Trip to Netherlands, May 22nd to May 25th   2019

Project Title: Erasmus + Project: TEPS

Development of teaching and learning Techniques for European Primary schools within a design and technology context:

Report of Irish teachers: Maeve Tierney and Sinéad Slater from St Cronan’s BNS Bray Co. Wicklow Ireland

The teachers from St Cronan’s BNS, Bray enjoyed a visit to the Netherlands in May 2019. We initially spent time in the capital Amsterdam, where we were impressed by the stunning and unique architecture of this historic and vibrant city. We had the opportunity to visit the fascinating Rikj museum and to see the complete Rembrandt collection (to celebrate his 350 year anniversary).

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Upon our arrival in Germaldesan we were warmly greeted by the project co-ordinator Anton Verwey, and our colleagues from Estonia, Spain, and the Czech Republic.

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The following day we met with the teachers of OBS Het Palet, we toured the school and we were impressed with the new playground and outdoor areas. These included a wooden climbing section, sand pit, table tennis/ badminton court, swings and slides. We also toured the classrooms and we met with the teachers and pupils. We observed one senior class engaged with technical boxes, from a range of topics, including making a tower from sticks, construction with lego, making a brick wall with flour cement, tie-dye bunting and of course the music box which allows the children to create and perform their own musical creations.

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Following this demonstration from the children, we had a meeting to discuss our experiences so far with the technical boxes, mainly the electric car. We revealed the results from our final survey, and interesting enough most schools and countries had very similar findings.  The concluding finding of this final survey which was compared to its initial counterpart was that all schools found an over whelming increase in the enjoyment and participation in science lessons. We also had short videos of the electric car race competitions from both the Prague and Bray schools. Lastly we discussed the best way to complete the final evaluation and advised each other on best practice for this. With the meeting complete, we enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared for us by our colleagues in the Dutch school.

After our visit to the school, Anton and his family invited us and the visiting teachers to his home for a lovely evening of delicious food in his delightful riverside garden.

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The following day we visited the charming city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, colloquially known as Den Bosch. It is the capital city of North Brabant. Here we got to see the City Hall and experience the delightful bells ringing as well as having a look around the market square. We visited the beautiful and awe inspiring Sint Jans Kathedral (Saint John’s Cathedral) which is best known for its Brabantine Gothic designs and sculpture. Finally we visited the Noorbrabants Museum, in which we could view some beautiful art work from the middle ages to the present day. We were thrilled to see some Van Gogh works which were the inspiration for his later work The Potato Eaters.

 

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To conclude, our trip proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting experience. We would like to thank our Dutch hosts, the staff of OBS Het Palet who welcomed us into their school. We would especially like to thank the project co coordinator Anton Verwey for organising the programme of activities and for giving so generously of his time and expertise. Once more we return to Ireland with fresh ideas and great memories from our time as part of the Erasmus Plus programme.