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Program of the meeting

by Philippe Jeanjacquot last modified Feb 16, 2015 05:43 PM

Programme for Birmingham Comenius meeting (version 5 Feb 8th)

Visiting pupils   Italian 12             French 15            Dutch 14              Total = 41

Visiting staff       Italian 2 (Leonarda Fucili; Cinzia Filippone)

                                   French 4 (Philippe Jeanjacquot Physics; Laure Guellard French/ Latin ; Alexandre Cabbard English ; Jean Michel Turrel History/ Geography/ English)

                                   Dutch 3 (Rupert Genseberger, Frank van Schaik, Marjon Post)

English hosting pupils 34 girls (7 of which are hosting two visitors)

English staff (too many to list here, but their assistance is greatly appreciated)

Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Visitors arrive at Birmingham airport late afternoon (greeted by Mike Gilbert at airport who comes back with them to school on the coach).

Visitors arrive at KEHS at around 17.30 hrs.

Brief welcome and pairing/ photograph with host pupils in Hall. Scrap book activity in Physics Labs (18.00 to 18.30 hrs)

Evening with host families (18.30 hrs departure from school)

Wednesday 4th March

08.00 to 09.00 hrs Pupils arrive at school. Scrap book activity in the Physics Labs.

09.00 to 09.30 hrs Croissants and Coffee in the Dining Hall and the Opening of Comenius ‘The City at Night’ Photography Exhibition.

09.30 to 10.30 hrs Opening Ceremony in the Ruddock PAC (Performing Arts Centre)

10.30 to 12.30 hrs Refreshments and ‘Build a City Activity’ (design) in the Physics Labs

12.30 to 14.00 hrs Lunch (provided by school) in the Dining Hall and tours round the school led by pupils for pupils, led by staff for staff

14.00 to 16.00 hrs ‘Build a City Activity’ (the build) in the Physics Labs

16.00 to 17.30 hrs Relax time in Physics Labs (Scrap book activity. Building rockets. Board games) As there is a parents’ evening in the hall, it is important that Comenius takes a low profile at this time.

17.30 to 18.30 hrs Evening meal in Dining Hall

18.30 to 20.00 hrs Activity Evening (Quiz/ rockets/ ‘Comenius has got talent’) in the Dining Hall

20.00 hrs Visitors to go home with hosting pupils


Thursday 5th March

08.00 to 09.00 hrs Pupils arrive at school. Scrap book activity in the Physics Labs.

09.00 to 11.00 hrs ‘People of Birmingham’ podcast activity in Physics Labs

11.00 hrs Walk to the Vale (University Hall of Residence) for Canal boat journey to City and tour (11.30 to 13.00 hrs)

13.00 hrs to 15.30 hrs ‘Walking tour’ activity in City Centre

15.30 hrs Visitors to go home with hosting pupils, either from City Centre (with parental permission) or from KEHS (return to KEHS by bus or train)

Friday 6th March

08.00 to 09.00 hrs Pupils arrive at school. Scrap book activity in the Physics Labs.

09.00 to 12.00 hrs  Astronomical activities (Planetarium ‘Explorer Dome’, Italian, French and Dutch workshops)

12.10 to 16.00 hrs Visit to Black Country Living Museum  - an award winning open air living museum that tells the story of the world's first industrial landscape with buildings, vehicles   (Tour, visit down mine, school lesson, traditional British chips to eat!) Leave school 12.10 hrs. Depart from Black Country Museum 16.10 hrs

16.30 to 17.00 hrs Scrap Book Activity (originally we thought about having the ‘Comenius got Talent’ show at this time, but it has now been included as one of the activities on Wednesday evening.

17.00 hrs Visitors to go home with hosting pupils




Saturday 7th March

Visiting pupils with host families.

French visitors should be brought to school for the 09.00 hrs coach to airport. Their flight leaves at 11.45 hrs.

Italian and Dutch visitors should be brought to school for the 13.00 hrs coach to airport. This is the correct time as there was an incorrect time given in a previous communication. Their flight leaves 17.30 hrs.


The Activities

The Scrap Book Activity

Each of the visiting pupils and hosting pupils will be given a (rather nice!) scrap book in which they will record the week’s activities. They will stick in photos, leaflets,  and anything else they want during the daily scrap book sessions. They will record the highlights of the day, funny quotes, blogs,... etc.  The scrap books will be kept in the Physics laboratories until the end of the week when they can take them home as a memento of their visit to KEHS (King Edward VI High School For Girls).  Thank you to Lou Bagnal for all her work in preparing the scrap books.

‘The City at Night’ Photography Exhibition.

 Pupils and staff from Rome, Amsterdam and Lyon have been invited to contribute photographs for the exhibition and to send them to .

