Sunday 16th October
Our journey from north Wales started on Saturday afternoon. We were due to fly from Stansted on Sunday morning so we spent Saturday night in a hotel near the airport.
We left Britain in the rain and arrived in Slovenia in the sun. A taxi took us to a town called Primoroz on the coast, it looked a bit like Llandudno.
We were staying in hostel on a hill, there were nice views from it. From one side you could see Croatia and from the other you could see Italy.
We met everybody else on the exchange, had an evening meal and then went to our rooms.
Monday 17th October
Today we went on our first visits. In the morning we went to a stud farm in Lipica. This was the home of the famous Lipizzaner horses, even the Queen has one! The best bit of this visit was when someone whistled and loads of horses galloped towards us.
In the afternoon we when to the famous caves and castle at Postojna. The caves were spectacular and they’d taken millions of years to form. The castle was also interesting as it was built into the hillside. We heard a story about a king dying on the toilet! Both places showed good ways of looking after the environment in tourism.
Tuesday 18th October
Today we should have visited Primoroz in the morning but it rained rain. Instead everyone, including hosts came to the hostel and we did group activities. We were put into mixed groups with the students from other countries. It was nice to get to know the other students.
In the afternoon we walked down the hill to Pivan and Primoroz. There were nice views by the sea. We completed some task on Actionbound as we walked. Pivan was a pretty town. We went sightseeing for an hour and then made the steep walk back to the hostel. This was definitely an eco-tourism activity!
Wednesday 19th October
Today we went to Bled Castle. It was another interesting place. The views from Bled castle would have been good if it hadn’t have been so cloudy. After visiting the castle we walked around Lake Bled until we came to the Pizza restaurant owned by a famous Ice Hockey player, where we had lunch.
After lunch we went Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana. It was nice to see some of the sights. We had a look around the shops as well.
We went to the school in Horjul in the evening and we met our host families. Everybody went home with their hosts.
Thursday 20th October
Today there were activities in school.First of all we went to some the lesson that our hosts went to. Then all the teachers arrived and made our presentations. Each country made a presentation about eco-tourism at a local hotel.
After this we were organised back into our groups to plan activities based on eco-tourism that we could take to our local hotels.
Just before lunch we visited the town hall and the mayor welcomed us to Horjul. When we arrived back at school we watched a show that the school had organised.
After Lunch we continued to work on our tourism plans. After school we went back to our host families.
Friday 21st October
Today we should have gone on a hike but there was too much rain. Instead of hiking we worked on the project activities. We had a special lunch with all the teachers from Horjul, the mayor and other members of the council.
When we arrived back at school we practised our dance. In the evening there was a school disco organised by the students and all the group performed their dances. We won the dance competition!
Saturday 22nd October
We left today and our host families dropped us off at school. We had given presents to our host families to thank them for having us. Our flight left at 4:30 from Ljubljana.
It had been an enjoyable week in Slovenia!
Last May the project enjoyed a meeting in north Wales. Here is a view of the trip from a German perspective.
Erasmusbesuch in Wales
Nach Wochen der Vorbereitung und Vorfreude ging es am Mittwoch, den 18.5 endlich los nach Wales. Als wir mittags in Manchester ankamen, regnete es und die Stimmung war gedämpft, da wir lange auf den Bus warten mussten. Während der Wartezeit lernten wir die Slowenen kennen, mit denen wir uns gut verstanden.
Nach der langen Busfahrt begutachteten wir den Campingplatz, der besser aussah, als wir dachten. Die Toiletten waren sauber, das Gelände schön und zum Glück gab es WLAN.
