Let’s Smile at Europe

It was a joy to see children happily joining in as they played ‘Iz-zunzana ddur iddur…’ and to hear the traditional Maltese chant ‘gewz, lewz, qastan, tin…’ given a new slant as it was sung with great gusto by English eight year olds.

This was all happening at a recent meeting at Staunton and Corse School in Gloucester, England, last October.

The junior school has ventured on another three year educational adventured after successfully finishing the first Comenius project last June. The working group consists of United Kingdom (two different schools), Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Poland, and of course, Malta. This new project is entitled ‘Let’s all smile at Europe’. This is in turn is subdivided into three themes; a theme per year.

The theme for this year is ‘Festivals and Traditions’. Our major task for this term was to produce a collaborative school tourist guide. In our case, we decided to make two-one produced by the lower primary classes and aimed at younger children in the different partner schools, and a similar one was compiled by the older classes. Common themes were set for all the different partner schools; thus every country focused on the environment next to the school. Every country talked about a typical school day, about local festival and traditions, about landmarks, buildings and monuments. Every guide also contained a list of common ‘survival’ words in its respective language.

Both students and staff worked very hard on these guides; all learnt a lot, and had a lot of fun in the process. A coloured photo copy was mailed to every partner school.

From January to March, the schools will work with a local artist, studying his/her style and technique. Then they will produce work depicting a local festival or tradition using inspiration from the techniques learnt. Images of both the process and the final product will be uploaded on to the website created specifically for the project.

We are all very enthusiastic about this project, and are looking forward to working with our partners, thus promoting the European Dimension in the curriculum.