Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Sara's Diary

29th of March
We departed from Pisa to Amsterdam in the afternoon at 4.00 p.m.
We arrived in the city centre in the evening and we went to the “Hotel Mozart” to unpack our suitcases and
take a shower. In this hotel there were the English students from the Comenius Project, too.
We had dinner in a nice Spanish restaurant and after dinner we had a walk in the city.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city, especially in the night. It has a particular architecture, even if the houses are similar to each other.  

30th of March

In the morning we visited the Van Gogh Museum, which is the permanent collection. In the museum, besides some of the most beautiful paintings of Vincent, there was an exhibition about some paintings of Picasso, too.

After the museum we had much free time, so some students from the 3rd class and I went shopping! We ate at the Burger King, where there was another Italian group.
After lunch we met with all the other Comenius guys: English, French and German. Together we took a private coach which brought us in Bakkeveen, two hours’ drive from Amsterdam.
When we arrived in the Conference Hotel “Nieuw Allardsoog”, the Dutch students welcomed us.
They gave us the number of our room and they divided us:  in each room there were 2 students of a country and 2 students of another country.
I was with Giulia P. and two German girls, Melissa and Jana! In a first time, there were some problems with them, but after the first day the relationship got better.
We had dinner at 7.00 p.m. and, after dinner, there was a concert in the Conference Room! It was a beautiful and funny concert! I think that the group was very good! ;)
When the concert was finished, all the students went into the hostel and we stayed together until 12.00 p.m.

31th of March

In the morning, after breakfast, we were separated in 4 groups: Groups A, B, C and D. I was in group C.
While the group B and D did some games, group A and my group went for a walk in the moor near the hostel.
It was a beautiful landscape, what a shame that it rained!!!
After lunch, we changed: group B and D had a walk, and group A and C did the games! We played different games in groups, for example we played Frisbee.  It was an opportunity to know each other.

After the games, there was a discussion in international groups: each group discussed about the different systems of school education.
We had dinner at 7.00 p.m. and then we went to the Conference Room where there was the English presentation about their school.
At the end of the presentation we had a little break while the German students got ready for their game, that consisted in a simulation of a murder. We separated in international groups and the aim of this game was finding the killer. It was a very funny moment, especially because in my group there was an English student, Niall, who is an amusing boy. 
1st of April

It was April’s fool day!
In the morning we visited the Montessori College, in Leeuwarden. It is the school of the Dutch students. It’s a big and beautiful school, there are a lot of students and classrooms!! It isn’t similar to our school!!!!! ;)
In the afternoon we had some free time, so after a “snack” at the Mc Donald’s,  Valentina, Giulia and I did some more shopping, and we spent a lot of money! ;)
When we came back to Bakkeveen, Hans told us that we would meet at 18.30 p.m. in the Conference Room. We didn’t have the time to take a shower, but after half an hour there wasn’t any teacher! So only in that moment we understood that it was April’s Fool!
In the evening there was the German’s presentation and our game.
The games consisted in some quiz about music, history, Europe etc... and we separated in different groups!

2nd of April

At 9.00 a.m. we departed from Bakkeveen to Zaanse Schans.
On the way we had a break: we stopped “on a dyke” that divided the North Sea and the inland sea (fresh water). We took some photos, because it was a beautiful landscape!

At 11.30 a.m. we arrived at Zaanse Schans where there were a lot of windmills! In that place, which was wonderful, we bought some souvenirs. There were Dutch cheese and Dutch clogs, so we took a lot of photos again!

At 12.30 p.m. we arrived in Amsterdam and we went on a canal boat cruise on the river called Amstel.
After the cruise, that lasted about an hour, we visited the Rijksmuseum where we saw a lot of paintings.

Later we had a little bit of time for shopping. In one of the squares of Amsterdam there was a pillow flight, that was a flash mob event.
At  4.30 p.m. we came back to Bakkeveen.

In the evening there was our presentation and the people who spoke were Giulia, Giada, Valentina and I.
Before the presentation we were very worried but we were very good! ;)
After our presentation there was the French students’ game: each group had to act some stereotypes about another country and it was very funny! ;)

3rd of April

In the morning we departed to Hindeloopen where we visited the Schaatsmuseum. This village is famous for their competitions of iceskating in winter. In the museum we saw the history of ice-skates, and there were a lot of ancient skates! It was very particular, but nice! J

After the museum we visited the village: there was a wonderful landscape and we took a lot of photos!