Nachdem wir mit viel Mühe die geräumigen Zelte und Zeltbetten aufgebaut hatten, beschlossen wir nach Caenarfon, einer kleinen Stadt, 40 Minuten zu Fuß von unserem Campingplatz entfernt, zu gehen. Es gab keinen Gehweg, deshalb mussten wir auf der Straße laufen. Die Häuser, die wir auf dem Weg dahin sahen, waren in eintönigem Grau gestrichen. In Caernarfon war es leider nicht anders. Trotzdem blieben wir ein wenig dort und bewunderten die Burg, die mitten aus dem Zentrum hervor ragte. Doch dann machten wir uns wieder auf den Rückweg, da es bald Abendessen geben sollte. Im Bistro des Campingplatzes gab es dann erstaunlich gutes Essen. Danach lernten wir alle anderen, die dazugestoßen waren, kennen. Die Polen und die Slowenen waren uns sehr sympathisch, da sie in unserem Alter waren. Die Schweden bekamen wir nicht oft zu Gesicht, denn sie fuhren bereits in der ersten Nacht in ein Hotel. Mit dem Rauschen des Flusses gegenüber unserem Zelt und dem leisen Vogelgezwitscher schliefen wir ein.
Am Donnerstag ging es nach einem typisch englischen Frühstück für uns in eine walisische Schule. Zuerst wurden wir in dem riesigen Gebäude herumgeführt und dann sollten wir uns in Gruppen mit Walisern und den anderen aus dem Camp zusammenfinden und etwas zu einer Sehenswürdigkeit eines unserer Länder herausfinden. Wir aßen in der großen Mensa und wurden von einer der Lehrerinnen in das Rathaus der Stadt geführt, wo wir uns einen Vortrag des ehemaligem Bürgermeisters von Abergele anhörten.
Danach liefen wir im Regen zur Schule zurück und wurden vom Bus wieder ins Camp gebracht, wo wir uns ausruhten, etwas gegessen haben und schlafen gegangen sind.
Am Freitag sind wir nach dem Frühstück nach Manchester gefahren. Dort besichtigten wir ein interessantes Kriegsmuseum. Durch die Ausstellung bekamen wir von dieser schrecklichen Zeit im Zweiten Weltkrieg nochmal einen schockierenden Eindruck. Danach fuhren wir mit dem Bus durch den nicht ganz so schönen Teil Manchesters zum Trafford Centre, einer großen Shoppingmall. Dort blieben wir für einige Stunden und fuhren dann wieder zum Campingplatz. Wir aßen noch aus der Mall mitgenommene Baguettes, spielten noch was zusammen und gingen schlafen.
Am nächsten Tag mussten wir etwas früher als sonst los, da eine Wanderung auf dem Snowdon, einem Berg in der Umgebung, bevorstand. Nach ein paar Stunden Busfahrt trafen wir unsere Führer, die uns die nächsten Stunden begleiten sollten. Am Anfang der Strecke fing es natürlich an, wie aus Eimern zu regnen. Nach kurzer Zeit waren wir klitschnass, und die Führer gaben uns die Gelegenheit umzudrehen. Weiter gingen nur die Slowenen, Schweden und wir. Die Italiener und die Polen drehten um.
Leider wurden wir von unserem Vorhaben, den Gipfel zu erklimmen, von den Führern abgebracht, da sie es nicht für sinnvoll hielten, nass bis auf die Knochen den windigen und regnerischen Weg weiter zu gehen. Als wir wieder im Tal waren, schien die Sonne und wir beschlossen, noch weitere zwei Stunden in dem Dorf zu verbringen, während die anderen ins Camp fuhren. Wie sich später herausstellte, war es eine gute Idee. Zuerst gingen wir in den, wie zu erwartenden eintönig grauen Dorfkern, dann wollten wir noch ein kleines Museum besuchen, was jedoch geschlossen hatte. So gingen wir zu einem der zahlreichen Steinbrüche, für den Abbau von Schiefer, der allerdings stillgelegt war und bewunderten den See, der genau in einem Kessel aus steilen Steinwänden lag. Man konnte dort klettern und in dem 60-80 Meter tiefen See tauchen. Von da aus gingen wir auf einem kleinen Wanderweg zu einer Ruine eines alten Hauses. Selbst da liefen Schafe rum. Inzwischen waren wir wegen des durchgehenden Sonnenscheins wieder ganz trocken und gingen zu der Haltestelle unseres Busses, um wieder ins Camp zu fahren. Wir freuten uns schon alle auf das Abendessen, da es von den Italienern, original aus Italien mitgebracht, zubereitet wurde. Es gab Pasta mit Pesto und Parmesan. Zum Nachtisch gab es unsere mitgebrachte Rote Grütze mit Vanillesoße. Wir unterhielten uns noch lange mit den Italienerinnen, die neben Englisch auch Deutsch und Spanisch konnten und gingen dann erschöpft ins Bett.
