Sunday, October 13, 2013

Let's get started! The Preparatory Visit

Between 14-18 January 2013, we gathered in Turkey together to write our Comenius project: Culture and Environment. Partners from Latvia, Romania, Germany and Greece came to Karamürsel, Kocaeli, which is a city in the Marmara Region of Turkey, to meet and work on the project. Spanish and French partners couldn't attend this preparatory visit; but we were in touch with them through e-mail and Skype. As you see in the photographs below, we both worked on the project and had fun. We are so glad because our project "Culture and Environment" is approved by all of our National Agencies. We are now seven partners: Greece, Latvia, Germany, Romania, Turkey, French and Spain.

We are all going to visit Romania in 11th of November and update this web site later on. So keep in touch with this web page!

The Project Team.

We visited Karamürsel's district governor.

Had traditional Turkish food, especially kebab!

A photograph as a team in the governmental building.

Aija in an historical wall, in İznik.

During a lunch at Güzelkıyı Secondary School.

We also visited the local educational representitive.

Socializing event just after the arrival.

Our Latvian partner Aija was very much interested in students' works!

Our Romanian partner Denisa and Turkish students.

Our coordinator and the architect of the project, Apostolia and Turkish students, in the science lab.

Turkish students were very much eager to interact with the visitors!

The Project Team.

The Project Team in front of an Ottoman style fountain.

We had lunch with the traditional Turkish food made by our parents.

School-family union and the partners as a whole.

Of couse, we not only had fun but also worked on the project in the hotel lobby.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Impressions of Students Participating

Here you can read the impressions of our pupils, who took part in mobilities.

Latvian students Laura Freimane and Linda Tralle would like to say many THANKS to their host families in Spain.

We are very happy that we were able to participate in this project. We've found new friends from other countries, got to know the other countries's culture and traditions. This week was very interesting! We have experienced lot of things- at the beginning sightseeing in  Athens, then-beautiful Larissa, climbing to  Olympus,visiting Meteora and in the end sad farewell!

We are very grateful to our host families in Greece, which were so kindly and lovingly welcomed this week considered to be their daughters. We hope that we will meet each other once again! You are the best!

Annija Sirlaka and Emilija Krista Grava.

Our travel to Spain was a lifetime experience. We met new people from different countries with whom we developed friendships. We learned about their culture and their way of life. We went to new places (Seville, Malaga, Geneve) where we saw monuments of a different civilization from ours (cathedral, museum of Picasso, palace of Seville, university of Seville).

But, with this programme, we didn’t visit only museums. Together with the other students and the teachers we visited a beach in the Atlantic Ocean, we did bird-watching, we visited a solar energy plant and we walked along the Green Corridor of a River nearby.

We, also, enjoyed Spanish dances and tasted new flavours which seemed to be a little strange to us, because we were used to our daily flavours.

In conclusion, all the previous experience, along with their hospitality made our travel to Spain unforgettable to all our team.

We miss you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Panagiotis, Argiro, Panagiota, Angeliki, Angeliki (Greece)

I loved the welcome from the Spanish who were very kind and welcoming. I loved the food, the visits, the beach. They were very friendly and I loved their children who are as a family for me. I want to live with them because I miss them.

I loved the landscape and Seville which is so full of colours and beautiful with its orange trees. 

Charly (France).

Hello everybody,

You are special people, very nice.. I love Spain and I love Sevilla. Thank you so much for your hospitality and your kindness! You are incredible person! Thank you for everything!!

Shaïness (France).

I am Hugo a pupil of the trip to Latvia. I was at Marks Kauls' house with Jose Maria Luiz Sanuido, a Spanish pupil and a very good friend !! I visited Riga, the capital city, it was beautiful, the Cesis's castle and the Baltic sea. I cooked buns it was good. I made many friends, Greek, Spanish and German people. I miss you all. I hope to see you.

The party was so good ! Bye!

Hugo (France)

Hello, my name is Elodie. 

