Thursday 18 June 2015

8th International Comenius Meeting in Gairloch, Scotland

8th International Comenius Meeting in Gairloch, Scotland

18 – 24 April 2015

With a very exciting programme for our last meeting, we headed to Gairloch – two teachers , me teacher of English and the Portuguese coordinator,  Lucinda Coelho, teacher of Economy, and two students, Daniela Martins of class 12LH2 and Diogo Pereira of 10CT2. Lots of students were interested in taking part , but, being the final trip, it was not possible. They took part in every activity enthusiastically and keep forever this amazing experience as well as we do.
After arrival in London and Edinburgh, all the groups had the chance to visit the incredible Horse sculptures,- Kelpies - made of steel,emerging from the Water.The guided visit was essential to inform us about the purpose of the artist as well of the effects they produced.
Near Inverness we had our typical British dinner: fish and chips! Everybody enjoyed to have it here especially the students who had now the chance to taste it where it really belonged- the UK:)

Gairloch was there at last, a small village northwest of Scotland settled in a beautiful scenery of blue, green , white and the yellow of the sun that shone the entire week! Surprisingly we had a wonderful barbecue on the beach where everyone could enjoy the open space and the warm breeze of April.
The thoughtful Scottish coordinator, Beth Hunter, had the school wonderfully decorated with all of the eight countries´flags and,with the cooperation of staff, students and Head office,offered to all of us a welcoming reception. Bagpipes and other musical instrumentsScottish music and culture!

 Presentations were held with every country taking part, except Spain.
 The Portuguese students presented their work on "The Schist villages of Portugal" related to the main theme of the Project" The 4 ENs of Nature and their Effect on Our Lives". They showed a video film on Nature in Portugal and then proceeded to the main content of their presentation. Daniela started and Diogo finished showing how it is still possible to find clean Air in the inner unpolluted part of the country.

After this presentation it was shown a video film made of different photos taken in the seven previous visited countries´meetings, witnessing the warm bonds created. Scotland would be integrated after, it was a promise!:)

From the diverse activities suggested - kayaking, wall climbing, going to the beach, visiting the waterfalls,..., a group of teachers and students chose the Jewellery workshop activity under the guidance of the nice Scottish teacher Alice Velt. Beautiful earrings and bracelets came out!
A trip to Ullapool was organised for some teachers while others and students went climbing to the top of a mountain. The Scottish landscape could be enjoyed at its best: mountains, blue water lochs, green pasturelands, white sheep and an immerse horizon...the Four Elements of Nature were there for us!
Ullapool at sight: a small town by the sea with beautiful traditional buildings and lovely food to taste!

The Scottish school offered to all the delegations and local teachers involved a fantastic welcoming dinner. The photos show the friendly atmosphere created:)
A boat trip in the Loch Ness was also programmed which was a thrilling adventure! Nobody missed it and we could see with our own eyes the magical lake that keeps the big secret...

The final Comenius night - Ceilidh party - was the golden key to end the Project. Many Scottish dances were tried by all the delegations with excitement!  Nobody seemed to give up dancing!

 Scottish musical groups played the traditional tunes and students danced graciously. A little girl presented us with a skilled performance too! Another group showed their balance and talent!

 A raffle was held with local products and also with typical objects brought by the partner school delegations. The Portuguese delegation contributed with different objects related to our culture.

Violinists,  other musicians also played to make this night memorable! The students sang beautifully!

But, before this moment, every delegation also contributed to the event with an artistic performance. The Portuguese students decided to take to Scotland a short traditional play
related to the Four Elements of Nature: " The Stone Soup", inviting their foreign peers to take part.
 It was a moment of fun but also of learning as this traditional tale is also a metaphor of generosity and cooperation in hard times! The Scottish, Polish, Finish students accepted the challenge and learned about this simple but meaningful Portuguese folk tale.

On the way back to Edinburgh, the groups visited the Glen Ord Destillery of Whisky and learned about the process from the very beginning until it comes to our glasses.

Then we travelled from Inverness to Edinburgh where we could appreciate the atmosphere of the capital of Scotland.


After arrival  there were moments of sadness and nostalgia remembering the EXCELLENT moments lived in every partner country. The 4ENs Comenius group of Facebook was flooded with photos, messages and conversations among all the different students and teachers, which is promising...friendships are here to last:)

Evaluations were sent to the Scottish coordinator, applauding her for a fantastic job! Thank you Beth!:)

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