Am Sonntag ging es für uns an den Strand zum Segeln. Es war leider bewölkt und es hat ein bisschen genieselt. Es war etwas wackelig, doch zum Glück ist niemand ins Wasser gefallen. Wir aßen noch etwas und fuhren dann wieder zurück ins Camp. Wir sind fast den ganzen Tag unterwegs am Strand Frau Gütschow und die wackeren Wanderer aus Slowenien, Schweden und Deutschland. gewesen, und am Abend nach dem Essen saßen wir alle zusammen im Zelt der Slowenen. Wir spielten und unterhielten uns noch lange. Dieser Abend war der Abschiedsabend der Polen und der Italiener, die am nächsten Tag fuhren.
Am nächsten Morgen wurden wir durch das laute Blöken eines Schafes geweckt. Nur noch die Slowenen, die Schweden und wir waren im Camp und hatten die Ehre die Zelte der anderen am Nachmittag abzubauen. Nach dem Frühstück fuhren wir nochmal in die Schule. Dort besuchten wir den Deutschunterricht der Waliser und bearbeiteten in kleinen Gruppen eine Sehenswürdigkeit von Deutschland, Slowenien oder Schweden, welche wir dann noch vorstellten. Nach einer kleinen Pause waren wir nochmal im Deutschunterricht einer anderen Gruppe, wo wir wieder eine Präsentation über unser Land machten und anschließend vorstellten. Wir nahmen uns noch Lunchpakets mit und fuhren dann mit dem Bus zu der Insel Puffin Island, wo es zahlreiche Vögel gab, unter anderem Haubentaucher, nach denen die Insel benannt ist. Wir sahen auch viele andere Vögel und sogar eine Robbe, die träge in der Sonne lag. Als wir wieder auf dem Festland waren, fuhren wir mit dem Bus weiter in eine kleine Stadt in der Nähe. Dort liefen wir an der Promenade und anschließend am Strand entlang. Zum Glück schien auch die Sonne. Danach gingen wir noch ein bisschen in die dortige Mall und fuhren wieder ins Camp zurück. Wir spielten noch was mit den Slowenen, die in der Nacht nach Hause fuhren und gingen dann erschöpft schlafen.
Am letzten Tag standen wir auf, gingen ein letztes Mal frühstücken und mussten dann die Zelte abbauen. Dann gingen wir nochmal nach Caenarfon und kauften Souvenirs und etwas Kleines zum Essen. Zurück im Camp sahen wir nach, ob wir auch alles eingepackt hatten und stiegen in den Bus nach Manchester ein. Wir waren ganz allein im Bus und nutzten die Chance, ein bisschen Schlaf nachzuholen. Als wir in Manchester ankamen, hatten wir eine lange Wartezeit, bis wir in den Flieger einsteigen konnten. Spät abends kamen wir wieder in Hannover an und wurden abgeholt.
Es war eine sehr schöne Reise, die uns allen gefallen hat. Man hatte die Gelegenheit, ein Land zu sehen, in dem man noch nicht war und konnte viele Erfahrungen sammeln.
This post has been taken from this document, the document has added photos!
Taken from the Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan website.
Green Flag Eco-Award status
Litter picks along the Wales Coastal Path and a green campaign by learners have landed Emrys a top eco-award.
