27th February 2017 Visit to Rieux-Minervois: In February, Mrs White, Mrs Edwards, Rhys, Josh and Harry set off on an exciting adventure to visit our Erasmus+ partner school, College Pierre et Marie Curie. Whilst they were all looking forward to exploring the local environment around the school and finding out about how the French school learn about ecology and maintaining the environment, they also knew they had a very important job to do – representing Bussage Primary and the learning that is done there.
After a very tiring day travelling (involving a broken plane and a 5 hour delay), the travellers finally reached their destination having shared a coach with children and staff from partner schools in Turkey and Greece; whilst on the coach the children began to make friends with the other visitors. Although they didn’t arrive at Lezignan-Corbieres until 1 am, they were all up early for breakfast before setting off on the 25 minutes coach journey to Rieux – Minervois and the school which would be their base for the week.
Rhys, Josh and Harry were extremely confident and professional when, not long after arrival, they had to present a power point to the whole of the congregated Erasmus+ group of teachers and students; many of the students were secondary school age which made the Bussage Boy’s confidence even more admirable. Back at school in the UK, the Year 5 & 6 class had spent a term learning about the rainforest and the devastating effects of deforestation on the world – this is what they presented to their captive audience. The partners for Portugal presented to us about pollution and conservation of the river where they live in Lisbon; the French partners presented about the two rivers in their locality, looking at how and why one of them is terribly polluted (the visitor were able to see these environmental issues for themselves later in the week on a field trip); the Turkish partners described the plight of certain creatures in their home locality, especially that of butterflies and turtles; and the Greek partners shared with the group about soil erosion and how some creatures such as the black rhino are becoming endangered and risk extinction.
When not working on the linked environment project, the children and staff had time to socialise, getting to know each other and asking lots of questions about the similarities and differences between schools in each of the countries. The children and teachers had the opportunity to tour around the school and its grounds and noted huge differences in the way in which the schools operated in timetable and in how the buildings looked. The french children were very welcoming and friendly; Rhys, Josh and Harry said that making new friends was one of their highlights of the trip! As the new theme for Year 5 & 6 was Ancient Greece, the Greek partners warmly invited the Bussage children to come and interview them all about their knowledge of Ancient Greece – their ideas and thoughts were really interesting to hear!
Other tasks performed by the children were waste sorting, a field trip around the locality marking geographical features on a map and looking at the polluted river sited in the French schools presentation. Rhy, Josh and Harry even went into some of the normal French classes to tell the children about the work that had been studied on rainforests back at Bussage.
The Erasmus+ group were also very lucky to have the opportunity to explore further afield during their time in France, visiting two picturesque locations that were rich in history: Minerve and Carcasonne. The places were stunning. Whilst at Minerve, the children were able to explore the rock formations, looking for fossils. In Carcasonne, they followed audio guides around the fairytale-style castle learning all about the history of the area right back to Roman times. Sadly before they knew it, the week had come to an end. The coming together of the partnership was celebrated by an evening reception at the school where the Mayor was invited showing how important the international links are not only to the partner schools but to their local community in France too.
The final day was spent in the area of Toulouse where a fabulous museum called L’espace de le Cite was visited: this was a space museum where the children were able to explore a replica of the Mir space station, see an actual rocket that had been to space and learn all about space exploration as well as pollution in space! The visit ended with a trip into the planetarium on site – it was fantastic, the visitors really felt as though they were up amongst the stars!
After saying goodbye to all their new friends, the party from Bussage headed back to the airport to make the long journey home full with happy memories and new experiences ready to share with their friends and teachers back at school. They were even lucky enough to be invited into the cockpit by the pilot as they boarded the plane to return to the UK! A wonderful time was had by all and Rhys, Josh and Harry did Bussage proud as the school’s ambassadors. Keep any eye on this page for the next update which will be from the September meeting in Katerini, Greece.
9th January 2017 For the next two years, our school has entered into an exciting partnership with schools from Turkey, Portugal, Greece and France to work on a project named, ‘Second Chance of Environment’. During this project the children at our school, along with the adults, will have the opportunity to forge links with children at our partner schools whilst learning all about ways of helping our environment. We will be working together closely across our five nations on a variety of tasks, some of which will see staff and children embark on journeys to visit other schools in the partnership! The photograph above was taken when Mrs White and Miss Corbett attended the first transnational meeting of the partnership which was held in Turkey in December. They had a fantastic and most interesting time and were made to feel extremely welcome by the Turkish people they encountered, especially the children in the school. Mrs White and Miss Corbett, enjoyed exploring the local area and trying out some of the local delicacies! They were even invited to take Turkish coffee with the Head of Education for the locality! Mrs White did a presentation in front of the Turkish pupils to tell them all about our school, she showed them lots of photographs of our school and of the work we do in Britain. The team voted for a winning design to become the logo of our project: Our entries from Bussage were fantastic, however the overall winner came from our Portuguese partner school, and here it is! We look forward to welcoming visitors from our partners to Bussage later on in 2017.