Erasmus Plus

Akcja 2 Partnerstwa strategiczne


Gates and Keys


Zespół Szkół Ponadgimnazjalnych w Sadownem


Report on the 1st Transnational Meeting w Birmingham

5th – 6th November 2015


   The 1st Transnational Meeting of Gates and Keys Erasmus+ project was an event that brought together representative participants from all partner schools involved in the strategic partnership. Participating partner teachers:



Partner nr 1 –  Birmingham Metropolitan College – Birmingham

Graham Burquest and Dan King



Merve Oztekin, Omer Faruk Ocaktan and Neslihan Oral


Partner nr 3 – Ady-Bay Középiskola – Sarkad

Renata Csanyi  and Csaba Imre Szoke


Partner nr  4 – ITI „G.B. Bosco Lucarelli” – Benevento

Antonella Balena, Antonio Inglese and Rita Calandro


Partner nr 5 – I.T.E.S. „A. Fraccacreta – San Severo

Giovanna Tartaglia, Filomena Mezzanotte and Maddalena Cocco


Partner nr 6 – Stadtteilschule Poppenbüttel – Hamburg

Andreas Schulze


Partner nr 7 – Thyholm Skole – Hiv ????/

Klaus Glerup, Tina Sorensen and Knud Bjerregaard Hansen


Partner nr 8 – Zespół Szkół Ponadgimnazjalnych w Sadownem – Sadowne

Sławomir Ryszawa, Marek Renik and Hanna Łojek


Meeting objectives:

• to rearrange some of the mobilities in the timetable due to contractual issues

• to strengthen the commitment of all partner schools

• to share experiences, challenges and technical knowledge on how to address better the planned activities, considering the need to discuss practical arrangements

• to discuss future agreements regarding short-term students exchanges

• to discuss the evaluation and dissemination of key activities

Themes of meeting:

1. Implementing the activities plan

2. Promoting participation of students and teachers

3. The roles and tasks of each institution in this partnership

4. Budget issues

5. Monitoring progress: measurement and analysis of finished or in progress activities, in order to insure their quality.


Organization: The 1st Transnational Meeting of Gates and Keys took place over three days, taking the form of working sessions combined with study visits. The working sessions included the official opening and closing of the meeting and roundtables focusing on discussing all priorities and agendas, such as development of the project and the best approach to it.

The official opening of the meeting was held in the teachers room and included speeches by Mr Graham Burquest presenting Birmingham Metropolitan Collegeand Merve Oztekin the project coordinator. Graham Burquest explained that the Head of Sutton Campus would be coming in to meet the partners later in the day. Later partners introduced each other.


These the issues discussed:


1. Financing/teachers, pupils travelling and visa; Application and National  Agencies

Merve asked whether schools had held a meeting about the budget/finance. The trip to Italy will be for 8 days as the schools are quite close and there will be 4 days in each school.


Turkey will be travelling to 6 countries with 5 students plus 2 teachers.


There will be 3 transnational meetings. The first will be in Turkey, the second in the UK and the third in Germany.  Everyone will have two teachers going to each meeting.  However, if we do not exceed the budget it may be possible to send 3 teachers.


Denmark asked about the possibility of moving money from one account to another.  Some countries might be able to host students with families and Hungary has a hostel that could be used and these would all save money. 


Germany said that they would like to know 6 months to a year in advance how many students will be going to Hamburg.If we know which countries may be able to host students we will work out what budgets we can use.


2. Cultural barriers each participating country faces, experiences,political development


Merve mentioned the bomb attack in Ankara and said that changes could be made to the programme if necessary. She felt that there was no risk in Istanbul but would leave the decision to others.  The first trip will be to Istanbul.  She said that they could make a video showing the school and neighbourhood but that each country should choose students who are willing to travel to Istanbul and don’t feel there is any risk.