The Keep Britain Tidy group has handed Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan its prestigious internationally regarded Green Flag Eco-Award status for the youngsters’ efforts. The campaign includes measures such as pupils switching off lights and projectors when classrooms are empty, recycling paper and plastic bottles and making sure waste bins are in the best places. In addition the school has adopted a stretch of nearby beach and the Wales Coastal Path, with pupils regularly collecting potentially harmful rubbish left behind by visitors.
Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan science teacher Rhys Williams says pupils deserve a great deal of credit for the way they have worked hard at reducing the school’s carbon footprint. He said: “We have a school eco committee, which is made up of 10 learners from across the year groups plus staff. We look at how we can, as a school community, reduce our carbon footprint. Learners now go around at lunchtimes to ensure teachers have turned off lights and projectors and every classroom has recycling bins, which are been properly used. We also looked at reducing the amount of paper we used, and outside at which areas had the most litter and why. As a result we moved some waste bins to new locations, which had a dramatic effect in reducing litter and improving the school environment for everyone.”
He added: “More than a year ago, as a school we linked with Conwy County Borough and Keep Wales Tidy to adopt an area of beach. We take learners along to clean up plastics and other litter that could be harmful to wildlife. We are really pleased with the way learners have worked as a committee and how they have taken on board the important environmental messages that comes with being a Green Flag Eco Award-winning school.”
Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan head teacher Lee Cummins said: “I congratulate the eco committee for achieving Green Flag status for the school. This is a great achievement and something of which the learners can be very proud.”
Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan eco council members Dionne Hinchliffe, Siret Hatton and Matthew Munday, say they are delighted to have won the award for the school.
Dionne said: “It is really important we take simple steps such as turning off lights when there is no one in classrooms so we use less energy. It doesn’t take much but can make a big difference to the amount of energy we use. And it’s amazing how much paper we have saved by trying to use less and also properly recycling what is used. I’m proud we have won the award and we know we have to keep it up and see if we can do even more to save energy and recycle more.”
Siret said: “I’m really keen on reducing the amount of plastic we use and waste in school. It’s amazing to see how many empty drink bottles are recycled. We know how harmful plastic is to the environment. The problem is it doesn’t break down and when it gets into the sea it harms lots of wildlife. If we just used less and made sure what we did use is properly recycled then we could make a big difference.”
Matthew agreed adding: “By reducing the amount of plastic we use we also reduce the amount of oil we need as oil is used in the manufacture of most plastics. It’s horrible to see the amount of plastic there is in the sea and on the beach. The thing is the plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces and that then harms wildlife.”
He added: “It’s also nice to see the school is clean and tidy and there isn’t litter all over the place. It makes it better for everyone. We are all proud to have won the Green Flag Eco Award. It’s amazing and everyone, not just the school’s eco council, worked really hard to make sure we achieved it.”
Keep Britain Tidy group’s Eco School campaign is an international award programme that provides a simple framework to help make sustainability an integral part of school life.
A spokesman for the group said: “Eco-Schools can help enhance the curriculum and get the whole school united behind something important. Our mission is to help make every school in the country sustainable and to bring about behaviour change in young people and those connected to them so that good habits learned in schools are followed through into homes and communities. What’s more, by addressing environmental issues in school and reducing waste, they’ll save money, which can be reinvested elsewhere.”
Here’s a report from the national park we visited a couple of weeks ago. It’s been taken from The Guardian.
Italy plans to severely reduce the number of tourists visiting the Cinque Terre UN world heritage area this summer because the rugged coastal area risks being wrecked by coach parties and cruise ships.
About 2.5 million tourists poured into the picturesque park in north-west Italy’s Liguria region last year to visit the five small fishing villages, which are connected by narrow cliffside trails.
Residents say day-trippers from cruise ships docking at nearby ports have overwhelmed their communities and the head of the Cinque Terre park said no more than 1.5 million visitors would be let in this year.
