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Comenius Cultural Heroes

Comenius Cultural Heroes

Story of Weekend From 12th to 16th December



The first to arrive were our Turkish colleagues Emine and Mehtap, on Sunday night by bus from Madrid , their colleague Mehmet will arrive at dawn because he lost the luggage and he stayed in Madrid to recover it. We took them to the hotel and we talked a little. We arrenged to meet them the next day.

[see schedule]



We collect Clair, Sally, and Richard at Talavera airport at night, later we collect Lucy, Lenka and Martina arriving in the evening flight. We have dinner together at La Girola. Jaroslava and Lucie, the two Turkish teachers are not because they will arrive after twelve o’clock on a bus from Lisbon. Dinner is very nice, the atmosphere is relaxed and, in general, everyone is trying to communicate with others, with varying success. The first contact has been very good. We will start to work tomorrow.



The official welcoming ceremony starts at nine o’clock in the morning, which is attended , apart from the participants of the project, by students from various courses and by some parents and authorities.We have the presence of a representative of the Education Programs Unit, Mr. Javier Silgo, a councilor of our city council who is a member of the School Board, Mrs. Rosario Gómez de la Peña and the Inspector of our demarcation, Mr. Juan Macias, and the Principal of our School, Mrs. Lourdes Caballero.

The event begins after a presentation with pictures of our school.Antonio M. Castaño, project coordinator at our school, welcomes the audience and gaves the right to speak to the Principal.She welcomes and encourages our guests to enjoy these days together; Leonor Lavado, teacher participating in the Comenius, translates the Principal’s speech into English .Then Mehtap Alic is addressed to all, as a member of the Turkish group that coordinates the project.Our inspector directs some words in which he stresses the importance of such activities; Leonor translates a summary of his intervention into English.

The announcer closes and this part of the act is finished. At the end, Mehmet shows a video on Turkey and the town where their school is located, after which, in a more relaxed atmosphere, we pass to see the giant figures of Don Quixote and Sancho, which have been made with drawings of 1ºB students.They are those who run the visit to the school now.They are guiding our guests and some parents for the various departments of our school, explaining in English what they are. A file has been compiled for each country so that they can record and compare with their respective schools.The visit ends in the classroom of 1 B, the course most directly involved in the project.

We invite our colleagues to breakfast and to taste, among other things, a typical Spanish food, called ‘las migas‘.Back to our school we meet the participants of the project and we give to our visitors some small gifts and a series of books that the County Council, Town Hall, and the Regional Editor have provided us. We also deal the final schedule of activities for the week. Then we form the Museum of the Heroes figures placing them on a map of Europe. We have placed the table with the map surrounded by panels showing the material for all the heroes.

With this we end the activity at the school. After leaving the books and gifts in the hotel, we go to the Cathedral for a visit in which we will have an exceptional guide, the Canon , Mr. Cristino Portalo, who, though he is more than eighty years old, shows a vitality and extraordinary enthusiasm. He leads the tour, that lets us know some of the most important elements like the chorus and the various chapels, even we can see how the 16 th century Flemish tapestries are being restored.

After that, we have lunch and a rest.

In the afternoon, we will have the opportunity to explore the Muslim and Christian past of the city with a visit to the city walls. This time we are guided by an old colleague of our school, Julian Blanco, a historian and expert on fortifications; his explanations will be translated by Andrew Walker, an assistant teacher in our school, who kindly collaborates in the visit.

The ride is very interesting, especially having the opportunity to enter to places not easily accessible, such as Puerta de Palmas, or the Tower of Espantaperros, which are fine examples of defensive structures belonging to the Renaissance and Almohad periods respectively.

We say goodbye at eight o’clock until the next day.



We dedicate this morning to visit a part of the Roman monuments of Mérida.We leave early and almost everyone made the trip sleeping. We stopped at Morerías and from there we were visiting the bridge, the arch of Trajan, the Temple of Diana, the Forum remains …., until we get to the theatre and amphitheatre.Chelo Dorado led, she is a member of the group and historian and we also gave them all brochures in English. After a coffee we visited the impressive Roman museum which surprised everyone. We came back to eat in Badajoz.