Theme: The city at night. Any interpretation of this theme has been welcome. The response over the last year has been fantastic. During Comenius week, a selection of the photographs (framed)  will be displayed in and near the dining hall (unfortunately, Dr Tedd’s effort has not been selected by the internationally renown photographer and judge MacKinnon. Grrr... ) However, there will be a collage of many others on display too. Thank you to Findlay MacKinnon for his organisation of this exhibition.

Opening Ceremony

This will take place in the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre (the PAC) that we share with the boys’ school (KES) next door. Two years ago in our Birmingham Comenius meeting the ceremony was wonderful but far too long, so this time we are aiming for short and sweet! Thank you to Miss Hannah Plant for organising the event. Mrs Ann Clark has indicated her intention of attending. Governors and indeed parents who are free are also welcome to attend. (Parents and Governors are also welcome at the Croissants and coffee/ Photography exhibition opening in the dining hall  - please let Dr Tedd ( know in advance so you are welcomed). The final programme for the Ceremony has yet to be decided, but provisionally it will consist of the following:

  1. Welcome by Dr Tedd and a brief description of past and current Comenius projects.
  2. A musical contribution from KEHS pupil (s). Thank you to Michelle Saunders for organising the music.
  3. A contribution by the Dutch visitors.
  4. A contribution by the French visitors
  5. A contribution by the Italian visitors
  6. What we will be doing this week (English pupils)
  7. A musical contribution from KEHS pupil (s).

‘Build a City’ Activity

The project is all about ‘C.I.T.I.E.S.’ so we are going to build a city (actually a number of them!) The participating pupils will be split up into multinational groups of 6 to 8.

In the morning they are given the task to design on paper a sustainable city or town or metropolis. They need to consider the following areas in particular a) energy provision (types, location, size,....), b) transportation (how are people going to get from one place to another), c) buildings (what buildings will be needed such as residential, industrial, facilities such as hospitals and schools.... d) a monument to represent the city (e.g. a tower, statue, a building...), e) a bridge to cross a river or part of the city. In addition to the above, the city has to have a name and a motto. Imaginations need to run wild! Laptops connected to internet are available for research.

After lunch in the afternoon, the city needs to be built. Each group will be given four boards (each 60 cm by 60 cm) on which to build their city. They can use any materials that are available. We have been collecting items for this purpose and include: small blocks of wood, lego, meccano, bottle tops, tubes, material, plasticine to build the monument, straws to build the bridge, string, cardboard, little cars, train sets, .....and anything that was about to be thrown in the bin that might prove useful! Paint and brushes are also available.

Prizes for best final city effort.

Wednesday evening (after meal in dining hall) activities

Quiz – a series of quiz rounds with a difference. There will be musical, puzzle, colouring, jigsaw, building ....rounds. We will split the participants into multinational groups of 4. Prizes!

Rockets – firing off the rockets built earlier with the high pressure launcher. Prizes for best rockets.

Comenius has got talent - visitors and KEHS girls to perform (music/ dance/ poetry/ stories/ fencing demonstration/ saying hello in six languages...........)

Refreshments and food!

Drinks and cakes/ biscuits will be available in the Physics laboratories a) after the Opening Ceremony at the start of the ‘Building a City’ activity on Wednesday, b) at the end of the podcast activity on Thursday before walking to the Vale to catch the canal boat into Birmingham, c) at the break between activities on Friday morning.

Lunch is provided in the dining hall for all visitors on Wednesday (12.30 hrs).  Packed lunches are provided by host families for visiting pupils on Thursday and Friday. Packed lunches are provided for staff by dining hall.

Wednesday evening meal (roast dinner plus alternative for vegetarians booked in advance) for all (visitors and KEHS pupils and staff) who are taking part in the Wednesday Activity Evening. This will be served in the Dining Room.

‘People of Birmingham’ podcast activity

On Thursday afternoon we will dropped off outside the International Convention Centre by the Canal Boats. We will then have a walk through part of the City Centre. On this walk we will meet a number of famous people who made Birmingham great. They are no longer alive but are celebrated by plaques, statues or buildings.  In this preparatory activity in school, pupils will be work in multinational groups and research the life of one of these famous people and produce a short podcast using  video cameras. The famous people will include: James Brindley (1716 – 1772) and his role in building Birmingham’s canals;  James Watt (1736 – 1819) and his steam engine that pushed forward the industrial revolution; William Murdock (1754 – 1839) who was one of the founders of the Lunar Society; Thomas Attwood (1783 to 1856) who as a political campaigner led the fight for ‘Votes for All’; John Baskerville (1706 – 1775) who made great improvements in the art of printing; Joseph Chamberlain (1836 – 1914) who as Lord Mayor was responsible for major public works such as the provision of water and gas; The Cadbury chocolate family and in particular George Cadbury (1839 – 1922) who developed the Bournville  estate, a model village designed to give the company's workers improved living conditions;  Jacob Jacobs (1839 – 1896) who organized an association of Birmingham jewellers and silversmith both to regulate the trade and provide training for its craftspeople.