3. Main goals according to application.

First partners discussed main goals according to application. Then the goals to be achieved up to December:


a. A film team

It was suggested that there is a film team who could video the study visits and make a documentary at the end of the two years. Everyone agreed that this was a good idea. Teachers need to determine which students would be good at this. Each host country will be responsible for making a 10 minute film and Antonio will then put the film together.


b. Logo competition

Each school should come up with a logo and the best one will be voted as the logo for the project. The logo should be completed and submitted by 10 December.  Voting can be done via the Facebook group or staff could vote in Turkey. The winner will be announced in Turkey. 


c. Info corner

Another suggestion was to have Information Corners in schools to share announcements and details of trips.  Any information like this could also be shared on Facebook. This could be set up as soon as possible.


d. Similarities and differences between the countries

Similarities and differences between the countries: Students are to prepare an A3 picture collage to show differences, ie if the visit is to Turkey it would be Turkey and Denmark, Turkey and Germany, Turkey and Poland, etc.  This will be done for each country and could include food, traditions, architecture, etc.  This will need to be discussed with students.


e. Survey on discrimination

There will also be a survey on discrimination.  Each country will have the same 5 questions and then at the end of the two years the same questions will be asked to see if opinions have changed.  Merve will send the questions out before people go to Turkey.


4. According to list of goals, detailed preparation.


a. Concept for common website.  Introducing project at school/community


The question was asked as to whether we should have a website or a blog.  Most people felt a blog would be better.  We can share the link to the website on the blog.  Should we use Word press or Tumblr?  Dan King volunteered to set up the blog and will start the blog with information from this meeting. Everyone is to check their emails on a regular basis. Merve will set up a group on Whatsapp so important messages can be sent quickly.


b. Dissemination of results.  Photos taken for local press/school community.


All countries must share their results with parents, colleagues and other schools in the neighbourhood.  The first thing that needs setting up is the Erasmus Corner. After every visit information needs to be shared. There should be a meeting at school to include as many people as possible in the project so that teachers are able to answer students’ questions.  Each school should decide how they want to share information. This could be on the school website, TV news or in the press. Schools could provide the local press with photos. In addition, each country could write an article about the project and share it on the blog, Facebook or the school website.  A project page could be set up and everyone included on it.


The teachers from Turkey visited the Turkish consulate when they were in London to discuss the project.  Before going to Turkey each country could contact their consulate or embassy to inform them of the project.


Each country is to prepare a video before the visits and students can introduce this. The video should last from 3 – 5 minutes and the deadline is 4 December 2015.


Names of students going to Turkey will be required as soon as possible so that they can find host families.


5. Preparing first learning/teaching/training mobility, visit to Istanbul


a. Choosing pupils/Settling contacts


Hungary has considered grades, whether they have achieved the English Language exam and social background. They are trying to take children who would not normally have the opportunity to travel abroad. The students will graduate next year and will be 18/19 years old. Poland will take into account social background and give students a test as they need to be able to communicate in English. Turkey will try to include disadvantaged pupils, students who can speak English and whose grades are good as they want to reward successful students. They will also try to choose students who get involved in social/sporting activities in school. Italy will choose students who are able to follow the project through for the two years.  Denmark will be doing the same.


b. Organisation work for host school

Turkey will provide lunch for teachers but are not sure about providing it for students.  It may be possible for the school or host family to provide sandwiches. On visit days it was suggested that the day start at 9 am and finish at 3pm so that the students have time to spend with friends or their host family. There will be a different schedule for teachers. Denmark suggested that there are 2 or 3 organised social activities for students after 3pm. Merve will try and think of some possible activities. Italy suggested putting students on the Erasmus corner Facebook page so that they can start getting to know each other before the trip.


c. Intercultural teaching to prepare guests and hosts

There needs to be some intercultural teaching to prepare guests and hosts. There should be a meeting with students and parents beforehand to talk about respect for other people’s beliefs and differences.


d. Letter of consent, financing, letter to parents, questionnaire


Parents will need to sign a letter of consent and Merve will send out the letter which also explains that they will have to pay for the trip once they have consented unless there are health or family reasons.


e. Informing school community

Teachers to make sure the rest of the school are aware of what is going on by using the Erasmus corner.




f. Costs/financing of pupils


Students who are staying with host families will not have to pay for hotel accommodation.  Money will be needed for trips and we should decide on some pocket money for students.  This will be discussed further when we talk about host families.  It may be possible to transfer money from the Istanbul trip to Birmingham as Birmingham is much more expensive.  We will look at this again after the first two trips and will decide according to the budget plan.


