Following on from the success of the London programme in March our Year 9 Erasmus project participants were delighted to be heading off to Germany last week for the next stage of the programme which was organised by our partner school there, the Europäische Schule, Karlsruhe.
Joined by 50 students from the Karlsruhe school and our other Erasmus partner schools (Malgomajskolan, Vilhelmina, Sweden, SOU Sveti Kliment Ohridski, Dalgopol, Bulgaria and Collège Vauban, Strasbourg, France) our students spent a week at the Internationales Forum Burg Liebenzell which is housed in a twelfth century castle perched 440 metres above the small spa town of Bad Liebenzell in the northern Black Forest.
Once again the focus of the students’ work was gender equality in schools and they spent the week working together in mixed nationality and multi-lingual groups discussing their response to this theme and how they might effect change in their own schools and communities. Three days were spent in a programme of exciting workshops led by experts in film production, drama and graphic novellas or comics. A visit to Stuttgart provided the opportunity to attend meetings which gave insight into what Trades Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbubd Jugend and Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft) and Local Government (Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Wohnungsbau Baden-Württemberg ) are doing to promote the cause of gender equality at work and in education and the chance to discuss how this differs from what the students have experienced in their own countries.
On the final day we all traveled to Europäische Schule, Karlsruhe and the students were able to present the films, comics and drama pieces they had been working on. Euro MP Daniel Caspary joined them for the presentations and they were later welcomed to Karlsruhe’s ultra-modern town hall by the city’s Oberbügermeister, Dr Mentrup.
In an extremely busy week there was also time to relax. Highlights included the showing of the award winning film Sami Blood by the group from Sweden along with the chance to learn about Sami culture and language, a disco in the Bergschenke and an evening walk in the surrounding forest. The students also loved the opportunity to meet up with friends made on the London programme and to make new ones. The Burg was an ideal venue for this with plenty of space and facilities for games such as basketball and table tennis.
We are all extremely grateful to the staff at Internationales Forum Burg Liebenzell particularly Director of Studies, Gertud Gandenburger for making this such a successful week and also our huge thanks go to everyone at Europäische Schule, Karlsruhe for making us so welcome and particularly to Ines Ladehof for organising and co-ordinating such a great programme throughout the week.
We look forward to seeing everyone again in Strasbourg next year when Collège Vauban will host the final session of the 2-year programme.