Transnational Projectmeetings

Dates

For whom

Hungary, Budapest

19-21 October 2014

Teachers

Turkey, Aliaga

10-12 October 2015

Teachers

France, Strasbourg

11-14 July 2017

Teachers

TRANSNATIONAL PROJECT MEETINGS

There were three transnational project meetings during the project: one at the beginning, one at the middle and a final one, once all the workshops had taken place. In addition to this, a teacher training event took place in Germany for teachers of all the partner schools [C12].

FIRST TRANSATIONAL MEETING - BUDAPEST

At the first transnational meeting which took place in Budapest from 19-21 October 2014, the schools began by introducing their delegates and giving a brief description of their schools, their strengths and weaknesses and what they hoped to achieve through the project for both pupils and teachers at the schools. Some of the partners already knew each other as they had worked together on a previous Comenius project (England, Germany and the TED Aliaga Middle School in Turkey). It was felt that good working relationships had been built up over the course of the first project and from there new ideas to explore had arisen.

New partners had been asked to join this project: The Ecole Michaël de Strasbourg, a school which it was felt was well placed to support the project objectives (with foreign languages being one of the focus subjects), as well as the TED Aliaga High School, which along with the Middle School has a very strong language learning and teaching ethic, which is successfully applied in their language lessons. The last new partner, a relatively young large Waldorf School in Budapest, has excellent resources, due to national education strategies and a high standard of multilingualism at a staffing level. They also have a very open and enthusiastic atmosphere towards language learning and other cultures, which was felt to be important to the realisation of the aims of ‘Achieving Together’.

All partners were in possession of the project paperwork, but it was felt necessary to clarify certain points, such as the meaning of pupils ‘with fewer opportunities’ and how many such pupils should take part in a workshop (p.52 project summary). Additionally communication between partners is of the utmost importance, and therefore all teachers accompanying pupils to a workshop should be selected carefully to offer as much help to the hosting school during the workshop, but also be able to carry the message and results of the workshop back to their own school (p.16 rationale of the project).

Actions for each school were then agreed, such as dates of workshops, how pupils were to be chosen for a specific workshop as well as how each workshop was to be evaluated.

The financial aspects of the grant were discussed in great detail. The number of participants also includes teachers accompanying the trip. H5 Travel (p.43-46) details the number of participants and travel grant per participant for each school for the activities C1 to C13 (which in turn are described on p. 27-34). The amount is calculated by distance and it was pointed out that some trips will cost more, some less. However, the money should cover the cost of travel overall and may make it possible for more students to participate.

A number of activities can be supported by the grant, such as a cover teacher for when a teacher accompanies a trip, or for a new computer or administration staff. The final report does not need to give details of every item of expenditure, but does have to state how the money was used. (p.41 – H1) Erasmus may come at any time up to 5 years after the project to check the books. The bookkeeping should be in accordance with the requirements of the country and the school's own bookkeeping and auditing practices. They will need to show that all participants took part. By adhering to your own bookkeeping requirements and the national requirements you will have evidence to back this up. Grant money will have to be returned if:

- We do not send the number of pupils on a trip that we said we would send.

- We do not do something we said we would do

Parents can be asked for a voluntary contribution for each trip, but it must be made clear that the ability to contribute financially will play no role in choosing candidates for workshops. The host school will invoice the visiting schools for each workshop, based on accommodation, trips and outgoings. However, individual agreements between schools are possible, but in all cases an invoice is necessary for record keeping purposes. If changes are made, it is necessary for future reference to make a note of the reason this was done.

For C1 of our Erasmus programme, a change was made to the period for longer term student exchanges; instead of running between 5. January to 14th February, it was decided to extend this period so that it will run from 5th January to 4th April. This will give better sustainability to the project. It was also decided that pupils could come for 3 weeks instead of 6. This would allow more children to benefit from the programme and carry the impulse of the project to a wider community. It would also allow less confident children to take part, who would not manage such a long stay abroad. The British Council had advised that these changes are possible as long as the agreed number of mobilities in weeks are carried out. It must be noted however that if it is changed from 6 weeks to 3 weeks and the number of participants is doubled, this will have an effect on the financial aspect as only one travel grant has been allocated for each 6 week mobility.