I travelled to Romania and Turkey, It was so fantastic, it was two amazing countries. I met many people who were very welcoming and friendly. Thanks to Comenius, I discovered two beautiful countries and knew two families so nice and gentle. I thank  these families and people who became my friends for everything that they could show and discover their specialities of their countries. 

I keep many memories of my two weeks

Elodie. (France)

Hello everyone !!!

I'm Charlotte, I'm French and I went to Romania and Germany.

In Romania, Nina hosted me, and in Germany, I went to Isabella's family. They were both very friendly, kind and generous, and they hosted me as if I were part of their family. Thank you !!! <3 <3

I went to Romania in October, 2013. My trip there was really exceptional ! It was really fun and cool to see new people and to learn about their culture, about how they lived,... Romania is very different from France, but it is great too ! Romanian people are the most generous people I've ever met... I made new friends there, and this is wonderful !!!

I went to Germany in april, 2014. German people are always smiling, and this is very nice... I loved the walk in the mud ! It was really funny because everybody was sinking in it. I think I won't ever forget this day !!! I made new friends in Germany too !

I hope people who will come in France will enjoy their trip as much as I did in Romania and Germany !!!!     ;) <3 :p <3

Charlotte (France)

Hey!!! I'm Victoria, I'm from France and I went to Romania in october, 2013. My host family was the Anamaria's parents and herself, they were very nice, and they took care of me. Anamaria is a little bit shy, but she is very generous, I hope I will see them again one day and thank them for their hospitality ! I made new friend, and I won't ever forget them. Romania isn't what I expected it to be, they are so friendly and generous, Romania is an exceptional country, it's great. I will try to do my best to host people who come in France, I hope they will enjoy their trip in our country !

Victoria (France)

We went to Latvia. I liked my host family. There were very kind. We went to Ligatne's school. It was beautiful. Then, we went to Gaujas National Park. It was beautiful too. I saw a lot of animals. But I felt sorry for the animals. Because they weren't free and wires had got electricity. We played games there. It was funny. The concert was good. I liked Latvian folk dancing. We went to Riga on Wednesday. Riga was beautiful. We went to the Turkish cemetery. It was very important and surprising for us. I learned one Latvian folk dance and I taught it to my sister. I said farewell to the other students.

I liked Latvia, my foreign friends and my host family. It was an unforgettable moment in my life.

Pinar (Turkey)

I think Romania was a very nice trip. Trip passed exhausting but Romania was a beautiful country. The people of Romania were very hospitable and friendly. When I was there, I saw many different cultures. I think it is an interesting place. I would like to visit there again...

Ilke (Turkey)

This fall we went to Latvia for five days with my friend and teachers. Latvia was a beautiful country. It is a very forested place. There are lots of forests and big trees there. According to me, it was a forest country. Riga is Latvia's capital. Riga had wonderful buildings and historic buildings. We also went to the Baltic sea. People didn't swim because Latvia is very cold. I asked a Latvian friends: "Do you swim here?" and she told me: "Yes, we sometimes swim in summer." I will miss the place and the people.

Tugcenur (Turkey)

I went to Romania last year. We visited very beautiful places there. For example, Timisoara. According to me, the dishes were delicious. Romanian people were so hospitable to us. I made new friends there. We are still in contact. It was so much fun there. I will never forget in my life the days. I miss you all.

Zeynep (Turkey)

First, Romania is a beautiful country. Romanian people welcomed us very kindly. There we made many kind of activities. I cannot forget the dance performance! We also visited some places in Romania. Romanian people were very nice and they were similar to Turkish people. See you again.

Emirhan (Turkey)

In Turkey, we had a very good welcome. The visits were very great. I had already gone to Istanbul with my family but with friends it was better. Ogulcan is very nice and kind ( I was his host) , my Greek friends were very funny, and Andres (my Spanish friend) was very nice. The meals were very good. We visited  Hagia Sophia, the blue mosque, the Topkapi palace. We went in March. We had parties every evening, it was very funny. I miss you all, I hope to see you!

