Monday, 25 June 2018

9th Transnational Project Meeting and 8th Joint Staff Training Event and 5th Pupils' Exchange

Our final mobility, the 9th Transnational Project meeting, saw 28 teachers and 22 pupils from the partner schools arrive for the second Rome mobility, hosted by ICS Giorgio Perlasca, our coordinating partner, in Italy. Some of students were able to stay with buddies they met on previous mobilities so, for both teachers and students, it was a joy to see our European friends again!
On our first whole day, resident music maestro Pino Capomolla conducteda highly talented 3rd year class and wowed the crowds at a welcome concert! After that, students joined their buddies in a variety of lessons, visiting teachers began their week with some inspiring job shadowing and the scientific committee got on with preparations for the dissemination conference.
Students and teachers were reunited on Wednesday afternoon and all visiting participants went with the Italian teachers and families on a walking tour of some of Rome’s historic highlights, including the Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the famous Trevi Fountain (where I am sure many were already making wishes to return to Rome!). Students got another opportunity to visit some of the sights of Rome on Friday as they took a trip to the Vatican Museum and St Peter’s Basilica, which were full of incredible art and architecture!
The METAMINDS conference also took place on Friday in the impressive hall at ITIS Galileo Galilei. Opening addresses were made by Anita Francini, on behalf of the General Director of USR Lazio; Sara Pagliai, Coordinator NA Erasmus+ Indire; and Ester Rizzi, the Scientific Director of our METAMINDS project. Then it was our chance to tell everyone about the great work we have been doing on this project. Dr. Claudia Sabatano spoke about learning to learn and our wonderful guest Prof. Anastasia Efklides, from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, described the ways in which talented students use self-regulated learning. Additionally, Monica Melloni gave a presentation about the work of the METAMINDS project, including the intellectual outputs produced for the website and learning platform, the impact for participating schools, and the future of the project. Each of the coordinators from partner countries was also able to contribute and introduce their school. Everyone in the project must, once again, say thank you to Monica for her expertise and patience in providing translations for the conference!
After an excellent lunch, attendees were able to select from five workshops organised by the partner countries and were able to learn about the thinking behind the games on the pupil protocol. Most workshops also gave attendees a chance to try the activities, so there was a fair bit of running about and getting tangled up going on as well as learning!
At the end of the day, those who had attended the conference were very positive about the METAMINDS project and seemed eager to try our activities in their classrooms. All the Erasmus+ partners felt the conference was a great success and celebrated with a lovely intimate soirĂ©e overlooking the Colosseum – the views were to die for!
On our last day in Rome, teachers, pupils and Italian hosts went together to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, where we learnt a lot about Rome’s history – even those who knew a lot about the Roman Empire were speechless when they thought about standing in the very places where the events they had read about took place!
Everyone was sad to leave Rome on Sunday; the final mobility of the METAMINDS project has been full of mixed emotions. I am sure all participating teachers will agree, it was exhilarating to be part of such a huge conference and we were proud to be sharing the research that we have all worked so hard on. Students, as ever, loved the opportunity to learn about their host families culture and we join them in sending lots of love and thanks to the Italian teachers and families for making us feel so welcome.
Sadly, as our last mobility, the final goodbyes were quite difficult, for teachers and students. Some of our teams will be working together in the future, and of course there is plenty of work still to be done on the METAMINDS project, but this was the last time we were all in one place. As educators, however, we can all be proud of the contribution that we have made and the work that we have produced together through the METAMINDS project. I am sure our friendships will continue and I know that our work will go on having a positive impact in many classrooms!

Written by Rachel Blackmore

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