3rd term-exchange. SPAIN 2021.

Tras los problemas y cancelaciones derivados de la pandemia de COVID-19, por fin los socios del Proyecto ERASMUS “THE POWER OF UNDERSTANDING” pudieron reunirse en el IES Giner de los Ríos de León (España) para realizar el encuentro de los clubes “Traveling in time and space”.

El acto de presentación tuvo lugar el día 8 de noviembre de 2021 y en él nuestros alumnos dieron una cálida acogida a todos los participantes de Croacia, Rumanía, Lituania, Chipre y Portugal.

Orgullosos de pertenecer al proyecto y agradeciendo la participación y el compromiso de todos ellos a pesar de las dificultades, nuestros alumnos dieron la palabra a la directora de nuestro centro, Carmen de la Rosa, quien dirigió a los miembros de los clubes unas bonitas palabras de agradecimiento por su presencia y un sentido mensaje apreciando el esfuerzo del equipo español del proyecto. Nuestros alumnos, a través de sus actuaciones musicales y de danza, destacaron el leitmotiv del encuentro: los héroes a través de la historia y nuestros héroes de hoy en día. Un hermoso vídeo resaltó el patrimonio artístico-cultural de nuestra ciudad y sirvió de aperitivo para todas las actividades organizadas entre los días 8 y 12 de noviembre para el encuentro. Palabras como UNDERSTANDING, COOPERATION, FRIENDSHIP, SELF-ESTEEM Y COMUNICATION sonaron más fuertes y significativas que nunca en nuestro centro.

The 3rd. Short-term exchange of groups of pupils of the ERASMUS+ Project “ The Power of Understanding” was held between 8 to 12 January 2021 at IES GINER DE LOS RÍOS SPAIN.
The title of the transnational activity was “Traveling in time and space”, the basic theme of activity being “The basic theme of the learning activity is the search for National Heroes and their legends, their greatest achievements and make short presentations. They will use different ways of presentation of their national heroes legends”.

There were present at the transnational learning activity 33 participants from these 5 partner schools (3 students +2 teachers from Croatia, 3 students + 2 teachers from Cyprus, 3 students + 2 teachers from Lithuania, 4 students + 3 teachers from Portugal, 4 students+ 2 teachers from Romania, and 3 students + 2 teachers from Spain). As hosts, in the Spanish Team, also 20 teachers + 30 students from the school IES GINER DE LOS RÍOS were involved.

Opening ceremony

On the 1st Day, participants collected their credentials and documents: leaflets, Programme and identifications at GINER DE LOS RÍOS High School Hall.

GINER DE LOS RÍOS HEAD TEACHER, Ms. Carmen de la Rosa, gave a warm welcome to all the international participants from Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania.

The international audience attended the Opening Ceremony observing the social distancing rules provided by the Spanish Covid Coordinator Mr. Raúl Andrés and his team. Always seeking everyone´s safety.

The Spanish presenters Marius and Paulina, explained the transnational activity is based on the Club: “Traveling in time and space” and the basic theme of activity would be “National Heroes legends”.
Basically we would improve the understanding of literary texts, our English for communication, and cooperating, develop tolerance, initiative, self-esteem and motivation towards learning.

We have prepared a wide cultural program to show our rich history, art, cultural heritage and amazing landscapes. And we hope the scheduled activities will enrich our knowledge of other cultures too.
By means of presenting our local heroes, their achievements, deeds and values we would exchange our immense rich European history. We are sure our national heroes will become true role models for us.
When you think of the word “hero” nowadays something springs to mind:“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of all the obstacles».


Victoria and Saskia, two amazing talented singers performed songs centered on real current «heroes». We can be heroes too!

The international participants got to know the school by taking a School Walking Tour guided by the Spanish teachers.

Furthermore, we had the chance to socialise at the coffee breaks!
Besides, our students developed several workshops conducted by the Spanish English teachers: “Ice-breakers” with the aim of getting to know each other. The students from these 6 partner schools had to carry out different tasks, and games which involved asking and talking to their mates.

Students developed the workshops: “Ice-breakers” with the aim of getting to know each other. The students from these 6 partner schools had to carry out different tasks, and games which involved asking and talking to their mates.

Ice-breaker

Here is a picture of the international Erasmus Team being received by the town Mayor Mr. J. A. Díez Díaz at the Town Hall in León (Spain).
The Coordinator of the Project KA229 in Spain, Ms Ana I. Ferreras Valladares thanks the Mayor for his permanent committment, support and encouragement towards GINER DE LOS RÍOS SCHOOL and its Erasmus Projects.