After lunch we went to the swimming pool!!!! J We had a good time all together!!! :D
In the evening there was the presentation about the French education system  and the Dutch  games! The Dutch students divided us in some groups and we played different games.
Of course, our group was the best so we won!!! ;)  Each people in the group won a very nice traditional key ring!

4th of April

We visited the Stenden University in Leeunwarden! In the morning, group C and D did a guided tour and we visited the big library of the school too. Instead, the other groups did a different activity.
In the afternoon we changed the activities, so my group had a “pbl session” where we imagined to solve a problem!              

After that we had the rest of afternoon for shopping! Giulia, Valentina and I did a lot of shopping again! J
In the evening there was the Dutch presentation and the English games.
The game of the English students was very funny, I think that it was the best of all the games!!
After that we cooked pasta for everybody!! Yummy!! It was very good! ;)

5th of April – 6th of April

It was the last day! L
We spent the whole day in Bakkeveen, because both the morning and the afternoon we had a discussion in international groups!  Each country in each group told the others about their own system of education. At the end, all together we created a “new school system” and it was the main aim of the project!
Later we had some time to pack our suitcase.
In the evening, in the Conference room, there was a disco with a DJ and we had a good time! J
The morning of the 6th of April, we departed from Bakkeveen at 4.30 a.m.!!
It was very difficult to say goodbye to everyone, because we were going to miss each other!! L

I think that this week was a beautiful opportunity: we visited a new country, we improved our English, but above all we met new people!
It will be difficult to go back to the same life in Italy! L

Giada's Diary

We left from Pisa to Amsterdam in the afternoon on the 29th of March.
The day after it took 2 hours by bus to go to Bakkeveen, the place where we were going to stay for the whole meeting.
The Dutch students were waiting for us, then Hans the headmaster showed us our bedrooms. In the campus there were a conference room, a restaurant, a football field and two buildings with about ten bedrooms and a living room each.
We brought our baggage in and then everybody introduced themselves.
They use to have dinner earlier than us, at about 6.30 pm or 7.00 pm. It was strange for us during the firsts days, but it wasn't annoying.
After dinner we had a concert of a Dutch school band. It was exciting, we danced all together and we started getting to know each other.
On the second day, the organizer Hans separated the students in 2 groups. During the morning one group played fantastic and funny games in the football field such as team activities and games with Frisbees, while the other group went on a guided tour in the fields near that place. In the afternoon the groups swapped activities. It was interesting but it was rainy so we couldn't really enjoy it.
On the 1st of April we visited Leeuwarden, the city where the students who took part in the project attend their High School “Montessori College”. They explained to us how they work at school. They have many lessons where they do practical activities. I think it's a good thing because pupils can express their imagination and mainly learn real, practical work.
The day after in the morning we had a stop in Zaanse schans, where there are typical windmills, then we went to Amsterdam again, at the Riiksmuseum.
On Sunday, the 3rd, after visiting Hindeloopen, a typical village, where we saw the ice-skating museum, we went to a “Tropical swimming pool”, it was amazing and we had a lot of fun.
On Monday we went to the Stenden University, were lots of foreign students go to study tourism or how to work in a Hotel. Then we made a simulation of a PBL session, which stands for problem based learning. I think that University offers many ways of learning and many opportunities to the students who want to work in the tourism field.
The day after we discussed in international groups about the school system in each country, so we thought about the many differences from one country to another, and what we have in common.
After that each group made a project of their ideal school system, trying to solve the main problems we found out during the discussions.
We must say that every day after dinner each country made a presentation about their school system, and another country organized a game. We played our game on Friday evening, making a quiz about different topics. The day after we had the presentation about our school system.
The last day, we woke up at 4 am, because we had to take the flight early in the morning.
We can say that this exchange has been wonderful, we enjoyed all days, and we found out how the people live there. There were many differences, each country has different customs and traditions, but we all are students in the same say, and we worked together to improve the school in Europe.


