The Erasmus+ project “Making Europe Count Everywhere” focuses on the aspects as well as the benefits of twinning and inter- cultural exchange on a European level by establishing a strategic school partnership between four different schools from four European towns - namely Clevedon, Epernay, Ettlingen and Middelkerke - which have been twinned with each other for more than six decades. As a result, the collaboration between the four schools is the first project of such grand scale within the educational framework of the twinning history of the four towns.
The project consists of students and teachers of the Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium in Germany, Clevedon School in the United Kingdom, the Lycée Polyvalent Européen Stéphane Hessel in France and the Royal Atheneum Centrum Ostend in Belgium. The main product will be the elaboration of the schools twinning magazine in digital and print version with title “TwinningVilles Plus”. The 100 students involved in this innovative endeavour are aged between 14 and 17 years and will be working together in the various areas of the editorial and production/printing process of the magazine.
The main content of the magazine will include the activities held during the learning, teaching and training sessions. In addition, it will incorporate the collaboration between the participating schools and the involved stakeholders. The working language of the project in English, however, the magazine will be multi-lingual (English, Flemish, French and German). Four editions of the magazine are planned for the entire run of the project, they are exempt from advertisements, are available for free in digital version and in a limited number in print version.
The students will meet in weekly sessions in the Erasmus+ club of each school. They will be in constant contact with the other students from the other participating schools via eTwinning – the platform on which the product will be uploaded, discussed and edited. They hereby use the necessary digital media and tool during the conception of the magazine.
The students will also take part in different workshops dealing with journalistic working. Additionally, they will learn how to work with the essential ICT-based methodologies such as digital media, tools, software and programmes which will be required for the design, layout, photography and further section of the magazine. The workshops related to the topics mentioned above will be organised and taught by ICT- teachers and expert students. This way the project will help the students improve basic skills such as digital skills, media literacy and language skills.
The project will offer a set of lessons focusing on European topics. Indeed, the students will be taught together in certain subjects such as History, Social Studies or Geography and will deepen their knowledge thanks to the study trips to the European institutions during the short-term exchanges. Furthermore, the celebration of “Europe Day” on May 9th will take place at each school with an official event in order to commemorate this special day.
The project will have activities reflecting the variety of the project itself and all its participants. The students will organise and produce official and international events for instance the sports competition, the project exhibition and the project concert. All these activities and products will enhance the students’ transversal skills such as creativity, initiative, decision taking and further basic skills such as entrepreneurship and interculturality.
The project will improve the teachers’ professional skills and will involve the entire school community which foster the corporate identity within the school. As a matter of fact, teachers will prepare and teach lessons in teams in an international environment and as a result they will be more confident to use such pedagogical methods in their daily work.
The different stakeholders will benefit from the opportunity to work with teaching staff and students from diverse cultural and traditional backgrounds, to make their work and scope public thanks to the multitude of activities and the dissemination of the project results in digital and traditional media. In the future, students might be interested in starting a professional career in one of the sectors explored during the project and have access to the world of work.
To conclude, our project’s aims to increase the European dimension of schools and to raise awareness about the importance and the benefits of twinning and exchange between Europeans by providing to our students a new and attractive education approach and methods. The project will also allow students to be active citizens since they will foster the European twinning spirit by producing a magazine for their communities and organising official events. Hence, they will contribute to a more cohesive society with a pronounced openness and understanding for diversity within our continent.