. Beautiful posters and images! Congratulations! We could even heard a Spanish song sung by a very talented Spanish student in a Music lesson!
We toured the school and were offered the traditional Spanish breakfast at the school cafeteria: the hot chocolate, "churros" and toasts were delicious!:):)

The students were very excited about everyday activities, eager to take part in every one of them.

Spanish Lepe was visited and toured around on a sunny day, with its iron decorated windows and patios, and a beautiful lake in "Plaza Maior".

The Comenius presentations on the 4ENs were held in the Town Hall, where the school Director and Town Education Representative gave a speech and let us know about their commitment to make this international event enriching and unforgettable. The Portuguese delegation presented a Prezi work on "Thermal Waters of Portugal" ;at the end of the presentation pencil drawings, made by our Year 12 Arts students on the same theme - Water , were offered to every school Coordinator. In fact, the drawings represented a GLASS OF WATER, reminding everyone of the vital essence of this simple transparent liquid, which also cures diseases and betters conditions.

The delegations met in a Work Meeting to prepare the next and last International Conference in Gairloch, Scotland, from 18 to 24 April, to analyse what has been done, to improve outcomes already accomplished, and to prepare the last documents.

In the evening we could taste the best foods and drinks of the region, products of the SUN / FIRE, WATER, AIR and EARTH´s Human Beings´devotion for their LAND. The Spanish dances - flamenco - were enticing and enchanting with their unique rythm and passion.

A second country was visited on the second day: Portugal. Vila Real de Sto António, a neighbouring town, gave the chance to all the Comenius participants to breath a bit of the Portuguese atmosphere with its marina - AIR, WATER, cafés, foods and drinks - FIRE, shops and buildings- EARTH. A "very typical" Algarve sweet was tasted - "Dom Rodrigo", and the story behind its creation was published too!

Comenius teachers and students also visited a Fruit Factory in the Huelva region, having the chance to observe inside how the tasty fruits are prepared for us to enjoy! We were reminded about the importance of the southern SUN essential to make the delicious strawberries, oranges, blueberries and raspberies so colourful and juicy!

The Element WATER was not forgotten either: we could appreciate the wonders of nature inside EARTH in the caves of Aracena! What a view!
 Outside, on our way back, we could also appreciate an enormous quarry with a lake! We took the chance to photograph our group of coordinators from 8 countries for a memoy of very good times and relationships!:)

On the beach in La Antilla, and in the "Playa de La Casita Azul", we enjoyed our meal, tenderly prepared by the Spanish families who hosted our students, and enjoyed the sights of the ocean and the long stripes of sand, where games were played.

The EARTH was also appreciated from another perspective, when the third country was visited: Gibraltar, a piece of The UK in the south of Europe! The ROCK, the buildings, the British heroes and monuments and sculptures, praising brave deeds of the past, could be admired in this incredible short journey to Britain!

One of the most beautiful and appealing Spanish cities offered us some of the best moments: Seville. Its cathedral, streets, buildings, foods and drinks, monuments, parks and colours were breathtaking! Ana, the vice director and teacher of History, guided us through the city and told us amazing stories about the monuments and personalities! Thank you Ana for your time and kindness!

In the last evening, in Lepe, we were incredibly lucky to enjoy some Carnival entertainment moments in "El Camino", with a unique musical group - "Mi Alma" ! What best to offer us relaxing funny and cheerful moments? We laughed a lot and cheered along with them! A night to remember!

On the very last day the delegations could visit the Bellas Artes Museum in Seville, where important painters have their paintings displayed, as is the case of El Greco, Velasquez or Murillo. Everyone had the chance to learn or recall Art movements from the past till now, and get involved in beauty and talent!

The time to say goodbye came, but we wished we could stay longer! See you next April dear friends!

After this fantastic meeting in Spain all the students´evaluations couldn´t be better!Here they are: Hugo,  MartaJoão Vitor, Fábio and Mariana´s! The teachers also sent their feedback saying THANK YOU for every moment!

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