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Comenius 2010/2011

Newsletter 4

LIVING BY THE SEA Welcome to the fourth newsletter of the Comenius project “Living by the sea”. Our group consists of eight schools from Denmark, France, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Greece and Portugal. This project will be developed between September 2009 and July 2011. (winning logo in the Greek school)

Comenius teachers visit the 2nd Primary School of Kalymnos-Greece

Tuesday, 19th October 2010 After a stressful Monday night because of the inability of the Irish and Portuguese to reach Kalymnos due to very rough weather conditions, all of the participants managed to reach their destination. So everybody came except for the friends from Guadeloupe who couldn’t make it at all. After all friends were accommodated at the hotel some had lunch at one of the seafront, seafood taverns. We had a nice time catching up with our latest news and getting to know the rest of the new Comenius friends. Later in the evening we all gathered at a pub right across the hotel where we enjoyed socializing and giving our Portuguese friend Annabella a mini surprise birthday party!


Wednesday, 20th October 2010

At nine o’clock in the morning we left the hotel and half an hour later we were at our host school. After the principal’s and the parents’ association warm welcome, we exchanged our symbolic gifts and had a coffee break to taste handmade delicacies. After this short break, the students gave us a tour around their school. When the tour was over some of the Comenius friends gave a short interview to the local TV reporter and we left for a visit to the Archaeological Museum. When the tour of the museum was over, it was almost noon so we went on to have lunch. Then we returned to our hotel to get some rest. The free afternoon gave us the chance to roam around local shops and freshen up for our dinner at an Italian restaurant where we had a huge dinner!

Thursday, 21st October 2010 The day began with our gathering at the school library to go on with the Comenius meeting, while the guest students were doing arts and crafts with the students of the 6th grade. After a delicious coffee break courtesy of the parents’ association, the guests watched the power point presentations the students had prepared for each of the participating countries. The students had the chance to ask any questions they had about the countries they had worked on. What followed was a quite long, but very interesting visit to a local sponge warehouse where we learned a lot about the history, nature and fishing of natural sponges. What followed was a hearty lunch at a seaside tavern near the school.


After returning to Plaza hotel for a quick rest, all of us gathered at the reception hall of the hotel. The reason was to enjoy an unforgettable socializing amidst eating the specialties and delicacies the parents’ association had prepared for all of us. All that was going on while listening to folk Greek music only to end up dancing traditional Greek and Kalymnian folk dances.

Friday, 22nd October 2010 Our day began with the Comenius meeting where we discussed further about the project while the Latvian students mingled with the Greek ones so as to teach each other dances from their countries. Later we were driven to “The Kalymnian House” museum where we had a detailed tour into the customs and the Kalymnian way of life in the past.

The next stop was at the monastery of Saint Savvas (a local saint) overlooking the port of Kalymnos. We marveled the murals of the church and were given details about the religious feeling of the Kalymnians. After a short walk, we were transported to Vlyhadia beach where we visited the local maritime museum, watched an interesting demonstration with a “skafandro”(traditional diving apparatus) by a professional diver and had lunch. After a couple of hours of rest the “gang” was transported down to school to watch the students’ music and dance show.

Saturday, 23rd October 2010 Saturday was the day of the departure for most of the delegations. The previous day we said goodbye to the Icelanders, the Portuguese, the Latvians and the Irish friends. We were left with the company of the French and the Danish. We spent the day driving around Kalymnos.


More specifically, we first went to Vathi, a seaside village, where we visited the local shipyard and a byzantine chapel. Then the road led us to Emporios seaside village where we enjoyed a cup of coffee under the warm October sun. Then we drove to Myrties beach to have lunch. Next we made the crossing to Telendos, the island across to walk around the little island. The next day it was time for the French and the Danish to depart too.

Thank you for coming to Kalymnos and making us have a special time!