“We will certainly be criticised for this, but for us it is a question of survival,” Vittorio Alessandro told la Repubblica newspaper.
Roads leading to the area are being fitted with devices to gauge the number of people heading to the villages and once a certain number has been reached, access will be closed.
Tickets will be sold ahead of time online and an app created for tourists to show which of the villages are most congested.
Accessed by steep, winding roads, the Cinque Terre, with their brightly coloured houses, used to be a remote backwater.
However, tourist numbers have risen sharply in recent years partly as a result of cruise companies adding more Italian destinations to their itineraries as other Mediterranean ports, such as Tunisia, lost their appeal following militant attacks.
Here’s a related Guardian article from a few years ago.
It’s only been two weeks since All For Greener Europe visited and already action is being taken!
All For A Greener Europe Italy Visit – La Spezia January 31st to February 6th 2016
Monday – 1st Feb
This morning we met the headteacher and local dignitaries at the I.I.S.S A. Fossati – M. Da Passano school. Our first job after this was to make a decision about the project logo. In the end we decided to combine an Italian design and a German design. Our second job was to check on the progress of the project tasks.
We also went to meet the graphic design class that produced some of the designs. It was a pleasure to meet such polite and well-motivated students that spoke English so excellently.
Tuesday – 2nd Feb
We enjoyed a full day excursion to Cinque Terre by train. Firstly we alighted in Manarola to listen to presentations from the officials of the Cinque Terre World Heritage National Park.
The officials told us about the issues surrounding the park including marine protection and the problems that arise when you attempt to strike a balance between tourism, the agricultural sector and protecting the environment.
After the presentations we were taken on a guided walk through Manarola and its surroundings. This was followed by a trip to an agricultural co-operative and a guided walk through Vernazza. We all agreed that Cinque Terre was a beautiful location.
Wednesday – 3rd Feb
We made our presentations today. Firstly we listened to the Italian students present information about Liguria and the Mediterranean diet then rest of the partners presented information about the national beauty of their countries.
After another project meeting we visited the beautiful town of Portovenere to see more examples of sustainable tourism.
Thursday – 4th Feb
We enjoyed a full day excursion to the historic cities of Lucca and Pisa. The cities are not only popular tourist destinations they are two Italian pearls!
Firstly we had an excellent and well-informed guided tour around beautiful Lucca. The group were impressed by the city council’s policy of encouraging people to use bicycles instead of cars in the walled part of town. For example on our tour through the old town we only met the occasional local council vehicle. Well done Lucca!!!
The historic buildings and monuments in Pisa were also very impressive. The team were greatly inspired by today’s activities.
Friday – 5th Feb
Today we prepared the group for the next meeting in Wales in May. We decided on the activities that the students will take part in and the work that the partners will produce before the visit. In the afternoon we visited the beautiful town of Lerici.
Taken from the Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan website.
Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan’s Eco Committee achieved Eco Schools Green Flag status last month. This is a great achievement and something the learners can be very proud of.
Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey by providing a simple framework to help make sustainability an integral part of school life.
Taken from the Ysgol ap Iwan website
Teachers from seven nations headed to Abergele to swot up on lessons to create a greener Europe.
Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan is spearheading a €238,000 educational programme to encourage teenagers to develop a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, by harnessing the power of eco-tourism.
The three-year programme will see learners and teachers visiting schools in Turkey, Germany, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia and Italy to develop ways of limiting the impact of tourism.
Teachers from the seven nations met in Abergele for the first meeting of the project, before heading off to some of North Wales’ top tourist attractions, including Portmeirion and Bodelwyddan Castle.
Teacher Andrew Goodwin, who as the school’s Learning Achievement Leader for 11-16’s is in charge of the initiative, which is part of the EU’s Education, Training, Youth and Sport campaign under the Erasmus+ project, on the theme ‘All For a Greener Europe.’
