Due to celebration of the Day of Peace and in relation to our Erasmus project “Learning from the Holocoust”, our students from the 1st year of Bachillerato have enjoyed participating in an intercentre activity collaborating with other centres of our neighbourhood.
Finally, after months of planning, email-correspondence and video chatting with each other, the four European teams met in Germany on the 26th of November, 2019. The German school “Oscar-Paret-Schule” in “Freiberg am Neckar” hosted the teacher’s conference in order to set the lines of the common project “Learning from the Holocaust”.
The teachers form Latvia, Portugal and Spain arrived the night before and after a dinner with their hosts, a refreshing night-sleep and a German breakfast, the entire team finally met at 8:30 am at the OPS in Freiberg. There, they were cordially welcomed by Dirk Schaible, mayor of Freiberg am Neckar, who – in his introductory words – pointed to the great possibilities a European cooperation holds, especially in times of racism and right-wing populism. Also René Coels, principal of the Oscar-Paret-Schule, welcomed the European guests. For him a cooperation of teachers is the opportunity also for students to see much of the world, to learn from each other and to seek friendship crossing borders.
The first workshops were created in order to get to know each other better. Katrin Schuhmann presented the German school with its special structure. She talked about the new school, that is about to be built and its importance for the city of Freiberg. Luís Reis presented his school in Santo Comba Dao and told about the challenge of being located at the edge of Europe and the chances he sees for his school and students to travel through Europe. The next to talk was Patricia Vera Morales presenting her school in the South of Seville. Her school is mainly attended by Romani students and the problem the school’s community faces on a daily basis is early school-drop-outs. The Erasmus+ projects aim to motivate students to stay, to attend classes and to open up to a world that far too often is sealed for the Romani minority. Finally, Inese Vorza, the teacher from Latvia, talked about Ludza gimnazija. She presented the town located close to the Russian border and pointed out that her main objective is to strengthen tolerance and respect among her students. Talking about the Holocaust holds many opportunities to make people more empathetic and aware.
The international teams also found their common logo. A Portuguese student has created the logo that got most of the votes – so with that milestone, our Erasmus project now has a great visual representation.ç
The rest of the first day was filled with workshops that made the navigation through our mobility tool easier and also addressed financial aspects of the European project. In the evening the team met for a typical German dinner at “Schwabenstuben”. For those with enough energy and who still didn’t have enough German impressions for the day, the night ended at the “Wintertraum”, a small Christmas market in Stuttgart.
The next day started early in Stuttgart, where Michael Tame gave a tour of the city and told some facts about the town hall, the market hall, and the big construction of Stuttgart 21 (the new train station). Together we visited the “Staatsgalerie Stuttgart” where Luís demonstrated incredible knowledge in paintings and sculptures. We couldn’t resist asking a talented stranger to take a photo of us in front of the famous banksy painting.
Later at school, we learned about tools “audacity”, “powtoon”, “worl café” and “circle method” and discussed their use in our project.
The Portuguese team brought a bit of Portuguese culture with them and surprised us with an impressive little barbeque of Portuguese sausage before we went to visit the “Ludwigsburg Barockweihnachtsmarkt“ to introduce the guests to German culture and the surrounding area.
The next morning, job shadowing was made possible, which enabled the guests to get a better understanding of the school life at the German school. Experiencing and talking about the concept “Gut arbeiten” installed in many of the German classes was interesting for all guests. We then discussed how virtualisations of our exhibitions might be realized, but, especially after experiencing the poor quality of German internet and technical equipment at German schools, we decided that the easiest possible ways should be chosen.
After this, we had to say goodbye and in the evening, everyone was able to follow personal preferences, e.g. going to the market hall in Stuttgart or to another art exhibition. As a conclusion, we all enjoyed getting to know each other in person and finding out about each other’s cultures and schools.
After learning a lot about the German culture, we are all looking forward to bring the students here and in return learn about the other countries, which we will visit during the course of the project.
Nowadays, schools are working on the fight against everything that supposed to go against having a peaceful world where respect is what prevails among people. From the I.E.S. Antonio Dominguez Ortiz we want to contribute celebrating the Day of Peace through a cooperative work between students and teachers. Together, we have created wings whose feathers contain messages of Peace. These feathers have been created during the previous week so that the entire educational community is aware that Peace is not something of a single day, January 30th, but it is something to be worked on every single day collaborating with each other. We have also created a human peace sign in the schoolyard as a symbol of the teamwork we have carried out .
Today our students have attended a day on the memory of the Holocaust as it commemorates the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation. The event has taken place in “La Fundación Tres Culturas”, former Pavilion of Morocco of Expo 92.
José Cruz, co-director of the permanent University Seminar of Holocaust-Shoá Studies and the anti-Semitism of the Pablo de Olavide University, has been in charge of giving a talk about the Nazi genocide after which the students have been able to see the movie “The boy with Striped pajamas. “
This visit links directly to one of the current Erasmus + projects that are being carried out in the center, “Learning from the Holocaust”. Thanks to this project, our students will learn about the history of the Holocaust and its consequences. Reflections will be made on how to prevent such an atrocious event from happening again.