The broad outlines for each workshop were agreed in principle. Outcomes, preparations in advance and possible problems were discussed and each school had actions to investigate and solutions to find. Costs for each workshop were discussed as well as potential costs for longer term exchange pupils.

In planning each workshop, the partners felt it was necessary to consider the balance of activities, group sizes and the breakdown of nationalities and ages within each group. Teachers should also be chosen for their relevance to the activity and ability to carry the work forward once back at home.

At the end of the week, on Friday night, there will be an evening of presentations. Each workshop would finish with a cultural evening, where crafts would also be sold to raise funds for a charitable organisation.

Finally a checklist was compiled by all the partner schools, looking at things that would be needed to be done prior and during a workshop as well as what would need to be done, once the workshop was over.

SECOND TRANSATIONAL MEETING – TURKEY

This took place from 10-12 October 2015. In some cases other members f staff attended the meeting and so introductions were made and some basic Turkish phrases were learnt by everyone. By this time C1 – C3 workshops had taken place and the dates for workshops C4 – C13 were discussed as well as the H2 meeting in France.

A problem that had arisen was to do with e-Twinning, which the French school was unable to access and which their authorities did not recognise. This was seen to be a big problem as it was agreed that all schools would use this as a dissemination platform. Other ways of doing this were discussed – a google platform but eventually it was decided that the French school would use its own platform and link back to the other partner schools and vice versa.

Questionnaires were discussed in great depth. The idea is to give them to pupils, parents and staff taking part in a workshop. They are to be as user friendly as possible.

Discussion also took place on a charitable organisation for the group as a whole. The Freie Waldorfschule Saar-Hunsrück in Germany was working with the charity ‘Help’ and all partners felt this was an excellent charity to support. It is relevant to current refugee situation and expands theme of inclusion and working together. All schools felt it was important that we show that we can co-operate and work together in a way that politicians have been unable to do. It was agreed that all monies raised from the sale of crafts at the presentation evening at the end of each workshop would go towards this end.

Lesson plans and ILPs (Individual Learning Plans) are an integral part of the course and also an ongoing part. It was envisaged that all schools would upload lesson plans, which could be adapted and used by all schools (and others), not just for the duration of the programme, but also afterwards.

Each workshop yet to take place was discussed and preparation work in advance was also discussed. Each partner school had a list of items to work though after discussions had taken place.

The joint staff training in Germany was also discussed. The aim of the training was to look at observation, differentiation and lesson planning in order to be able to include pupils at risk of exclusion or disaffection. It is not essential that the visiting teachers speak German.

Transnational project meeting in 2017 was discussed. It will involve report writing and will look at the dissemination of project results. It is essential that all activity is documented and recorded, that all partners have proof of participation and that all questionnaires and evaluations are completed and shared.

Financial matters were also discussed. If there is some money left over from one project, then this can be spent on another project (such as sending an additional student). This is according to the Hungarian national agency. There is also an administration budget of €18,000, which can be used for workshops or teachers’ meetings. The flights were covered for this teachers’ meeting, but not hotels or food.

Finally, there was a brain storming session on how to keep the ideas of Erasmus alive between workshops and within the teaching community. Ideas included: Erasmus updates at each teachers’ meeting, presentations in assemblies, boards in common school areas (lobbies, noticeboards), class teachers talking to parents etc.

Blogs (upper school) and Facebook were also used in various schools. Individual groups of students could invite specific teachers to the final event; classes could send cards to other classes in the other schools.

When there are exchange students, each school could have a board with the names of these students and their photos so there is an awareness of these students.

Each school decided that flags from each of the participating countries should be displayed in public areas of the school, space allowing.

SitemapSite NoticeContact