Thanks for the trip!!!
Sebastian (France)

My name is Jenny. I went to Latvia in September. It was a fantastic trip. I met Turkish, Romanian, Greek, Spanish , German  and Latvian people. I had a very good family. I saw the Baltic Sea and famous monuments. They are very nice people. We ate wery well. We cooked buns of apple and ham. I hope to see you soon.  

Love from Jenny. (France)

Between the 21st and the 27th of September, me and three other classmates with two teachers went to Latvia. We have met Latvian families and lived with them for one week, we also met Greek people, Spanish people, German people, Turkish people and Romanian people. I think now all of us are good friends and I keep in touch with everybody. At the end of this trip everyone cried and nobody wanted to go back to their countries. For me it is the proof that it was an incredible experience and a wonderful trip. I love all of them and I will never forget them.

Clara (France).

The trip was just fantastic, I went by plane for my first time! It was super.. There were Spanish, Germany,Turkish,Roumanian and Greek, they are fabulous people. I slept in Lavian family, Laura was my hostess, she is very nice girl. She's got exceptional parents! I saw the incredible monuments, a huge castle. I loved when everyone cried! It was a unique experience. Thank you very much to the family for all you are done ! <3

Shainess (France).

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Project Objectives and Strategy

Through the partnership,

  We aim our students to:

-learn about and appreciate the natural and cultural heritage of our own country and the countries of the partner schools
-be aware of the dangers that threaten the environment and historic sites
-broaden their knowledge in literature, history and art
-promote the cultures of each country by studying the culture and language of each partner
-appreciate the cultural diversity and  the intercultural dialogue

   We also aim to:

-help students with learning difficulties and immigrants find a new role and promote their integration into mainstream education
-give students from all backgrounds – especially students who suffer from socioeconomic disadvantages -an equal opportunity to take part in activities
-encourage exchanging info and data, participating in discussions, working in teams, learning foreign languages, using new technologies and digital technique, stimulating this way students' creativity and self-confidence and developing their lifelong learning skills.
-make students and teacher evaluate the importance of working together

   We hope to make teachers:

-be aware of different teaching techniques and skills and exchange pedagogical ideas and experience with colleagues in Europe
-create long lasting friendships in different parts of Europe
-strengthen and promote European citizenship.

Subjects and problems we intend to address are as follows:

- Environment, source of culture: Informing and sensitizing students on natural and cultural environment
- Initiatives and actions which help the environment
- Initiatives and actions so that the school becomes environmentally-friendly
- Effective intercultural communication
-  Quality of education and transfer of knowledge and skills
- We would like to achieve the above objectives through new and creative approaches.
- We will involve as many students and teachers as possible in the project.
- A multidisciplinary approach will be adopted and the project activities will be incorporated into the school curriculum.
-Team-working will be reinforced.
-Teachers will use new technologies and computer-assisting learning.
-We will encourage our students to communicate with their European peers through e-mail, to express themselves artistically, in spoken and written speech, develop social skills and promote their skills in new technologies by organizing a series of events in school and out of it.


The protection of the natural and cultural environment is an issue which concerns all states and individuals. It requires cooperative and collaborative activities which involve all European countries. To this cause can contribute equally small and big, rich and poor countries, young and old people. We, as European citizens and teachers believe that school can play a crucial role in the implementation of the idea of cooperation and collaboration in European level on the terms of equal rights and obligations. That is why we have decided to form a partnership involving partners from many European countries, from old and new member-states of the EU as well as from candidates’ countries. We believe we can interact positively and create a successful partnership which will show the natural and cultural heritage of each country and bequeth it to the present generation. 

Through this program we want to encourage all our students (aged 11-15) and teachers to develop an environmentally friendly attitude. We want them to develop a deeper understanding of topics such interaction between environment and culture. To find the harmony that exists in nature, the harmony of human activities and natural environment, the richness of nature and sense of economy that prevails in it. 

They should realize that the natural, architectural and urban heritage as well as the cultural landscape are an indivisible unity, which needs common measures of protection and correct standards of sustainable development.