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Andrea's Diary

In the afternoon on the 29th of march my class and the 3clt class left from the airport Galilelo Galilei to Amsterdam
Amsterdam was a very nice city! I think the best city that I have seen in all of my life, because I love freedom.
The next day we took the bus to go to Bakkeveen. Bakkeveen is the village where we went to stay for the Education Systems project with the other students form other countries.
When we arrived there we met Hans. He was the headteacher, who organised us in our bedrooms.
In this school village we met many people who came from Germany, France, Netherlands and England.
Every night we had meetings in the conference room where each country talked about their education system. After that every country showed a typical game from their own country, which we had to do all together.
In this “village” there was a restaurant where we had breakfast, sometimes lunch and dinner. We could also play football because there was a big football field in to the wood.
I loved this place because it was into the nature but at the same time you could have whatever you wanted. In fact we slept in two buildings where at the end of the corridor there was a very nice living room.
The first night we saw a concert by a Dutch band! They were amazing. I remember that it was the first time which we started to know each other!
For the whole school trip we stayed in Bekkaveen but only to have our meals and to sleep or sometimes to make some sports and games.
We visited Leeuwarden, the city where the Dutch guys live and study, twice. In this city we went to the “Montessori college”, where we participated in some lessons, we visited the city centre and the most important landmarks.
On the 2nd of April we went back to Amsterdam. During the bus trip we stopped in Zaanse Schans where we saw the very old Dutch mills. They were very fascinating and impressive.
In Amsterdam we saw the Van Gogh museum and the Riiksmuseum. We also took a boat for a sightseeing tour in the famous canals of Amsterdam.
On Sunday we visited a very typical Dutch village where the captains used to live several years ago. After that we went to the swimming pool. We had a lot of fun! It was nice!
We went also to visit the Stenden University, where the students go to study economics and tourism.
The day after, in international groups, we talked about the school system in each country. We found solutions to improve each education system and we had to think about the best education system which we could have!
The last day we woke up at 4 a.m. because we had the bus. That day I was late as usual and for this I didn’t greet everybody. I miss my friends and in these eight days I have met a lot of people who come from different country. This experience changed my life and this summer I hope to see them again because I'm going to travel around Europe with my friends.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Valeria's Diary!

Comenius conference - Netherlands


We left Italy at 4 pm and we arrived in Amsterdam at around 6 pm. It was a quiet flight. With our suitcases we went at the Mozart Hotel where we stayed for only one night. In the evening we had dinner in a particular and very nice restaurant and after dinner we went in the centre of Amsterdam. We saw the Bulldog Pub, the Hard Rock Café and a lot of very nice places!


We got up very early, at about 7 30 am because at 9 o'clock we had to go to the Van Gogh museum! When we arrived we read something about Van Gogh, his life, his pictures and after that we entered in the museum. I liked the museum very much, I think that Van Gogh is fantastic and his pictures too. His life is very interesting and strange, maybe it is for this reason too that he is very famous. After we had some free time, we went at the Burger King and in some shops.
The time in Amsterdam finished and at 4 pm we took the coach to go to Bakkeveen.
At around 6 pm we arrived at our new accommodation and we met the English, the Germans, the Dutch, the French and the organizer Hans. Hans told us the rules of the buildings and our rooms' numbers.
I was in the biggest room with 3 French girls and 3 Italian girls, but it wasn't the best room because there weren't any showers!! So when we wanted to have a shower we had to go to another room! It was not very nice. In the evening at 8 pm we had dinner and at 8 45 pm in the first building there was a concert by the school band! They were very good!


The week started! We got up at 8 o'clock and at 9 am we had breakfast.
Hans divided us in 4 groups and in each group there were students and teachers from different countries.
Two groups went on a walking tour of the moor and two group went to play sports games. After lunch we swapped activity. First I did the games, we had a lot of fun and my team won the last game! After lunch we had the guided tour and it was a little bit tiring but interesting too. The activity finished at around 2 pm. After that we had a group discussion about the school system of each country and we compared them.
At 7 pm we had dinner and later, like every evening there was a presentation and a game organized by a country. The first were the British with their presentation of their school system and the Germans did their game. The game was really fun and a little bit difficult. The teams were mixed so we had to speak English, that was really good!
After the game we returned in our building and like every night we met the Dutch girls in the “dining room”. With them we made friends at once. We always went to bed at around 1 o' clock.


On the fourth day we got up at 7 30 am, we had breakfast and at 8 am we took the coach to go to Leeuwarden. We arrived at around 9.30 am. We visited the Dutch school called Montessori College. To welcome us there was the principal who told us something about the school. After that, they divided us in groups. Each group was accompanied by a Dutch girl who showed the school, the classrooms, the laboratories and the gym. After the visit we had 2 different lessons: my group had a Dutch lesson so we went to another classroom because we understood nothing and the second was an English lessons; we had to speak about ourselves and the Dutch students had to ask some questions to us. It is a very beautiful school, very modern, very clean, very big and with a lot of activities! There was a very nice canteen where we had lunch and after lunch if the room was dirty the students cleaned it! That's very nice!
After lunch we went in the centre of Leeuwarden and we had some free time: we did some shopping and we visited the city. At 17 30 we had the departure to Bakkeveen. We had dinner and after that there was the German presentation and our game. At the start of the game we were very excited and worried but we did everything very well! Everybody liked it! We were very satisfied!


