A core aim of the project was to work with a wide range of subjects and events, thus enabling and encouraging our pupils to develop extracurricular interests of their own as well as to develop an idea of entrepreneurship. It was hoped and anticipated that these aims would continue after the project came to an end.
Built on the links forged together over the three years between the partner schools, all schools want to carry on and sustain the achievements over this time. The website has been built in such a way that it will be possible for all schools to update it with additional lesson plans, tips for helping pupils considered to be at risk of leaving school earlier etc and for this to be accessible to all.
The project has had a big impact throughout all schools, not just with the teachers and pupils directly involved in each workshop or exchange, but with the wider community as a whole. Everyone is aware of the benefits it has brought, to individual children, to classes as well as a wider understanding of Europe and what it means to be part of a bigger entity. Pupils have become more open to and interested in other cultures since the start of the project. Those pupils in the schools, who were too young to take part in a workshop or exchange during the course of the project, ask how they can become involved and all pupils are interested in keeping the exchanges alive somehow or other. Pupils are interested to know how the project will continue beyond its three-year duration.
The short pupil exchanges of 4-6 weeks will continue beyond the project. Schools are already involved in organising such exchanges for pupils and this is likely to continue as interest remains high. In addition to organised exchanges between schools, in which teachers are involved, pupils are also organising informal, private exchanges in order to continue the contacts they have made over the course of the project. The energy that the project created is still very much alive within the school communities – not only with staff and pupils, but also with parents, many of whom have experienced the benefits the exchanges and workshops have brought to their families. For some children it remains one of the most interesting and exciting school activities they have taken part in.
The charity work that was part of the project has sparked an interest in children to raise money for other charitable aims. Ideas have been developed on how to earn money for future projects, such as car washing, cake baking and sponsored walks or bike rides. This has been of particular benefit to those children of lower academic ability, who have been able to develop other talents and enthusiasms to support this wish to help others. This is sustained both within the school environment and outside of it. Other pupils have been encouraged to do voluntary work with organisations or to organise workshops. For the German school the support of the Syrian children will be continued. After pupils asked
the school if it were possible to help these minors after it became known that they were being housed nearby, the work has been taken on by the Ministry of Social Affairs. Two teaching trainees have been appointed in order to offer additional help for these children. Furthermore, the inclusion that played such a large role in selecting participants for the workshops has also sowed further seeds in the German school. It has been agreed to accept two pupils with special needs to the school.
All schools have agreed the importance of keeping the Erasmus project ideals alive and Erasmus will continue to be discussed at school meetings, where opportunities to work together will be discussed and shared.