We want to make students realize the damage that human activities have caused on earth all over the world. To realize for instance that when a fire outbreaks somewhere in Europe, it is as if a tree in our own garden is burning. Moreover we want them to realize that is our duty as responsible European citizens to protect our natural and cultural environment and to develop a greener sustainable economy. Small practices like recycling and saving the energy at home and school are easy to be adopted by all of us.

We expect that the contact of our students with schoolmates from other countries will also raise their interest in learning about other European countries and cultures and in learning foreign languages and particularly English. The visits of pupils to the partners’ countries are always a unique chance for them to broaden their horizon and increase their respect for other people and cultures. We believe that such contacts promote also their interest to learn more about their own heritage in order to stand on equal terms beside their European peers. This way they understand better the motto of the European Union ‘’united in the diversity’’. At the same time they discover all the common that they share with their European schoolmates and their families and that promotes their sense of European identity.

In our schools there are students-often of immigrant or low socio-economical background- who are facing difficulties with the school curriculum. They often lose their interest and motivation in learning and taking part in school activities. We hope that this partnership raise their interest in learning by taking part in activities which don’t require high academic potentials, by giving them the opportunity to express themselves artistic, to develop their skills in new technologies, and thus to reduce early school leaving. 

The participation in the program will be a profit for the teachers as well. It will give them the opportunity to interact with their European colleagues, to support new forms of teaching and learning and to integrate the best of them into the curriculum of each school. It will allow the teachers to collaborate with their colleagues, with pupils' families and with the local community.

Teachers will also share good practices and experience to new colleagues in their own schools and to other teachers in their regions, countries and all over Europe.

The activities will bring the school community closer to local authorities, universities, environmental organizations; it will strengthen ties with them and will show the need for greater participation in society.  

Finally we hope that during the partnership students and teachers from partner schools will establish solid friendships; that will enable us to find ways to keep our communication long after the program is finished. 

Project Summary

In recent decades radical environmental and cultural changes take place which are entirely inconsistent with the harmony between man and nature existing in earlier times with severe economic consequences. Raising awareness, changing the way we think and adopting a more responsible attitude concerning the protection of the natural and cultural environment is necessary in order to face this challenge. School is one of the prime areas that can contribute to this direction.

Our plan is to make students aware of their unique local, national and  European heritage and its value in our world. We hope to make them understand that environment and culture is our common European space and our common European destination and therefore it is necessary to develop a common European way of thinking and adopt common ways of practicing. Practicing which protect the environment, help the economy of each country, enhance the quality of life and promote the sense of belonging in the same European community.    

We aim through the study of the sources and the participation in the implemented activities to make our students sensitive, creative, cooperative, imaginative. We aim to motivate them to express and improve their abilities and talents, to learn and adopt responsible attitudes of life, to make them able for collaboration and team work, critical thinking and problem solving. 

We hope to help students understand that knowledge is the power which can change our lives. School education can contribute to this aim and can inspire our students to develop a lifelong love for learning. 

Nature and culture belongs to all of us. Our purpose is to help students explore universal living values and implement them to themselves, to their family, their community and Europe.

Information About Project Partners

Project Partner 1: Greece.


Our school is a public school in Larisa. Larisa is a major agricultural and commercial centre in Greece and a national transportation hub. According to archaeological evidence the city and its area has been inhabited since the 10th millennium B.C. Its medieval castle and the ancient theatre next to it are unique sights.

However, our area faces serious environmental problems. The excessive urban sprawl, the over-exploitation of the fields and water resources, the degradation of quality and the salinization of groundwater cause irreversible environmental destruction to our region.

Our school has got 350 students(aged 12-15) and 40 teachers. Students come from a diverse social background- predominantly middle-class status, upper and lower social classes as well. Their cultural background is also very interesting as many of them are children of mixed marriages with citizens of European Union and a percentage of students are children of second generation immigrants, mostly Albanians.

The school takes part in many innovative programs every year on a national level. School also organizes learning excursions and field trips, visits to museums and other educating places. We believe that in this way students come closer to their teachers, increase their interest in learning and reduce early school leaving. The teachers are always in dialogue with their students and encourage them to express their opinions freely. The school gives special attention to students with learning needs, low socioeconomic backgrounds and immigrants.

