Comenius Project - Trip to Spain

 

 The Comenius project is funded by the British Council; there are a group of us who gather on a Tuesday after school where we learn about how body languages are different around Europe. What are our aims? To develop knowledge and understanding among young people and educate staff about the diversity of European cultures and languages. For this trip, we visited Avilés in the Asturias region of northern Spain. Our host was our partner school, ‘La Magdalena’, who looked after us very well.
 

Comenius Play

Whilst in Spain, each school from each country had to perform a play based on a story called ‘Blood is Thicker than Water’.  However, each play had varied ways of telling the story. We performed the play at the Palacio Valdés Theatre which was huge and looked incredible. In the day each school rehearsed their play at the theatre… ours was not the greatest we had done, I think it was the nerves! It was hard to figure out how we would perform it on the night as the stage was so big. Luckily on the night everything went perfectly and it was the best performance we had done. The Polish play was played on the screen as the students did not come to Spain, only the teachers travelled. It was very similar to ours, but they recorded it and had music playing throughout. The Italian play was mostly dance but was very interesting to watch as it was so different. They were all very good at dancing and you could still understand the play… sort of. The Spanish play was also very similar to ours. The only obvious difference was that they used ‘you are the one that I want’ from Grease. Our play consisted of 3 scenes. The first scene was ‘Breakfast’ the second scene was ‘School’ and the last scene was ‘Dinner’. We managed to get some laughs out of the audience which was good, especially as some of the things were not funny in the slightest. Overall, it was a great success and was amazing to perform in front of that amount of people.   
 

 Friends

Throughout the trip we got to meet a lot of new friends.  The Comenius project is about linking with different European countries and this was definitely achieved. On the trip to Spain we were introduced to Spanish and Italian children all around the same age as us which made it really easy for us to get on with them. We did not know very much Spanish, but luckily the Spanish and Italians both spoke fairly good English. They were all very friendly and chatty and could not wait to show us around the Spanish shopping centres. The Spanish girls and boys kept us entertained throughout the whole trip with plenty of singing on the bus journeys, which started to get on the teachers nerves! On the trip we got to visit the Spanish students’ school where we participated in their school lessons and they had great fun testing their English out on us and asking us questions which sometimes we did not understand. At the end of the trip, we were all very sad to go, leaving the Spanish in floods of tears and even some of us; we had met some really lovely friends who we promised to keep in touch with by trading numbers and Facebook names.  We hope to see them all again one day.
 

Days Out

On our trips out in Asturias, we went to Oviedo, Gijon, Avilés and Cudillero (a really attractive fishing village). The biggest city that we visited was Oviedo. We had free time in each city to explore and see all that we could in the time we had. In Oviedo, we walked up an incredibly big mountain where at the top we had some food in a restaurant. We also had a tour guide who showed us lots of romanesque art and escorted us around a cathedral. The tour guide came along with us when we went to the Town Hall in Avilés, were we met the mayor who was the most important person in the town. She said that we were welcome back anytime. We also stayed in Avilés which is an industrial port but is still a beautiful old city.
 

Food

 Whilst we were in Spain, we had many opportunities to try authentic Asturian food. This included delicious delicacies like ‘Fabada’.  This is made up of white beans in a sauce with black pudding and chorizo, which is a traditional stew for the region. It was not to everyone’s taste! As Asturias is very famous for its Cider, on the first evening we had a welcome dinner in a Cider bar where we tried local cheeses, cured meats and omelette. This was our first taste of Spain! One of my favourite parts of the trip was a visit to a BBQ restaurant up a massive hill. There, we ate a platter of mouth-watering Asturian sausage, ham and salad. After that, we were all pleasantly full until we saw the waiters bringing out a huge platter of BBQ chicken, ribs and chips. To top that, there was a Spanish rice pudding which is another Asturian dessert. Finally, we had the amazing opportunity to try ‘Tapas’ in a fishing village called Cudillero. We had appetizers of fresh Sardines with crunchy bread. We also had Spanish omelette, giant prawns (which we had to shell!) and chorizo with egg and chips.              
 

Farewell Party

On our last night in Spain, we had a farewell party with all of the visitors and Spanish students; it was great fun! There was lots of traditional Spanish dancing, music and food. As well as traditional Spanish music, we also danced to some British songs that we all knew. The Spanish taught us some dance moves that even the teachers tried out! We had lots of photos taken with nearly everyone there, and we got to meet some new people that we had not met until that evening. It was really good to spend some more time with the Spanish students and the Italians. When the party came to an end it was very sad to say goodbye; we had made some great friends which we may not see again for a long time. 
 
By Lewis Taylor (9THA), Nathan Taylor (9VWA), Scarlett Maher (9EGR), Eve Greenaway (9VWA), Betty Porter (9VWA), Matthew Venters (9THA) and Charlie Meadows (9VWA)