Description of the Erasmus+ project
by - Iulia Balasa
The Erasmus+ project, a strategic partnership exclusively between schools, which is entitled “Broadening horizons by discovering unique cultures and seasons in Europeans countries” and has the reference number 2015-1-RO01-KA219-015142, is being implemented between 2015 and 2017 by the Nicolae Bălcescu Middle School in Pitești in collaboration with schools in Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Poland and Turkey.
The project came into being because the children in the six schools needed to learn in a non-formal setting about aspects of our reality: searching for information about traditions and seasons, especially about meteorology, processing it and using it to achieve unique outcomes through team and group cooperation; these results are used to inform the local and national community about the topic studied and to promote European cultural values.
Through visits to local meteorological centres, the children learned how to create weather forecasts and present them through drawings, graphs and creative models or by filming them. The children developed their abilities to gather information and process and summarise it during international exchanges when they learned about meteorological working methods from experts at a local television channel (Romania) and experts at the National Meteorology Centre in Krakow (Poland). The information that was summarised by the pupils in their essays was posted on the project’s Wikipedia page in English.
Another outcome of the project is a meteorological dictionary in which tourists can find expressions for meteorological phenomena that occur every season in English and the six languages of the participating schools. In addition, the project’s tourist guide signposts tourists to the tourist agencies to which it was distributed by describing a tourist attraction in each participating country and a national tradition that tourists can observe in the tourist region concerned.
In another activity, children found texts in national literature which they transposed into play scripts. The tasks were assigned according to the interests and abilities of each child – stage designers, translators, costumers, actors. The text was translated into English, the costumes and props were created by the children, and the filmed play will be on one of the project’s CDs and will be entered into a national competition.
They worked together in the same way in another activity, when the “historians” who gathered information about historic events handed over the scrolls to the “strategists” who made the models, like the “meteorologists” who provided information about the weather conditions that affected these events.
The second important theme of the project – traditions – was developed in an activity whereby pupils summarised information about national traditions relating to each season in essays and put on a play about each one. The essays were brought together in a collection of Romanian traditions, and the films will be included in one of the project’s CDs.
Romanian traditions and the partners’ traditions were promoted through participation in the “Symphony of Tulips” festival organised by Pitești Town Hall and exhibitions in the grounds of Pitești Children’s Palace.
In addition to the ordinary activities at school, the children also took part in the activities of two clubs, a Language Club and a Science Club, where they developed their written and oral communication skills in English by writing essays and creating collages about how to present themselves, how to write a CV, how to go about employment interviews – things which will be useful to them in future. At the Science Club, the children learned about seasons and special natural phenomena, as well as the European climate.
For the rest of the time, the children will paint environmental messages on paper bags which they will donate to local shops, lay out the park in the schoolyard with plants, create a cookbook with traditional recipes for each season, and make clothes for each season using folk designs and recyclable materials.
The outcomes of the activities will eventually be disseminated through the two project calendars, two CDs, a brochure and a project magazine. It is hoped that the project will continue to have an impact after it is completed through an optional course which we will plan for all of the participating schools.
The project has begun to have other effects, as the Nicolae Bălcescu Middle School is also launching other international projects: e-Twinning, AIESEC. However, the project’s impact is best demonstrated by the accounts given by the pupils who took part in the international exchanges. Here are a couple of examples:
“It was very beautiful at the Erasmus+ project because I visited new places and I made a new friend, Iremnur. We had much fun at home and on trips. In the first day we were at school, where we made dolls from wooden spoons and “sorcova”. Then we visited the Golești Museum where we made folklore masks, Vila Florica and many other interesting places. When Iremnur left, it was very difficult, because we were very good friends now, but she had to get into the car that went to Bucharest airport, to fly to Ankara. It was a beautiful experience.”
Carmen Enache, Romania, December, 2015
“When I came to Poland, I did not expect that I will have one of the best weeks in my life.
Everything started on Monday when we met people from other countries. In this week we had a lot of fun activities when students could be together and get closer. My family was very good. Mum was very kind and Gabi was very friendly. Together we were like sisters. I liked Polish and Romanian students very much. They were so friendly, kind and honest. I love them! They are very good friends. I will really miss them. All in all, this week was one of the best. Thanks to Erasmus+ I met these people. I miss them with all of my heart!”
Ieva Duobaitė, Lithuania, June, 2016
For more details, you can visit our website and Facebook page: