The week of 2 to 7 March we received a visit from the Erasmus+ project collaborators in which we are participating during this school year and who will continue in the next year.
On Sunday 1 March, teachers and students from the Netherlands, Austria and Estonia arrived. On this occasion we have not counted on the representatives of Malta. After the well-deserved rest, guests and hosts prepared for an intense and rewarding activity in San Lorenzo de El Escorial and surroundings. About 70 people, between adults and children, share several activities throughout the day. A path through nature, a little of the great historical wealth that San Lorenzo possesses, a little gastronomy and to finish a very warm chocolate to return to regain strength. Some of the visiting students already stayed that same night at home of the host families. Others went to the hotel, where they stayed with their teachers throughout the week.
On Tuesday, after a warm welcome with music and representatives from all classes of the school, the sixth graders taught our hosts all the rooms of the school. A day, when it also took a number of organizational meetings to make everything go as planned.
In the afternoon some of the children adapted to the usual activities of their guests and others organized to make visits to emblematic places such as Segovia.
On Wednesday our visitors joined the 6th groups, who had planned a cultural visit to Madrid. In the afternoon there was a “round table” in which families, visiting teachers and students participated. The objective of the activity was to know the cultural diversity that we have in the school and from there, understand and accept the difference, motto of our project AXEP (A childfriendly Project against prejudices and xenophobia for European primary schools) with which we aim to reduce existing prejudices about cultures other than our own.
With the motto “Knowing is understanding” and coming from very different countries (Russia, Moldova, Syria, Italy, Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia, … each of the participants told us a little about their life, their feelings when they arrived in Spain, how they lived their first moments in our country, how their evolution was, their current sensations, future prospects and a long etcetera of experiences.
After the round table, we continue to share experiences more informally in the dining room of the school with an “agape” offered by the dining company Aramark.
On Thursday our visitors went through all the classes of the school to exhibit their presentations, so that our students knew a little more of each of the participating countries. Below we accompany our guests to visit Alpedrete. After the reception by the mayor and the
councilor of culture, that very kindly taught us the outbuildings of the Town Hall, we visited the House of Culture, where we took a guided tour of the library and the Municipal School of Music.
In the afternoon it was time to enjoy all the children. Guests and hosts hosted a big party at the Collado Villalba bowling where where more than 70 people gathered to enjoy the afternoon.
For their part, teachers from the school and visiting countries gather to dine together and continue to share experiences around the table.
On Friday, the last day of stay at our school, continued with the exhibitions of the different countries to our students and after the delivery of credentials of the visit and other formal issues, we made the evaluation of the week in a joint meeting between all the teachers in the project.
Needless to say, the visit has exceeded all our initial expectations. A great experience for students, teachers and the educational community.
The school wants to send a huge thank you to the whole community, which with its involvement has made it possible for this project to have been a great success, thus allowing to generate the basis to give it continuity in future years.