Comenius Lifelong Learning Program
Comenius Visit To Wipperfuerth, Germany
7th - 11th December 2012
Preparing for the meeting - In the weeks before the meeting, we worked in groups on renewable energy, the topic of our COMENIUS Project. Our teachers set us tasks and we worked on them, e. g. doing research on the use of solar energy in our region and in the whole of Germany. Each group worked on a different aspect of the topic. We surfed the Internet for information on our topics and then made a summary from the information. Some of us made PowerPoint presentations and others made a video.
Friday 7 December 2012
Our guests – the guest students and the teachers – arrived on Friday 7th December. We were really nervous. After we collected the Polish teachers and Gabriele from the bus station, we first dropped the teachers at the hotel and then went home to my place with Gabriele. She was very shy at first and I was shy, too. We talked a little bit with each other, but she was really tired after the very long travel. At 10 p.m. we all went to sleep looking forward to the next day.
When I first saw the exchange students and their teachers I had a good impression of them. I immediately felt comfortable with them. There was a good atmosphere and everybody could talk with the other. We talked and got to know things about each other. Then, at home, we ate and drank a bit and then went to bed because the trip was very hard and my guest student was very tired.
In the evening those of the guest teachers who were already there went out for a meal with Mrs Eckhardt and some of our teachers here. Unfortunately, some of our guests arrived too late to join the rest for a meal out in the evening because of their flights and connections. But on the following day there was an opportunity for all to go out for lunch together.
Saturday 8 December 2012
On Saturday the 8th December it was Open House at ‘Hermann-Voss-Realschule’ in Wipperfuerth. We were looking forward to the exchange students and teachers from Poland, Lithuania, Italy, Finland and Turkey. As soon as they arrived at our school, they had a look around and met some of our students. Then we met in one of the school’s classrooms where each of the groups of exchange students gave a short presentation on their home country and on solar energy. But before we started with giving the presentations we got to leave the room and the stand outside ready with posters, the logo designs for the COMENIUS logo competition and a selection of traditional things from our guests’ home countries. A lot of students and parents joined us in our room to hear the presentations every group had prepared. We were very excited and glad that so many people were interested in our COMENIUS project. After a few presentations there was a short break for everybody to get a drink or have a look around at what else there was to see on the Open House. After the break we had the rest of the presentations. When the last presentation was over, we all got together to talk with each other and try the food from the various countries. Our guests from Poland even had brought and put on traditional Polish dresses. They looked very nice and attracted a lot of attention, especially by a reporter form a local newspaper. He asked us all to stand in front of our stand with the food and posters to take a picture of our group. Mrs Eckhardt who had joined us for some of the presentations of course was also present on the photo.
Everybody took photos and finally we had the logo competition: Each country had designed a logo for our project and we all had to vote for the one we liked best. Italy’s logo got the most votes, so it is our official logo now.
For the teachers the day ended with a visit to the Christmas market in Hueckeswagen. The guests very much enjoyed it and after walking about it met at a restaurant for a hot chocolate or a steaming cup of tea or coffee because it was very cold. A little later they all went back to their hotels in Wipperfuerth.
Sunday 9 December 2012
On Sunday we went on a trip to Cologne with the COMENIUS club by bus – students, teachers and exchange students’ hosts. Unfortunately, the weather was very bad that day – it rained and snowed so badly that we delayed and arrived in Cologne a bit later than was planned. When at last we were there, we went to the Cologne Cathedral. There the starting point for our tour of the city was. Since we were a really large group we had to split up into two groups for the guided tour. The tourist guide showed us a lot of interesting sights and things on the way. He told us a lot of interesting facts and stories about what we saw. Among other things he showed us the old Town Hall and some remains of an ancient building where there was an ancient Roman mosaic. The tour lasted two hours and it snowed all the while. After the sightseeing while the teachers went for a meal in a restaurant we students had some time to spend on our own in the city. We went to the Christmas markets and bought Christmas presents or had a look at the Cologne Cathedral. At 6 pm we had to be back at the bus stop. So our trip to Cologne ended and we travelled home on the bus with all our Christmas presents. Although the weather wasn’t good – it was very cold and it snowed a lot - we all enjoyed the trip to Cologne a lot.
Monday 10 December 2012
On Monday, the last day of our meeting, we had a meeting with Mr von Rekowski, the mayor of Wipperfuerth. He had invited us to the Town Hall and received us in the official conference room of the Town Hall. He gave us a warm and friendly welcome and then told us a lot about Wipperfuerth, especially about the city’s history as Hansestadt. He also talked about the kind and amount of energy used in Wipperfuerth. From Mr von Rekowski we learned that there is a light park newly built where people can see various new energy-saving light bulbs in use. When Mr von Rekowski had finished we students and the teachers then could ask him questions and he answered them. At the end of the visit he gave the teachers a bottle the city’s home-grown sparkling wine. By then it was time to go back to the school, where we had home-made pizza for lunch. After lunch there was a break which some of us used to have a snowball match. We split into groups and started the match. It was great fun and literally really cool.
The teachers got together right after lunch to talk about the next steps for the project. We students were allowed to spent the time about school and enjoy some time on our own. At some point we joined the teachers in their discussion and could name our own ideas for the project. Later we were invited to the sixth formers’ Christmas party. The students from sixth form performed some songs and sketches. The party was really fun. After it ended we and the exchange students all went back home and spent the rest of the day with our families.
Tuesday 11 December 2012
On Tuesday our COMENIUS meeting ended and our guests all went on their journey back to their home country. We all thought our guests very friendly and nice and that we had a lot of fun together. Everybody enjoyed the time together and was very sorry that the time together was over already. We had made friends with each other and regretted having to say goodbye so soon again. Everybody thought that 5 days were too short. But we were all looking forward to keeping in touch via e-mail, Facebook and SMS.
The COMENIUS clubbers