Tawn Hall in León

On the 2nd Day, the activities focused on the Club «Travelling in time and space» started taking a trip to get to the history and foundation of Astorga as Roman town and the development of St. James´Road, which explains the settlements along the Holy Way. From the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela, the French Way passes through the regions of Aragón, Navarre, La Rioja, Castile and Leon, and Galicia on a route followed by over 150,000 pilgrims every year. This pilgrimage first began when the tomb of Saint James the Apostle was discovered in the 9th century. Both students and teachers visited Astorga, its Roman sites and beautiful cathedral, whose construction began in 1471, and was completed in the eighteenth century. We specially admired the Renaissance façade of the Bishops by Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón.

Astorga cathedral
Astorga group
Gaudí
Astorga roman remains

ASTORGA CHOCOLATE MUSEUM. Studying the history of Astorga, we learnt the importance of chocolate manufacturing by attending a guided tour around the museum which houses a complete display of tools and objects that represent the history of chocolate production: instruments for roasting, refining and rolling, as well as pans, mortars, moulds and machines from the early 19th century.

IRON CROSS. Participants had the opportunity to take a short walk along St. James´s Way and became pilgrims by tossing a stone to the iron cross Cruz de Hierro at Mount Irago near Foncebadón. It is one of the most simple but strong spiritual places of the St. James Way to Santiago de Compostela. Every pilgrim throws one stone onto the hill to symbolize the liberation of all his worries!!!

St. James Cruz de Ferro

MOLINASECA. We took a rest having lunch in this typical and beautiful medieval village.

Molinaseca

LAS MÉDULAS. The ancient Roman goldmines about 20km southwest of Ponferrada, once served as the main source of gold for the entire Roman Empire. Declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997 and Natural Monument in 2002.

It was stunningly beautiful, especially at sunset – and one of the most bizarre landscapes you’ll see in Spain. The best views are from the Mirador de Orellán.

Originally Las Médulas were a mining site. Considered the biggest gold mine built by the Roman Empire, it was abandoned in the 3rd century after extracting 800,000 kg gold. Thereafter, the native vegetation began to gradually cover the hills of red sand. These hills were formed in Roman times by turning over the interior layers of the earth. Thus, they created galleries in which they injected pressurized water with which they crumbled the slopes of the mountains, bringing the mineral to the surface.

PONFERRADA TEMPLAR CASTLE. In the evening, we ended up visiting another historical site in the province of León: the Templar Castle of Ponferrada. The castle is enormous in size and the architecture is stunning. It was designed in a polygonal shape, with double and triple defences, making it an absolute fortress.

As you marvel at the giant walls, you will travel back in time to a medieval period where Spanish Knights roamed the outskirts of the structure, protecting the town.

Ponferrada
Ponferrada Templar Castle

On the 3rd day, in the Short-term Transnational Exchange held in León, Spain, and dealing with the focused on activities of the Club “Traveling in time and space», participants kept on working with the aim of improving the students´ understanding competences of literary and non- literary texts and developing cooperation an collaboration skills, tolerance and initiative, as well as friendship between pupils from partner schools.

Focusing on the character of Odysseus/ Ulysses, we paid tribute to classic European heroes which are a universal reference both in conduct and behaviour.This tribute became visible in murals which contained artistic creations related with Ulysses (drawings, quotations, poems etc.).

Each country provided a text in which, in any format, the first 10 verses of The Odyssey in their native language were written and read out. The beautiful verses fron the Odyssey were listened in the 6 languages of the 6 European partner Schools.

LOCAL HEROES. Each country prepared and carried out a presentation about one of their famous historical national heroes. Each partner picked up a representative character from an essential historic period in the country.

Along with his/her human description, the most important facts of the country where these heroes come from were summarised, the background situation in the country. We listened to the description of these fabulous HEROES´ legends and their greatest achievements : real human portraits whose deed made a huge difference in the history of their countries. True role models for every modern individual!

Here we can see how proud the students presented their creative works. A way to bring classical history to our modern .

MODERN HEROES. After having worked with classical, and historical heroes, we ended up presenting modern heroes by means of short videos created by the students in each country. They presented a person who is considered as a hero/ heroine in nowadays world.

Basically pupils stated the kind of individuals they look up to: those real humans who have had the courage to overcome massive obstacles, whose hard-work ang generosity are currently making a difference and, by the way, are closer to us than we could have thought of!: nurses, actors performers, sport people, but also mothers and……TEACHERS!💪

Spanish video: «Our hero teachers»

WORKSHOPS: Bulls and Fibulae. Time for creativity!. Based on Roman pieces of jewellery, our international students had the chance to develop their immense creativity with the feeling of great pride on their beautiful creations. Here a few samples!

SAN ISIDORO. The Royal Collegiate of St Isidoro in León, is one of the most important Romanesque sites of Europe that have more than a thousand years of history. From its birth in the 10th Century , St Isidoro and its museum have become cultural and artistic reference point for the city of León.

