First meeting report
The first Comenius meeting took place from 23rd to 25th October 2012 in Misilmery – Sicily – Italy and our host school was the Misilmery Primary School “Salvatore Traina”.
The host group was lead by Salvatore Mazzamuto the headmaster seconded by Eleonora and Maria and a large group of fantastic teachers and school workers.
Delegates from the seven visiting countries were welcomed at the hotel by Italian partners, fact that contributed to a very warm, friendly and inclusive working atmosphere.
The agenda was meticulously elaborated and comprised several dimensions which contributed to a fulfilling working and social week.
The visit started with the fantastic welcome in the school with all the community present and a great show of traditional songs and folk and the majorettes group performed by the students.
We, than, were offered with a guided visit to the “Salvatore Traina” school and the educational system. Participants had a possibility to interact with ongoing classes and exchange information with the teachers.
On the programme were included, as well, visits to other three schools: “Empedocle Restivo”, “Delegazione” both in Portella di Mare and “The Vigilia” nursery school in Misilmery. All schools had prepared a warm welcome and delegates had the opportunity to share great pedagogical and social moments with the teachers and students.
Both Italian and foreign teachers had the opportunity to see and exchange views on the several educational systems upon the delegates presentations of their schools.
The cultural programme was vast, very interesting due to a very carefully planned schedule. We had the opportunity to acquire more knowledge about Sicily history and Misilmeri in particular.
Highlights go to:
- The drama play “La Cavalleria Rusticana” presented by “Theatre Company of Giovanny Furnary” on the church front (great night show);
- The interaction with the old crafts, games and trades presented by “Comitato Degli Anziani Diversamente Giovani” and parents associations that gifted all participants with a basket full of delicacies;
- The visit to both Sant’Elia and Comitini Palaces in Palermo, being the last one the seat of the Provincial Council, were a visit to the Palermo’s and Sicily history. After the guided tour, we were offered by the President’s particular secretary, Mr Notaro, a souvenir from the Province’s President. At Sant’Elia palace we could appreciate an extensive and very interesting vintage exhibition;
- Both the Misilmeri’s Town Hall visit and city centre visit were a must mastered by the knowledge and friendliness of Mr. Enrico Venturini, an exceptional tour guide;
- The fabulously prepared medieval fair at the Misilmeri Castle grounds and the interesting guided visit to the Castle with the “Palio dei Sestieri” Association’s Chancellor Mr. Venturini (once again perfect in his role);
- The unique gastronomic experience offered by the “Assessorato Regionale delle Risorse Agricole e Alimentari” provide all participants the opportunity to taste typical Sicilian mouthwatering dishes;
- All the relaxing social moments around traditional Italian pizza or espresso coffee, contributed for a better knowledge of the Italian way of living.
The working meetings were very fruitful. They were important as an organizational departure process for the entire Project.
Although work methodologies for all themes have been proposed before, they constituted a mere launching ramp to the Project’s structure. After a much participated discussion, methodologies, activities and materials proposed were approved by all participating schools.
This first working week was constituted by very important moments where all the paper work, materials and deadlines for the Project was established and approved by all participating schools.
The atmosphere was a very consensual one, gathering everyone around the same objectives and goals.
As a balance the following strong aspects must be emphasize:
- Adherence to the project theme with a very strong group spirit enthusiasm;
- Commitment shown by all participants in all phases of the project agenda;
- The compromise of active involvement of the students, teachers and community by all partners;
- The positive criticism and doubts presented by all participants towards better working methods and results;
- The creation of a moodle platform and webpage for the Project dissemination and information;
- The set up of an interaction Skype calendar with all participant schools;
- Lastly, but not least, the great empathy that was gathering all participants around the same objective
A very well organized meeting with spaces and moments to include all required dimensions as was above shown.
The entire group generated empathy, showing motivation and cohesion around the proposed subjects, which are the main ingredients to the creation of a good teamwork leading to a successful Project achievement.