The nature of this Comenius project fits the profile of our school perfectly. It will benefit our students greatly bridging its European and humanitarian dimension and will encourage our community to support the future directions of the school. Through this program we hope to promote the need for protection of large goods of our continent. Students expect to see the value and need for cooperation among European people at all levels to achieve common objectives.

Our country is experiencing an unprecedented crisis that affects all walks of life and leads many people to pessimism. Through this program we wish to demonstrate to students and their families that the only positive answer to the problems is the knowledge and collective action  and enhance them to give optimistic responses to the resignation that surrounds us.

Project Partner 2: Latvia.


Līgatne Secondary school is general education secondary school in a rural area, located in Gauja National park teritory, between 2 rivers- the longest Latvian river  Gauja and the fastest Latvian river  Līgatne. There is the oldest paper mill factory in all Baltic states in Līgatne. One of the most important theme in school and after school activities is nature and environment. School students and teachers are opened to new projects and partnerships, Ligatne Secondary school has hosted Italian and Polish students, but Latvian students have studied in Italy and Poland in Comenius Individual Pupil Mobility project.

Social environment in Līgatne is threatened by a high unemployment rate. This is a reason why parents are looking for better work and living conditions abroad. Municipality and school is trying to help students with free school lunches and other financial support.

Taking part in this project will give possibility to establish an international dialogue between partner schools, raise students' awereness and celebrate our cultural diversity

Project Partner 3: Germany.


The Oberschule Hohenkirchen is a public general secondary school located in the Wangerland, Lower Saxony approximately 10 km south of the coastline. The first school building was erected in 1858. Close to the school are the local primary school and the local kindergarten.

The Oberschule Hohenkirchen has about 330 pupils who are instructed in grade 5 to 10. This school is a merging of a former Hauptschule (a school with lower demands) and a Realschule (a school with middle demands) founded in 2011. Therefore the new formed classes in grade 5 and 6 are very heterogeneous in their school performance. In these classes children from special school for disabled persons are coeducated with pupils who are advised to go to the Gymnasium (highest possible education). At this school children with special needs are educated together with unobtrusive children.

Apart from few children with a migration background there are many children from homes with economical problems. These problems are a result of location in the outermost region of the Federal Republic of Germany right at the coast of the North Sea with low infrastructure. The village of Hohenkirchen lies in a geographically disadvantaged region in Germany.

In this project the Oberschule Hohenkirchen wants to introduce the national park Wattenmeer to the other schools and highlight the conflicts between ecological an economical requirements.

Project Partner 4: Turkey.


"Güzelkıyı Ortaokulu is a public secondary school located in Karamursel, by the Gulf of Izmit, in the province of Kocaeli. Kocaeli, is located on the intersection of crucial road and rail routes between Asia and Europe. Through its long history hosted a wide array of cultures, traces of which are still visible in the area.

Today is remarked to be one of the most important industrial settlements of Marmara Region. Due to heavy industrialization of the marmara region, the marmara sea became polluted and this effected the sea life and the income of the local people who earn their living by fishing. Old people say that there used to be much more fish in the marmara sea in the past.

Our school has approximately 240 students (aged 11-14) and 20 teachers. Most of the parents earn their living by fishing and most of our students are local people; however, ten per cent of all are the children of those parents who moved to Kocaeli from the Eastern and the Southeastern Anatolia Regions of Turkey. Families here have an average income in general. The relationship between students and teachers are not too formal. Students are allowed to come to the teachers' room during the breaks and ask questions if they have any or ask for advice from their teachers.

Our students have not many chances to visit other parts of our country and gain experience. They stay in where they live for most of the time. However they are eager to take part in activities and come in contact with other people and cultures. That’s why we think that this project will help them to become more aware about problems which affect directly their lives and broaden their horizons with the involvement in activities and the communication with their schoolmates in Europe.

Project Partner 5: Romania.


Scoala Gimnaziala "Georgiu Popa" is a state secondary school located in Cimpani village and was built in 1949 with the help of the villagers.

