WELCOME AND BIENVENIDOS!
¡Que sorpresa maravillosa! During the month of May, our pupils had a fabulous visit thanks to an Erasmus exchange project. Six pupils from Spain, led by their teachers Javier and Abel, spent a week with us. They taught us a lot about Spain and the Spanish language, and they learned a thing or two about our school and Zagreb from us. It was even the perfect time for them to join us at the Coronation Tea Party. Talk about being internationally-minded! We asked their lead teacher for a brief interview and this is what we learnt from him.
1. Welcome to Bright Horizons and Zagreb. We are always glad to have visitors from other countries. Tell us something about your visit. Who organized it, how many children and teachers came to our school, how long did you stay, what is the purpose of the visit?
We embarked on this exciting Erasmus+ journey on May 7, 2023. Soledad Moreno as our school’s principal at CEIP Ocejón (Guadalajara) organised this trip to Zagreb with immense support from Ms Končurat. 2 vocational teachers and 6 enthusiastic students embraced this remarkable opportunity fully. We spent 7 days full of activities in Zagreb, 4 of those with a lovely stay in Bright Horizons. Erasmus+ Accreditation let us the opportunity to travel abroad and being actively engaged in another educational system and experience the school’s vibrant culture, creating lasting friendships and memories.
2. Was this your first visit to Croatia? How did you like it and which places did you visit?
It was our first time in Croatia. We really loved visiting most symbolic places in Zagreb. We proposed many activities to do with students so as to make it an outstanding experience for them. We booked a free tour to know more about city’s history, but we also visited the Muzej čokolade and Musej iluzija. We had time to spend an afternoon visiting the zoo as well as the Uspinjača funicular.
3. What was your schedule like while in Bright Horizons? How did you spend your time?
We were so happy with the schedule designed by Ms Končurat. We would like to thank Year 5 main teachers, Ms Grace and Ms Hart, for opening their classrooms to us and for the warm welcoming. It was lovely spending a few days with them and the rest of the teacher staff in the school. Many subjects were established in the schedule, which promoted dynamic sessions and activities. Some other sessions were previously prepared in our school to thank you all your work and kindness. Then we spent a few sessions working on our “Spanish hand fan” workshop in Year 5 and “Spanish words” workshop in Year 3. Making and taking part in the Monday’s assembly to show some fun facts about Spain was a quite motivating activity to my students and we hope your students learnt more about our culture and traditions.
SPANISH HAND FAN WORKSHOP WITH YEAR 5
4. We enjoyed your workshops with our pupils when you were teaching them Spanish. How did you prepare your pupils for it?
We really enjoyed it as well! Thank you very much for bringing our students the opportunity to teach their own language. We teachers had such a fun time with Year 3 students and Ms. Kovačević. We truly relate acquiring a foreign language to playing. As foreign language teachers, many activities we propose can be easily adapted to students no matter their mother tongue. We showed our students many ways to teach our language, their difficulties in terms of pronunciation as well as a plenty of games to learn it.
SPANISH LANGUAGE WORKSHOP IN YEAR 3
5. How can you compare your school to ours? What are the similarities and the differences?
We find many similarities in the methodology used by teachers when approaching different academic contents in most subjects. The projects’ implementation as well as cooperative learning are quite similar to what we use in our school. The biggest difference can be easily found in the class schedule. Most Spanish schools have the same schedule with slight differences: students start classes at 9:00 a.m. and finish at 14:00 p.m. At 12:00 p.m., students have a half-hour break for lunch. We don’t usually have any 5-minute break between different classes. However, we are developing ‘active breaks’ in our school, which are brief activities that help to promote physical activity at the same time they get ready for the next session. Otherwise, everything is quite similar since we are also partially developing the British curriculum although we got many ideas to develop in our school as well.
6. Can you share a funny anecdote with us from your stay in Zagreb?
We had many fun moments! We had a long time to spend with our students, which means a plenty of funny anecdotes. One of the most enjoyable moments was at the Muzej čokolade, where children couldn’t stop eating and they all ended up with their faces covered in chocolate stains. The museum staff looked at us in surprise at the end of the tour.
7. What will you remember most from this visit?
It has been a unique experience; the country, Bright Horizons School, the students, and the teachers were fantastic. They were super kind and attentive to each one of us, and we felt completely integrated during the days we spent at the school. For the children and us, the teachers, it was such an amazing opportunity to get to know the work carried out in another school outside of Spain, as well as a certain linguistic and learning immersion for our students.
We thank our new Spanish friends for their visit. We hope they had fun and we can't wait to return the favour and visit them. ¡Hasta la vista, queridos amigos!