Saturday, 22 June 2013

EU Education Project - Trip to Munich

Through our status as a PASCH school, we are very fortunate to have many opportunities presented to us that not every school does.  The most recent example of this is the participation of two of our German A-level students in an EU project on the future of education (Dialog: Bildung und Zukunft).
40 youngsters  from Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland and the UK were invited to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their respective school systems. Bella Giovanni and Eliza Autherson (from Collingwood due to our SHAPE lessons) represented us in this project.

in the class room
Back in March eight students from Newcastle University visited Tomlinscote to start working on a presentation of the English school system. Further online tasks followed, and the project culminated in a trip to Munich accompanied by Miss Allen. Here, they met the students from other countries and had to present their results and collaborate on ideas, as well as participating in cultural activities.
Bella says: "It was a huge benefit being able to communicate with and understand the people from each country through the German language."

After numerous presentations about the advantages and disadvantages of each education system, and having learned from one another, each country produced a petition to their education secretary with ideas how to improve their own system. Our students proposed a strengthening of apprenticeships as an alternative to university education.

Miss Allen says: "Despite the linguistic challenges and the heat wave, students were resilient, always gave their best and in my opinion were amongst some of the most organised members of the wider group.
I congratulate Bella and Eliza for seeing the opportunity in this project and am very proud to have been able to accompany them to Munich."
presenting to the group
with the poster of the English school system

 The trip also included cultural experiences in Munich. Here is Bella's account of it:

"We enjoyed trying various traditional Bavarian foods, such as Spätzle (a kind of pasta often served with lots of cheese), Schnitzel, and of course, sausages!  It was amazing how we often went for dinner at the local Bier Keller, Augustines, to not only sit and eat in the place where beer is made, but also a beer hall identical to that of the Munich Putsch. In other areas of the city there were Beer Gardens, which lit up the heart of Munich as German people congregated in the evening to catch up on the events of the day. 

Other events included a historical tour of Munich. It was fascinating to be standing right next to the Ludwig University where Sophie Scholl and her brother spread their leaflets in resistance to the Nazis. 
We also visited the Verkehrszentrum (public transport) museum where we observed how transport developed from horse and carriage to trains, air helicopters and Mercedes Benz. 

We ended the trip with the unforgettable experience of climbing to the roof on the Olympic Stadium. It was interesting to listen to how the architecture was such a unique feature, and the sight we saw from such a height was unbelievable. 

Can you see the people on the roof of the stadium?

in front of the Olympic stadium in Munich
Although I was only in Munich for 5 days, it felt like twice as long! Every single day was packed with presentations, activities and trips to the city.  It was a truly efficient schedule with every minute being used to the maximum and getting up at 7am and going to bed after midnight was definitely worth it. I hope to one day return to Munich, as I feel like the city is so rich in activity and life, and I would need much more time to experience it all properly.

Nevertheless, I definitely feel like this experience has not only improved my German, but also improved my cultural awareness and understanding of Bavaria, a part of Germany I had never before visited.  It is all thanks to Frau Soylucicek at the Goethe Institut for informing me of the opportunity and allowing me a once in a lifetime experience. "

Bella Giovanni

on the way home with Mezzo Mix & German books

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