St Colman’s Primary School in Annaclone may only be home to 200 pupils, but they have certainly got their eyes on the world.
They welcomed visitors from seven European countries for a week-long visit to explore the art of story-telling through traditional myths and legends.
The school is partnered with a number of schools in Norway, Turkey, France, Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia and Romania through Erasmus+, a European funding programme managed by the British Council and Ecorys UK.
To welcome the visitors and bring all four corners of Europe together, each class adopted a country and learnt about their culture, language, games and ctoms.
The international visitors were entertained by traditional folklore involving Finn McCool and leprechauns, as well as traditional music, Irish dancing and a tractor ride.
The project, entitled Bridging the Generations, is in its final year and will cumulate with a DVD and e-book, as well as the development of an HD project.
Principal Kevin O’Neill along with Garath Keating, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, welcomed the many teachers when they arrived at the school.
St Colman’s found its partner schools through British Council’s partner finding programme, eTwinning.
The funding programme Erasmus+ provides many opportunities for Northern Ireland schools to work internationally, which can enhance professional development of staff as well as broaden horizons of pupils.
On securing their funding some time ago, St Colman’s held a European Day of Languages where each class adopted one of the countries, dressed up, and learned about their culture, language, games and customs. This included everything from Bulgarian fire walking, to taste-testing French cuisine and learning Norwegian.
Schools looking to apply to Erasmus+ will find a range of online tools to support them through the process such as the School Education Gateway portal (http://www.schooleducationgateway.eu/), which is a partner and opportunities finding tool, and eTwinning (www.britishcouncil.org/etwinning), where you can start, grow or extend your partnership or Erasmus+ project.
For more information visit http://nireland.britishcouncil.org.
In the UK, nearly 250,000 people undertook activities abroad thanks to the Erasmus+ programme which aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations.