Visiting Germany, November 2017.
All participants met in Woffenbach, Germany, right before Christmas. The Flexible Grundschule Woffenbach hosted this first meeting. While getting to know each other and getting started on the projects' content and development, the team went sightseeing in Neumarkt, Nuremberg, Würzburg and Regensburg. The time table of the first get-together can be downloaded here as well as the first invitation letter.
Participants from Iceland summarized the activities from this first get-together:
The first Sparrow (project) meeting took place in Germany 26.11 - 01.12.2017. The hosting school for the project is Grundschule Woffenbach, in Neumarkt, and that is where we stayed during our visit. All the participants from Iceland, Italy and Spain joined this first meeting.
On Sunday night, after we had settled into our hotel, we were invited to a welcoming dinner at a local restaurant in Neumarkt where we enjoyed some typical German dishes. Some of the teachers from Woffenbach joined us at this dinner which was a good way to get to know the other participants and staff from the hosting school.
On Monday morning it was time for our first workday. We arrived at Woffenbach school early in the morning and were warmly greeted by the staff in the teacher‘s lounge. The students also welcomed us by putting on a little show for us in the students’ assembly hall. The students had rehearsed a song that involved words from all the participants’ countries, such as good morning and etc. The students seemed very excited and pleased to see us and this was a lovely way to start the week.
After this welcoming we took a tour through the school. We visited numerous classes and observed lessons, activities and various methods that the teachers apply in their classroom. We also got to see the room they use for the after-school-projects. Two students accompanied us for this school tour. They had been chosen because they are bi-lingual, as they both have a parent that is a native English speaker. After lunch we had a guided tour around Neumarkt and we were very impressed with this little town’s culture and history.
On Tuesday we headed to the City Hall where our host had arranged a meeting with a representative from the Mayor‘s office. Attending this meeting were also reporters from the two local newspapers. The meeting began with a summary of Neumarkt‘s history. Participants not only learnt a bit about the areas industry but also about its arts and culture. The reporters interviewed a member from each country, wanting to know about the project and the reason for our visit. The interviews were published in the two local newspapers the next day. Also, a local radio station called the German host and interviewed her about our visit and the purpose of the Erasmus project.
After the meeting in City Hall we returned to the Woffenbach School. We had an invitation to attend an English class in the 3rd grade. At the day‘s end all participants met to discuss and plan the next steps for the Sparrow project.
On Wednesday we had another work session about the Sparrow project. After lunch we went on a trip to lovely Regensburg where we got to taste a bit of its history and culture. We took a guided tour around a big castle, The Schloss Thurn und Taxis. Since we were so fortunate to be in Regensburg (or all of Germany, for that matter) at the beginning of the Christmas Season we had the pleasure of experiencing the opening of the local Cristkindelmarkt, located by the castle‘s premises.
On Thursday morning we had a work session at the Woffenbach School. Early in afternoon we went on a day trip to Würzburg. We took a guided tour around an old castle, The Würzburger Residenz, which contains a lot of artwork but also tells the story and the heritage of the castle‘s former residents.
On our last day, Friday, we met to discuss and evaluate our first workweek of the Sparrow Project. After the meeting we took a trip to the opening of the very famous Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt which is the biggest of its kind in Germany and a lot of people from various countries visit it every year.