Collegiate of St Isidoro

The building of the Royal Panteon was comissioned by the King Fernando 1st. and the Queen Sancha in 11th. Century. The frescoes ordered by their daughter Urraca, are considered to be a magnificent piece of art and known as the Sixtine Chapel of the Romanesque Art. We visited the Church, the Royal Pantheon, Museum and impressive Romanesque frescoes.

A group of teachers and students from the Spanish School prepared a leflet with recorded podcasts which explained the most relevant pieces of the monument. We all had the opportunity to scan QR codes and listen to the explanations, recorded by the Spanish students and definitely «travel in time and space» to the attractive period of the Middle Ages.

Walking along the Roman Wall became also a beautiful experience at sunset!

Roman wall

TRADITIONAL MAGOSTO. Chesnut Festival. More Spanish traditions, this time a traditional autumn festival, where chesnuts are roasted, while listening to folk ancient songs and lots of fun dancing!

Traditional «magosto»

On the 4th day , JURASSIC MUSEUM OF ASTURIAS AND LA GRIEGA BEACH. On Thursday we went on a trip to Asturias, in northern Spain. A beautiful coastal area with breathtaking views and where the primitive Asturian kingdom settled in medieval times. Also the coast of dinosaurs. You only need to let your imagination fly and cast your gaze to where gigantic dinos trod millions of years ago. Our travellers went back through time and space to a coastal land that was then populated by dinos.

We visited the Jurassic Museum of Asturias and learnt lots of details from a guided tour around the museum. Located on a hill with spectacular views of the coast, the museum displays dinos bone collections from 3,500 million years along with 20 dinosaur replicas. A rich collection of footprints and fossils found in the Asturian Jurassic coastline, which are said to be «the most complete informative and representative collection of dinosaur remains in the world.»

After the Museum, we went to La Griega Beach, containing the tracks of the world’s largest sauropod. Everyone enjoyed the experience!

OVIEDO. In the afternoon, we took a guided tour around Oviedo, the capital city of the Principality of Asturias in northern Spain and the administrative and commercial centre of the region.

We learnt about the existence of The Kingdom of Asturias, which began in 720, with the Visigothic aristocrat Pelagius’ (685–737) revolt against the Muslims who at the time were occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula. The resulting Kingdom of Asturias, gained importance along the 8th., 9th. and 10th. centuries until the moving of the royal court to León, after the death of Alfonso III, ‘The Great’. With the magnificent cathedral of San Salvador, where some relics are preserved, and has been the centre of Oviedo´s pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela.

Oviedo cathedral

On the 5th day, we started visiting LEON CATHEDRAL. On Friday morning we had the opportunity to visit the impressive León Cathedral, which is considered one of the Top 10 Cathedrals in Spain. It’s a French-inspired Gothic Cathedral built (between 1205 and 1301) over ancient Roman baths. What León Cathedral is really famous for is it’s incredible stained glass windows. The windows cover approximately 1,800 meters of surface, most of them still original to when the Cathedral was first constructed. Because of this, León Cathedral is nicknamed the “House of Light”.

BOTINES HOUSE by GAUDI. We enjoyed the guided visit to the Botines House (built 1891-1892), a Modernist building in León, designed by Antoni Gaudí. It currently houses a museum dedicated to Gaudi, Spanish art of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the history of the building itself. After being built for a fabrics company, it was adapted to serve as the headquarters of a local savings bank (first Caja León, later Caja España). With the Casa Botines, Gaudí wanted to pay tribute to León’s emblematic buildings. Therefore, he designed a building with a medieval air and numerous neo-Gothic characteristics.

Botines

FAREWELL LUNCH. Before saying goodbye, our Erasmus KA2 guests enjoyed a very special lunch together with the Spanish hosts at a beautiful restaurant: a former monastery in León. Here, we had a great time with our new friends!

Lunch together

CERTIFICATES CEREMONY. The Spanish Organization Team express their gratitude for our guests´ commitment having arranged a Meeting in Spain in spite of the pandemic circumstances. The KA2 projects and activities with students are now more meaninful than ever.

Spanish team gratitude

Our guests received their certificates with massive smiles. Through our «travel in time and space» we had shared our rich history, art and cultural heritage. We have improved communication skills, the understanding of texts, developed teamwork and cooperative methods of working. By means of presenting our local heroes, their achievements, deeds and values, we have learnt that “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of all the obstacles”, becoming true role models.

After these 3rd. short-term exchange, we have collected a number of beautiful memories. But more importantly through this experience, partner students and teachers have developed true frienship!

Friendship & farewell

Thanksssssss everybody!!!!

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