2nd SHORT TERM JOINT STAFF TRAINING AND LEARNING EVENT
C.E.E. CAN RIGOL
The second short term joint staff training and learning event was held in the city of Barcelona and was completed successful. 22 teachers, coordinators and participants in the project «Artemotion Xpress in Europe», from each country of the partnership, met in CEE CAN RIGOL Special Primary and Secondary School, from 17 to 23 of April 2016, to exchange best practices and thus improve the quality of schools and their teaching methods on their return.
The welcoming of the Spanish partners and pupils was warm and full of enthusiasm. Their hospitality was unique and the planned activities were truly inspiring, well organized, interactive and absolutely educational. Rodrigo Amado Fafian, the Spanish Erasmus+ project coordinator, was an excellent, tireless host during the whole mobility.
Sunday, 17/04/2016 was the day of the arrival of the participants of every partner school (Greece, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovenia) to Barcelona . In the evening, we were welcomed by the coordinator of the corporate school of Spain Mr. Rodrigo Fafian Amado and we all enjoyed a welcome dinner, while starting to familiarize with Spanish cuisine and the famous tapas.
On Monday 18/04/2016, we visited the City Hall of the Municipality of El Prat de Llobregat, in Catalonia, Spain, where we were welcomed by representatives of the municipality and by the education consultant Ms. Pilar Eslava. The speech followed by Mr Toni Garcia, (the father of a SEN pupil in Can Rigol and also president of the «Friends of Art» community), was particularly touching. Local El Prat TV attended and covered the event.
Afterwards, we arrived to Can Rigol School, where we were welcomed with great enthusiasm by the pupils and educational staff. Pupils were holding auxiliary communication cards with pictures writing “hello” to all partner languages. Following, the project coordinator Rodrigo Fafian and the teacher Cristina Cifre presented the Spanish educational system and the Special Education system, which ended with the offering of gifts from all partner countries to our hosts.
Later on, we followed the programme of hippotherapy, which is a therapeutic method conducted in the school every Monday and with the participation of almost 30 pupils. We had the opportunity to learn the techniques they use in the therapeutic approach of children with autism, mental retardation and physical disabilities, but also to participate in it, taking a little taste of the benefits of therapeutic riding. Finally, we had lunch at school where were we tasted the traditional escudella soup.
In the afternoon, we visited «La Sagrada Família» the unique in architecture church, which attracts thousands of tourists and also had a tour around the city.
On Tuesday 19/4/2016, we were split into groups and guided throughout the school, the classes. We met the educational staff, pupils and participated for a while in classroom activities. Our break was held in the school cafeteria Tasta’M, operated by secondary school students. So we were able to learn how children with special needs operate the canteen and witness the use of auxiliary equipment with cards and cash transactions.
The well organized programme each day combined school activities with cultural activities adding to the goals of our project “Artemotion Xpress in Europe”, which is synonymous to Art and Emotions. Thus, on Tuesday afternoon we visited the Catalan Art Museum where our tour guide transferred to us a wealth of valuable information about the history of Art in Catalonia and the surrounding area.
On Wednesday 20/04/2016, the traditional meeting of the coordinators was held in the morning, as it was important to discuss the progress of the project and plan the future activities.
Meanwhile, the rest of the participants watched an animated film created by a group of secondary students of Can Rigol.
Following we participated in a Yoga lesson with the participation of pupils under the direction of Rodrigo Fafian and the teacher Francisca Ocon. Specific breathing exercises and relaxation techniques help concentration, relaxation and tranquility of the students. Yoga can improve behavior, increase strength, flexibility and balance. It helps to improve body image and normal growth in children with ADHD, anxiety, pupils in the spectrum of autism, with mental retardation, with difficulties in sensory processing as well as with emotional and behavioral disorders.
The visit to the Cathedral, Plaça Sant Jaume and the El Born district was a unique experience. The streets were full of people, vivid and absolutely majestic.
On Thursday 21/4/2016, a day trip to Sitges was planned. Unfortunately, despite the fact that it was scheduled pupils to accompany us to the trip, it has not been possible due to the bad weather conditions. In Sitges, Catalonia our guide toured us around the city and its sights and we all visited the museum «The House of Rusiñol» which was a Spanish painter, poet and playwright, one of the leaders of the Catalan modernist movement. In the museum, the emotions were arising from the variety of paintings, varied from happiness to melancholy, from laxity to stressfulness and the experience was undoubtedly wonderful.
On Friday 22/04/2016, the last day of the mobility, our hosts had organized a variety of workshops involving arts and feelings but also aiming to the better understanding of the curriculum activities of their school. So, we participated in a handicraft workshop, in kitchen activities, and in the «friendship’s collage», painting a huge Pota Blava chicken, typical of El Prat! We also watched a small musical-theatrical performance by pupils of the primary school, concerning the celebration of Sant Jordi as it is a special day for our Catalan partners. Furthermore, we enjoyed the musical performance of the percussion group Trip-Itaka and we all danced along to the intense musical rhythms. Finally, outside at the yard, all the school united, pupils, teachers and European partners created a huge bonded cycle, while forgetting language barriers and closing in this way the 2nd mobility of our project and crowning it with total success.
Later in the evening, we visited the Magic Fountains of Montjuic, next to Plaza España and enjoyed a spectacular sight.
The last evening and farewell dinner were special. All the teaching staff of Can Rigol School farewelled us with lots of dance, excitement and their best wishes, with the promise to meet again soon.
Thank you dear colleagues from Spain, Rodrigo, Rosa, Cristina, Nouria, Marta, Alida, Aida, Iolanda, Jaume, Josep Maria, Irene, Esther, Elisabet, Jùlia and many other Spanish colleagues, for the great mobility, the well-structured program, the variety of activities and actions carried out, the impeccable hospitality, the unique experiences and the best exchange of good practices. You gave us the opportunity to feel through Art, to communicate, to learn and to learn Catalonian customs with a unique way, while connecting everything with our project «Artemotion Xpress in Europe». It was a completely successful mobility that will remain in our memory forever. Thank you very much for everything.
Editor: Mourelatou Stamoula, Occupational Therapist, Main Coordinator of Erasmus+ project “Artemotion Xpress in Europe”