4th Project Meeting - Kalymnos Greece (19th -24th of October 2010)

Comenius teachers and students’ visit the 2nd Primary School of Kalymnos. The impression the visit to Kalymnos left on the French delegation The visit to Kalymnos was a very fulfilling experience! I will remember the hearty welcome we got from teachers, pupils and parents. I truly felt the strong link existing in the school community, between all the people involved in the project and so in the success of the project. I would say that everyone’s commitment has made it possible for the project to be rooted in the local life and so its impact is much stronger. The presence of parents was a personal revelation because it made me understand the part played by the school in the community and see a new way of functioning at school, with closer relationships. The evening party they offered was a real delight. What a pleasure to discover the local traditions! The food was pure bliss and dancing a very memorable moment!


(Ingrid) During the visit we did many activities linked with the project and I was particularly interested in the visit to a sponge diver’s warehouse where the manager took time to explain and show us how sponges are picked and processed to get the final state we know and also to tell the history of sponge diving. I was also very impressed by the slow preparation and presentation of a diver in an original diving suit. I really felt how proud and happy everyone is to be participating in the project and to show and share with us their life by the sea. Thank you to everyone for their kindness and availability. (Sylvia)

Here is what the Latvian students wrote about the visit: Greece I really liked my trip. It was very nice!!! I saw very beautiful nature and clear sea… I haven`t seen anything like it before. I was a little surprised, about that so small island can be so beautiful and interesting. I can say that people in Greece are very friendly and they are also very active.  I was very glad because Your school was so expectant, and I was really amazed. For the first time in my life, I`ve tried real, delicious sea food and of course, in Latvia, we cannot find anything like this!  I am very happy.

I have met new friends and I won`t forget anyone!!!

We had a very good company and I am sure, we all have got new experience. I think it was the best trip, that I`ve had in my life. I can promise, that in the future, I WILL come back to Kalymnos, because now, it`s in my heart… Edvin

When we where at Kalymnos I was really happy. The people were friendly and nice. They weren’t shy and I liked it. The Kalymnos school was small but that’s not the important thing. The important thing is that the school was lovely and the children were friendly. And I think they were hardworking. The pictures and the presentations were really nice. I loved the concert at the last day at Kalymnos! That was nice that we were making the octopus together in groups. The dance lessons and the dinner


together were amazing. We loved the weather and the nature of Kalymnos. I really want to go back to Kalymnos and visit our new friends.  I respect Michael and his English!  I hope that we will communicate with the Kalymnos children My email is alisone.e@one.lv  Alise. Latvia, Riga. 16.11.2010.

Evaluation of the forth period from May to October 2010

In this period the schools have worked with the ecology/environmental project. The schools have presented power points and photo stories of their project, and we have all learned how enthusiastic the schools have worked. Most of the schools have also worked with the impact of tourism and the students have made photos and films from the beaches. We have all sent our first years evaluation, and all the evaluations have been accepted.

Evaluation of the meeting on Kalymnos

The meeting was a very big success. We were met with big hospitality, and from the start we felt at home on the beautiful island. The meeting was very well planned, and many local people were involved. The parents and parent’s organisation were involved in many of the events, and to the long Comenius-show a lot of local people were invited. On Kalymnos the school has really succeeded with the dissemination of the Comenius-idea and the results of the project. Our Greek hosts have made and exiting program with a good mix of school visits, meetings and excursions. It was in many ways a very instructive meeting.

We used two days on evaluating and planning. The schools haven’t had bigger problems with the activities and the expected results. All the schools have had very good experiences and the project activities have been given a very well reception from colleagues, students and the local population.

Here are some of the results from the meetings:

We decided to transfer money for the transport to Guadeloupe


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We fixed the dates for the meetings in Denmark and on Iceland We talked about the website and the blog and decided to use time at it at the meeting on Guadeloupe We decided that the Greek teachers are editing the newsletter, and that Greek and Latvian students are going to make articles We decided to continue the work by making small films from touristy places near the sea We experienced a very big dissemination of the Comenius-idea and got many new ideas how we can involve the parents and the local population in the project

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ “This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”


Newsletter 4