St Augustine's Catholic Primary School, Weymouth
France, Germany and Spain
‘Greeny on Tour for the Environment’ is a Comenius project that has successfully utilised the tools that eTwinning has to offer to enhance the Comenius project work. The project is based on environmental issues and how they are tackled in the UK, France, Germany and Spain, and also involves pupils and staff improving their Modern Foreign Language skills.
Approximately 25 members of staff have visited each school in all 4 countries, learning much from each other about classroom organisation, curriculum development, teaching and learning methods and lesson delivery. Teachers from each country taught lesson in each other’s schools – language, cookery and music – and were able to see each other in action in the classroom. Creative content was ensured by composing and singing songs to present as part of the video-conferencing sessions, separate large-scale sculptures built of waste materials have also been worked upon independently. Stephen Mason, Headteacher of St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School says “before we started, the concept of Europe was not understood by most of the children, but now they are fully aware of 3 other major European countries and their ways of life. Citizenship has become a practical rather than theoretical part of the curriculum”.
The environmental theme was chosen deliberately to ensure that the project and its work was as cross-curricular as possible. The areas of Science, Art, Music, Citizenship, English, Modern Foreign Languages and IT have all been integrated into the project with activities including: planting a tree and measuring its growth throughout the seasons; reporting on each school’s recycling efforts; and measuring weather data and contrasting each of the 4 countries’ data.
Outcomes and project work have been saved on the eTwinning Twinspace allowing uploaded materials and presentations to be compared and contrasted easily across all 4 countries. Video-conferencing, using new webcams and Skype, were all new experiences for the schools and according to Stephen Mason “the project brought a new and exciting dimension to our work. Children’s knowledge and use of email was more purposeful than ever before. As well as that we made creative use of digital cameras to develop the website content as well as producing displays of work for the whole school community. Video cameras were used by pupils in all 4 countries to present information about their ways of life”.
IT skills among all participants were greatly developed as a result of the project and the use of new ICT tools. Stephen Mason also explains that “the children in our school are now citizens of Europe and they fully understand what this means. The most outstanding aspect of our project was the successful negotiation – in four languages – among teachers from 4 varied countries and making the most of the resulting opportunities for all children and staff involved”.