Insurance – Teachers and students need to be covered for travel abroad.


Accommodation costs and flight transfers will be paid by individual countries.  Hosting countries will provide food – breakfast, lunch and an evening meal.  The hostel in the UK will provide breakfast and will provide food on one or two days.


Where there are activities relating to the project each country will pay for itself.


Representatives from Denmark said that they were thinking of using some of the budget to pay for staff cover.


The costs of any visits and trips will need to be known in advance. If any activity is too expensive it can be changed to another activity.


Students will need time to apply for passports.


Merve will check whether passports/visas are needed and will contact all countries on her return to let them know.


g. Budget


Each country to be responsible for their flights.


Where students are in host families, the hosts will provide breakfast and an evening meal and the hosting school will provide the lunch.


Each country will pay for any visits.  A schedule with prices needs to go out at least a month beforehand.


h. Learning/teaching/training mobility – dates


Turkey:  It was suggested that the visit to Turkey would take place on 11-17 January 2016 or 18-24 January as it was decided that it would be best to travel on the Sunday and start on the Monday.  It would be possible for visitors to arrive on either the Saturday or Sunday.


Hungary:  the visit would take place from 22 – 27/28 February 2016 with everyone arriving on 21st.


Italy:  10 – 19 April 2016.  Graham Burquest is to check whether the visit is for 8 or 10 days and report back in Turkey.


Germany:  2 – 8 October 2016.


Birmingham:  4 – 10 December 2016.


Poland:  29 January – 5 February 2017.


Denmark:  2 – 8 April 2017

There will be two more transnational teacher meetings:


Germany:  19 – 21 September 2016.


Istanbul:  5 – 7 June 2017.



6. Preparing Teaching/Learning for Visit to Istanbul


Activities could include the importance of formal education. What are we doing for children who feel isolated in school?  View and review the film.


Talk about next visit to Hungary


Try to visit local museums in Istanbul


Evaluation of Istanbul trip


Survey and discrimination. Merve will send the questions she already has to other members.  These will be sent before teachers go so that they can take out any questions that they don’t want.  Questionnaire results to be measured at the end of the project.

Essay contest – the topic for the essay will be how to prevail over negative emotions of other cultures.  The essay should be one sheet of A4 maximum. Students will write the essay at home, the best one will be chosen in Turkey and a prize given to the winning student. All essays can be displayed in the Erasmus corners. 


Collage to be prepared by all countries, as discussed previously.


Turkey will prepare a game about respect.


Story of my name – students to talk about the meaning of their family name and naming ceremonies.


Cultural dress – Turkey will prepare a costume exhibition.  They will also teach the others a traditional folk dance.


Students to choose from drama, music, sports and cooking.  In Istanbul they will cook a traditional Turkish meal with students.


Dissemination – The Erasmus corner will display articles and success stories in tackling early school leaving.  In Istanbul an expert will be found to give a talk to everyone.


Seminar:  Students to present a play on prevailing over negative emotions.  This will then be discussed with other students.


Short Movie:  students to interview people on the street or in school about the role of the media in promoting tolerance.  The film should be a maximum of 5 minutes in length.  There will be one question from each country and we will then compare the answers.  Each country will submit 3 questions to Merve and she will then choose the best one from each country.  These should be submitted by 20 November and the finished videos taken to Istanbul.


The visit to Birmingham offered the teachers an increased experience of European Cultural Diversity, which they will be able to use in their classrooms. Teachers gained practical knowledge in the field of  team building activities, their aim being to create a stronger team and to improve the quality of the work done in this partnership.


School coordinator


Hanna Łojek





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