The most important work session is held this afternoon and it lasts almost four hours. We started with a presentation of our education system which is exposed by Leonor and after moving because of problems with the computer, we continue with the presentation of British and Czech. The Slovak gives us a file, they also give us some gifts of their country and their principal Lenka Holikova says a few words and she is translated by her colleague.The session is very interesting and the atmosphere is very good.The presentations are completed by Turkish colleagues who show the project website as well as photographs of their school.We move to the library to work more comfortable there, after eating some good cakes that our Turkish colleagues have brought, as well as a gift to our school, we discusse what we have done and, of course, what we must still do: dates and tasks.We start by deciding where and when we will hold the following meetings. The discussion is long, it is difficult to combine the school calendars of the different countries. At the end we agree to meet us in Turkey in late May and we decide to leave the meetings in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom for the next academic year in September, March and June respectively. We also talk about the student movements and activities that will be carried out, theatre, calendars, book of heroes …- and we specify what each country should do. We are tired, but happy, as the song says,and we finish at about half past eight and we say goodbye until the next day.



We all meet at noon for lunch at our school with teachers, pupils and parents, they have brought food from their homes. It is a very interesting meeting and we all enjoy very much.

They spend the afternoon packing and doing the last shopping. We arrange to say goodbye at the Palacio de Congresos Manuel Rojas to attend a concert by the orchestra of Extremadura accompanied by the choir.The concert, featuring works by Barber and Bramhs was great and the interpretation of the Song of Destiny was brilliant.

After the concert, we went to have an informal dinner attended by participants at the meeting. The representative of the Spanish group, Antonio Castaño, said a few words to say goodbye and we enjoyed our last activity together in an intense and profitable week.


Proyecto Comenius

Como ya sabéis, a mediados de Octubre nos llegó la comunicación de que nos habían concedido un proyecto europeo dentro del programa Comenius. Su título es “Cultural heroes”, y se desarrollará a lo largo de dos cursos. El IES Castelar participa junto con otros centros de Turquía, Eslovaquia, Republica Checa, Reino Unido y España.

En nuestro centro escolar, los profesores dedicados son: Antonio M. Castaño, coordinador, Manoli Dominguez, Chelo Dorado, Leonor Lavado, Elena López de Haro, y Juan de Dios Portalo,

A lo largo del mes de septiembre, nuestra labor ha sido poco vistosa, pero muy importante porque constituye la base del trabajo posterior. Ha consistido en firmar el convenio financiero con la Agencia Nacional que nos permitirá recibir el dinero para realizar el proyecto; Concretar con nuestros socios las fechas de los encuentros internacionales y el tipo de trabajo que haremos, formar el grupo de estudiantes con el que vamos a trabajar, darnos de alta en la plataforma eTwinning, presentar el proyecto a los profesores, concretar el grupo de profesores participantes y su actuación, etc.

Esto acaba de empezar. Tenemos de nuestra parte la ilusión y la motivación. Pero además, en esta aventura nos acompañan nuestros heroes Don Quijote y Sancho Panza. «La ventura va guiando nuestras cosas mejor de lo que acertáramos a desear, porque ves allí, amigo Sancho Panza, donde se descubren treinta, o pocos más, desaforados gigantes, con quien pienso hacer batalla y quitarles a todos las vidas, con cuyos despojos comenzaremos a enriquecer; que ésta es buena guerra, y es gran servicio de Dios quitar tan mala simiente de sobre la faz de la tierra«

Somos Comenius


El título del proyecto es «Cultural heroes´´ y en él participamos centros escolares de Turquía, Eslovaquia, República Checa, Reino Unido y España. Cada centro ha escogido dos o tres figuras destacadas de su país, personajes reales o, en la mayoría de los casos, personajes ficticios pertenecientes a la literatura culta o popular que servirán para dar a conocer a los demás elementos característicos de la cultura propia: estas figuras van desde Robin Hood a Vaclav Havel pasando por Don Quijote de la Mancha. Alumnos y profesores de los diversos centros estarán en contacto, tanto de forma telemática como presencial, para intercambiar ideas e inquietudes en un intento de mejorar el conocimiento y el respeto entre países y culturas muy diferentes.

A lo largo de los dos años que durará el proyecto se elaboraran materiales en común -calendario, murales, presentaciones, página web…- que sirvan como instrumento de trabajo y, al tiempo, como registro del mismo.
Un objetivo fundamental es promocionar la apertura del universo mental de los alumnos, promover el interés por el conocimiento de realidades distintas, despertar la curiosidad y estimular la tolerancia y, como instrumento de  comunicación, el uso de la lengua inglesa.
Los profesores implicados en el proyecto son:

Antonio M. Castaño, coordinador
Manoli Domínguez
Chelo Dorado
Leonor Lavado
Elena López de Haro
Juan de Dios Portalo

Y en lo que respecta a los alumnos trabajaremos básicamente con primero de ESO

Badajoz, noviembre de 2010