We can also find here the primary school and the kindergarten.

The secondary school currently has 54 pupils divided in 4 grades: 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th.

The school benefits from good facilities with the school's buildings either newly built or refurbished in 2010.

It has 5 classrooms, an IT laboratory, a gymnasium and a playing field for Physical Education, a library, a playground area, the teachers' lounge, the headmaster's office, the secretary's office and separate toilets for boys, girls and disabled children. Many students in our school are raised by their grandparents because the parents are gone abroad to earn their living, the lack of jobs in our area being a problem. Of course, grandparents are an invaluable source of support and help but they have housework to do, animals to grow and other obligations. Anyway, they cannot replace the parents who are away. 

Also, we have pupils with separated or disinterested parents who neglect their children education. 

The school is located in an area affected by intense pollution because of the uranium exploration over the years. Radiation exposure is a particular issue with uranium mining, the terrestrial and water ecosystems, the crops are affected by the destroying force of this metal.

Learning, understanding and acting against the problems around us, we can reduce the risk we are exposed to.

Project Partner 6: Spain.


Twenty three years ago IES Heliche was founded with a staff of thirty teachers and no more than 400 students registered. Its name was inspired on the ancient roman villa Heliche.

Nowadays IES Heliche has 1000 students between the ages of 12 and 18, 700 of them in the compulsory secondary education stage, 210 in upper secondary and 90 in vocational training. Regarding vocational training we offer two specialties: computing and gardening. The staff of the school consists of 80 teachers, 2 office workers, 3 porters and 5 cleaners.

Our school is located in a town with 9000 inhabitants near Seville, at a distance of 19 km. The name of the town, Olivares, has to do with the main crop in the region, the olive tree. Due to its public character, we receive students from all the social backgrounds since IES Heliche is the only secondary school in the town.

Since we offer the specialties of computing and gardening we have been able to computerize the whole management of the school and have beautiful gardens in front of the building and some remarkable vertical inner gardens program being developed at the moment.

Project Partner 7: France.


Our secondary school is a public school situated in Pont de Cheruy, 40 km from Lyons. 

It has got about 5,000 inhabitants. 

Our region is post-industrial: many factories have closed and most people have to go to Lyons to work. This town possesses a castle surrounded by a park and there are many green areas  in all the region. Unfortunately, as for many commuter towns, Pont de Cheruy suffers from the lack of attention from authorities due to its geographical situation and the environment have had to face serious damages for many centuries: the implantation and growth of the international airport, the industrialization and deindustrialization without any plan to rehabilitate the place, the growing need of the population in water and facilities. 

Pont de Cheruy is near Lyons, an environmentally-friendly town. The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In modern times has developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France.

Our school : 
Pupils come from various social background- they are mainly from lower social classes even if there are also middle and upper class people. 

As far as the cultural background is concerned, many pupils come from foreign families: historically, Pont de Cheruy has always been  a place welcoming immigrants from North Africa and Eastern countries such as Turkey and Albania. This melting pot explains the reasons why our pupils are so willing to discover other people and other cultures.

Our school has got 560 boys and girls from many nationalities who are all in between 11 and 15 years old. There are about 60 teachers.

Our pupils learn English and some of them also have the possibility of belonging to the European Section which consists of an additional 2 hours of English during which teachers emphasize on different aspects of Anglo Saxon ways of life and the culture shared in the whole Europe.

Our school has always been interested in international relationshipsand and the township of Pont de Cheruy is also willing to welcome foreign partners.

This Comenius project will be a great opportunity for our pupils to talk about their expectations for their future and share their ideas of what should be an environmentally-friendly place. They will also have the possibility to meet their "European neighbours" since most of them don't have the possibility to travel. They could discover other cultures and different ways of thinking and they would become real Euro-citizens.


My Country, My Town, My school

Flora and Fauna

Education Systems


Mythology, Religion, Music, Art

What We Have Done

Threats Against Our Natural and Historical Heritage

Eco-friendly Cities and Beautifying Our Environment

Our Mini-Dictionaries


Comenius Calender 2015