We got up early because at 9 am we had to take the coach that brought us to Zaanse Schans! There were a lot of very nice mills! It was a very beautiful place. We took a lot of very nice photos with the typical Dutch clogs too! Then we went to Amsterdam and at about 12 30 pm we went on a canal boat trip; we saw all the city and the guide gave us a lot of information. A very nice experience! Then we went to the Rijksmuseum but we spent little time there because it was late. We didn't have any time for shopping, we only went to McDonald's.
At 4 30 pm we went back to Bakeveen and we had dinner. In the evening we had our presentation of the Italian school system and the French game. We had a very nice time because we did the presentation very well and because the French game was really fun: every country had to present another country through stereotypes! We took the Netherlands and we acted a very funny scene.


We had breakfast at 8 am, we took the coach and we went to Hindeloopen. Hans explained us something about the city and he told us that the museum is one of the most popular in the Netherlands. We divided in groups: A and B went to the Schaatsmuseum and C and D went with Hans for a city tour. The tour of the city was very nice, the houses were very small and Hans said that some houses had very small windows because before the people had to pay for it: the bigger were the windows the more you had to pay! It is a very particular city. The museum was interesting too, I liked it a lot. After that we took the coach again and we went to the swimming pool! We spent a very nice time! At 5 pm we went back to Bakkeveen.
After dinner it was the French and Dutch students' turn but before starting Hans organised a surprise for me because it was my birthday! He called me in the centre of the room and like the tradition every country sang me happy birthday, so I received the happy birthday in 4 different languages and Hans gave me a present: it was a clog. I had a very nice birthday I think that I'll remember it for all my life! :)


My life as a seventeen-year-old started! :) We went to Leeuwarden again to visit the Stenden University. We had a small introduction of the university and after that we divided in the same 4 groups A B C D and we visited the rooms with a guide. My group started with the library: it was a very big library, very modern with a lot of computers, some television sets if you want see a film, a small room if you want to use the Internet for more people and every kind of book that you want. After that we saw the shop; a small shop with the school's accessories, the hotel with a lot of very nice rooms where students can stay if they haven't got an accommodation. We saw a lot of specializations that a student can learn. It was a very very very beautiful university! I'd like to study there!
We had lunch in the canteen and after that we had 2 lessons of PBL: it is a lessons made by the students in fact we discussed all together about the topic. The main topic was how can people from different cultures work together?? We said our opinion and we wrote it on the blackboard. It was a very interesting lesson.
We left the university at around 3 pm and after we had free time in Leeuwarden.
In the evening we had dinner in Bakkeveen and then it was the British and Duch students' turn!
The Dutch presented their school system and the English presented the game! It was a very funny game!
After the presentation we (the Italian students) made pasta with tomato sauce. Everybody liked it and they were very happy. We spent a nice evening.


It was the last day..:( We did a work about the school system. Divided in groups we discussed about the different school systems and we made one that we think would be better for the system! We put all the ideas together with Hans but we chose only the best and we made a perfect school system. We did a very good work!
In the afternoon we cleaned all the rooms.
In the evening there was a party with a dj and we danced all night. We spent a very funny night and we made a lot of photos with all the other girls and boys! But the time to leave Bakkeveen came. We said good-bye to everybody and we took the coach. We were very sad because we spent a fantastic week there. I think that I will never forget this project and this week. I miss all of them.

Monday, 11 April 2011

What is the outcome of the Netherlands meeting?

Our proposal for a European Secondary Education System

At the Comenius Students Conference 30 March – 6 April 2011 we compared the different education systems of the involved nationalities (UK, Fr, D, It, Nl).
We have discussed the following themes:
·      Subjects
·      Tests
·      Level of education
·      A day at school
·      Dress code
·      Ways of learning:
     Computer learning
     Independent learning
     Class learning

Common Framework for European Education (CFEE)
There is a combination of Basic Education (primary education) and Middle Education in one building. Middle Education has different teachers for different subjects.
If a student has a result above average, he/she has, in the first two years of secondary education, the possibility to change level between High, Middle, Low.
There will be different buildings for levels (H, M, L together) and practicals.
Portfolios will be a part of the evaluation (P).

