FACES of Clevedon would like to extend a very warm welcome to Omar Hammouda, Ina Bischof, Maike Raguenet and their students from Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium in Germany along with Johan Verstaete, Ymke Honnoré and their students from Royal Atheneum Centrum Ostend in Belgium.
Their visit to Clevedon is part of an Erasmus+ project “Making Europe Count Everywhere”. Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. It runs for seven years, from 2014 to 2020, with organisations invited to apply for funding each year to undertake creative and worthwhile activities. The fourth school Lycée Polyvalent Européen Stéphane Hessel in France were unable to visit on this occasion but we will hopefully see them at a later date.
The collaboration between the four schools is the first project of such grand scale within the educational framework of the twinning history of the four towns: Clevedon, Epernay, Ettlingen and Middelkerke. It involves seventy-five young people aged between fourteen and seventeen years and their staff, and the first event took place last year when a group of staff and students from Clevedon School and Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium spent a wonderful week at Royal Atheneum Centrum Ostend.
As well as the fabulous experience of staying with their host families and spending time at the school, students visited Brussels and the European Parliament and the beautiful town of Bruges which is a UNESCO world heritage site. They also took part in the Middlekerke Day of Peace.
Being involved in such a project as MECE can have a life-changing impact on young people. Fuelled by the necessity to confront challenges outside a familiar support network and their comfort zone, they become more mature, more confident and more independent; they gain an international network of friends; they acquire knowledge about the countries they visit and a deeper understanding of their culture. They become much more open minded and willing to involve themselves in a range of international activities from taking a keener interest in international news, to travel and work opportunities abroad.
This week, students and staff have an exciting week planned and how lucky are they to be experiencing such nice weather?
They spent their first day which was Thursday in Clevedon School; in the morning they did a number of orientation and ice – breaking activities and in the afternoon they had lessons on photography and journalism. One of the tangible outcomes of the project is the collaborative creation of a digital and paper magazine which requires them to work together on various areas of the editorial and production/printing process. They ended the day with a visit to the Pier.
On Friday they had rugby sessions with staff at the school and then went off to Bath. The final event in Bath was meeting up and interviewing some of the Bath rugby team.
Yesterday they were out and about doing activities devised by the Clevedon Twinning Association which enabled them to discover Clevedon. You may well have seen them.
More about their day in Bath and the rest of the visit in the next blog post. For now, it just remains to say…………….such an exchange involves a tremendous amount of work for it to be the success that this one is, so hats off to the staff at Clevedon School, Royal Atheneum Centrum, Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium and Clevedon Twinning Association for making it happen. You have provided the young people involved with the most fabulous, stimulating learning opportunities that will boost all aspects of their development and have enabled them to forge life long friendships.