He said: “Tourism is a major contributor to our carbon footprint, greenhouse gases and global warming. The aim of the programme is to reduce the impact tourism has on the environment.
“The project idea stems from local and international demands. All of the partner schools are situated in eco-touristic areas and are all directly affected by the negative environmental consequences of tourism activities.
“Tourism is essential economically and it enables people to experience the natural environment, which is essential for the future of our learners.
“It’s important for learners to take early responsibility for the conservation of these places, and protect them from harm.
“Some of our schools are specialised in tourism and have knowledge, understanding and experience of various conservation initiatives. Our aim is to share this with the other groups and to have a collective range of ideas, initiatives and interventions.”
Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan Head teacher Lee Cummins says he was delighted to welcome the delegation of foreign teachers to the school.
He said: “Under the Erasmus+ project we are working across multiple sectors with our partners from around Europe.
“These projects enable organisations to offer structured study, work experience, job shadowing, training and teaching opportunities to both staff and learners.
“The Erasmus+ project will provide both learners and teachers with a deeper understanding of responsible tourism and widen their knowledge of subjects connected to culture, history, traditions, tourism, gastronomy, English language and ICT.
“We also intend to motivate learners to be socially active. The learners will be involved in the study of the touristic values and sites of their own countries and of the other partner countries; they will appreciate the different cultures and will consciously search for ways to protect valuable tourist sites and traditions.
“In addition, this trans-national partnership will encourage young people to become responsible citizens within Europe, to be aware of and have respect for different cultures, and also understand the need to work together as part of a larger community to ensure the future sustainability of their world.”
Serdar Simsek, an English teacher who works at a large school in Istanbul, said he enjoyed his visit to Wales.
“I think the teaching methods at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan are excellent. I am impressed by everything about the school, the teachers, pupils and clerical staff. Everyone works together to make a difference.
“It is very different and I am very impressed by the support staff that help teachers. This is something we don’t have. I was very impressed by the presentation given to us by the head teacher and his vision for the school.”
He added: “The Erasmus+ project is a very good scheme which will help our students work together to protect the environment.”
Maria Grazia Zigneco, who teaches English at a school in La Spezia in northern Italy, says she had a very good impression of Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan.
She said: “In Italy we are perhaps more focused on content than student activities. I like what I have seen at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan and although we have a very different approach we are working in Italy to achieve the same results.
“We are trying to become more focused on student skills and I have learnt a great deal from seeing how, at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, the lessons are so well structured and how good the teaching is.”
The partner schools are in Istanbul in Turkey, Bremen in Germany, Bydgoszcz in Poland, Gran Canary Spain, Karlskrona in Sweden, Horjul in Slovenia and La Spezia in Italy.
Learners will create mini–tour guides and itineraries, presentations and booklets, working with local, national and international institutions and organisations.
In addition, groups of Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan learners and teachers, will travel abroad to meet students from the other international schools.
Mr Goodwin added: “At this, the first meeting, we came together to plan how the project will work for the first two years as well as looking at communication and platform tools such as e-twinning.
“We looked at how learning is different and also similar in the participating schools and education systems. This was very productive and they certainly seemed impressed by what they saw at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan.
“During their visit the group also visited Beaumaris, Weavers Shopping Centre, Portmeirion and Bodelwyddan Castle.
“Next October, as lead school, we will play host and welcome students from all the other participating countries.
“The main aim of the project is to prepare our learners to become open-minded, culture-conscious citizens and skilled travellers who are consciously protecting the value of their tourism environment.”
Germany – Ökumenisches Gymnasium zu Bremen – Website
Italy – Istituto Superiore FOSSATI-DA PASSANO, La Spezia – Website
Poland – Gimnazjum nr 5, Bydgoszcz
Slovenia – Osnovna šola Horjul – Website
Sweden -Mikael Elias Gymnasium, Karlskrona – Website
Turkey – Kasımoğlu Coşkun Lisesi, Maltepe, Istanbul – Website
Wales – Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, Abergele – Website