There will be a test and an evaluation of the portfolio (T+P), before starting secondary education to set levels.
Tests at set times in school year (the school year is divided in 4 periods, at the end of each period there will be tests for compulsory subjects).
Practice Exams at the end of course / stage of education

Compulsory Subjects
Languages:   English (international language)
                     Own language (if English choose another language)
                     Third language – depends on school / country
History         Local, National, European, World
PE / Sports
Information Technology (IT)

Optional Subjects
They are choosen at 12 years old and include Art, Music, Social Studies,
D.T., R.S. etc

Uniform and dress code
Uniform is compulsory in primary education (according to the traditions / country)
No uniform in secondary education but a dress code is adopted.

Learning styles
Use of IT – access to education sites including You Tube but not Facebook etc.
Independent learning increasing as you get older (20% to 50% or more).
Variety of learning including class / group and project work.
Use and availability of computers and books
Individual student laptops.

Ideal school day
Lessons to last one hour.
6 lessons a day.
No double lessons.
After 2 lessons there is a break.
Lunch break depends on country / school.
End of the day depends on breaks given during the day.

School holidays
13 weeks a year.
Holidays depend on country (weather / traditions etc)

Tutors / tutorials
 All students to have personal tutors for support etc.

Work experience
Compulsory to the curriculum but set to countries own rules.

When and where are we going to meet?


Quindici studenti delle classi 3CLT e 4BLT, accompagnati dalle professoresse Luisella Mori e Mariliana Salvini, e dall’assistente Comenius Katharina Kilian, hanno trascorso una settimana presso il centro conferenze Nieuw Allardsoog di Bakkeveen, in Frisia, per discutere con i loro coetanei olandesi, inglesi, francesi e tedeschi dei sistemi educativi dei loro paesi nell’ambito del progetto Comenius “Education in Europe”. Lavorando in gruppi internazionali, hanno confrontato i loro sistemi scolastici e cercato di elaborare una proposta per una scuola europea.

L’istituto capofila, il Montessori College di Leeuwarden, ha inoltre organizzato una visita guidata del proprio plesso, dove gli studenti hanno potuto assistere a varie lezioni in lingua inglese, nonché della Stenden University, istituto internazionale di livello universitario dove gli studenti lavorano utilizzando principalmente la metodologia del PBL, Problem Based Learning, che i partecipanti al meeting hanno potuto sperimentare in prima persona in piccoli gruppi guidati da un tutor.
Non sono mancati i momenti di svago, con attività sportive e giochi a squadre, visite guidate al museo Van Gogh e al Rijksmuseum di Amsterdam, nonché alla cittadina di Hindelhoopen, un tempo residenza prediletta dai capitani dei principali porti olandesi e oggi sede di un piccolo museo dedicato al pattinaggio sul ghiaccio.

What is our project about?



The participating schools are located in Leeuwarden (Netherlands), Redruth (UK), Angers (France), Halle (Germany), Pontedera (Italy).
The 1998 European Convention of Human Rights Act guarantees the “Right to Education”, in order to prevent social exclusion and discrimination. The project Education Systems in Europe gives young people the opportunity to:
• Broaden their understanding of European education systems, culture and language.
• Gain a deeper insight into future opportunities they may have for education and employment.
• Prepare them to become European citizens, with an understanding for diversity and inclusion.
• Improve their linguistic skills by communicating in a foreign language.
• Visit other countries and learn about their culture and life style.
• Develop ICT skills and other communication forms.
Students will investigate and compare education systems, gaining an insight into the differences and similarities available throughout Europe, thus comprehending the complex construction of European Education. Our students will have the freedom and opportunity to study in any educational establishment within the EU. An increasing number of our students will find themselves studying and working in other countries and will profit from experiences gained in Comenius activities.
Initially students will research their own education system and inform the students of the partner schools by publishing their results on our Twinspace. In April 2011, during the project meeting which will be held in Leeuwarden , in the Netherlands, each national group will present the result of their investigation. The students will compare their results and evaluate the first year of the project. During the meeting, students and teachers will get the chance to visit the school and take part in some lessons. The Dutch school is a Montessori bilingual school (EIO) and is on the way to become a school with an international signature (ELOS).
In the 2nd year students will compare and evaluate the results of the 1st year. They will work as a team to develop the idea of an “Ideal European School” which can be presented to the regional, national and European governments. At the end of the second year, in April 2012, a project conference will be held in Angers, France, during which national groups will present their project work and international groups will discuss their proposals for an ideal European education system.