Walking Tour of Birmingham City Centre

We have constructed a walk that takes us from the International Convention Centre  to the Bull Ring shopping Centre. On the way you will encounter a few of the people who were the subjects  of the podcasts of the morning session. There will be opportunities to visit the new Birmingham library and in particular the 9th floor to view magnificent views of Birmingham. There is also a fantastic exhibition in the City Museum and Art Gallery about the history of Birmingham. On the way you will also spot the plaque on New Street that indicates the site of King Edwards when it was located here before the Second World War. At the end of the walk we will meet at the statue of Nelson.  We will return to KEHS by bus or train or if permission is obtained from parents of hosting pupils, then pupils may make their own way home from here (via shopping  trip no doubt!)

Friday morning astronomical activities

Group I (12 Italian pupils, 2 Italian staff). The group is split into three subgroups Ia, Ib, Ic

Group F (15 French pupils, 4 French staff) The group is split into three subgroups Fa, Fb, Fc

Group D (14 Dutch pupils, 3 Dutch staff) The group is split into three subgroups Da, Db, Dc

A visiting group will present their workshop three times. It will work something like this. A third of your students will present their workshop to around 20 others. The other two thirds of your group will attend another group’s workshop. The second time the group presents their workshop, the second third of your group presents and the others will attend another group’s workshop. In the third of your presentations, the last third of your group will present your workshop and the other two thirds will attend another group’s workshop. Sounds complicated, but it should work. It is crucial that the workshops  finish at the correct time, else chaos will reign.

All of the Italian will attend the Planetarium show in session 1. All of the French will attend the Planetarium show in session 2. All the Dutch will attend the Planetarium show in session 3. Each group will be joined by KEHS pupils.

Session 1 (09.00 to 09.40 hrs), Session 2 (09.40 to 10.20 hrs), Refreshments (10.20 to 10.40 hrs) Session 3 (10.40 to 11.20 hrs), Session 4 (11.20 to 12.00 hrs)

Session                                    One                                Two                                     Three                                        Four

Planetarium       Italian (I)                    French (F)                           Dutch (D)                            English

Italian workshop    n/ a                             Presenters Ia                                  Presenters Ib                      Presenters                                                                                    Attendees Da, Dc                  Attendees Fa, Fc              Attendees Fb, Db

French workshop   Presenters Fa                            n/ a                                  Presenters Fb                    Presenters Fc                                      Attendees Db, Dc                                                Attendees Ia, Ic                                  Attendees Ib, Da

Dutch workshop     Presenters Da     Presenters Db              n/ a                                            Presenters Dc                                     Attendees Fb, Fc     Attendees Ib, Ic                                                             Attendees Fa, Ia


Black Country Living Museum

We need to leave promptly at 12.10 hrs. At the museum we will split into three groups (same as for the morning session, i.e. Groups I, D and F, each with a dedicated guide. Britain ruled the waves in Victorian times and it was a golden age of science and discovery - but it wasn't the good old days!
Life for the average working man and his family was hard and grim and the BCLM brings that all to life with their exhibitions and experiences. Children will love entering into the museum's drift mine to see the horrendous working conditions of life in the pits. They will be thrilled with their lesson in the Victorian schoolroom from the days when teachers saw no virtue in sparing the rod!

The Comenius Projects

The school has been involved in the European Union funded Comenius projects since 2007. Unfortunately, KEHS and the Dutch were not awarded funding for the first project which went ahead without us. However, funding was secured for the last three projects.

M.E.T.E.R. (2009 – 2011) Schools from Rome, Athens, Romania, Amsterdam  and KEHS

 T.I.M.E. (2011 - 2013) Schools  from Rome, Amsterdam and KEHS

 C.I.T.I.E.S. (2013 – 2015) Schools from Rome, Amsterdam, Lyon and KEHS.

These projects have involved pupils from the participating schools working together on joint projects and pupils and staff visiting each others’ schools for workshops. Since 2009 there has been 12 workshops attended by over a 100 KEHS pupils and 20 KEHS staff (and similar numbers from each of the other partner schools).

 ‘C.I.T.I.E.S.’  (Cities Inspire Time Investigation and Exploration of Space for a sustainable and Lifelong Learning Europe) encompasses pretty much everything and anything related to cities and so lends itself (as the theme of T.I.M.E. did in the last project) to a cross-curricular approach.





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