Art workshop at Barton Hill

European teachers savour the Devon experience

Torbay Weekly

The return of visitors to Our Naturally Inspiring Bay has already been a beautiful sight as we enter the summer season and one local school has typified the renewed feeling of togetherness after the trauma of Covid.

During the darkest days of the pandemic, Barton Hill Academy organised a remote Erasmus project with teachers from across Europe in order to maintain educational links and relationships.

Now that the world has thankfully reopened, the Academy has welcomed teachers from across the continent to visit Torbay in person, organising a packed schedule that had the dual positive impact of engagement for the children and training opportunities for the teachers.

Bring out the drums
Bring out the drums

Paula Bell from Barton Hill said: “Mayor Mandy Darling and her adorable guide dog Pepsi warmly welcomed our visitors to Torbay and spoke very positively about the main feature of our Project, which is inclusion and emphasised the importance of collaboration between our countries in order to nurture mutual understanding and respect.

“The younger children, who have been learning Italian recently, sang some Italian songs for our visitors, whilst our older children performed our Award-Winning ‘In 10 Years Time’ song which was written by our Year 5 classes and Mr Grey, our Specialist Music Teacher. This was followed by a fabulously fun drumming workshop.

European visit to Plymouth
European visit to Plymouth

The next day, our guests enjoyed learning alongside Yr 3 in an Art workshop led by Ali Birchall, our Art Specialist, who focused the learning around local artist Laura Wall. We then painted Laura Wall images on to pebbles using various brush techniques and acrylic paints. It was wonderful to see our children, our teachers and our European guests all collaborating, communicating and enjoying learning together.

“As our Project focussed on Cultural Heritage, the visitors enjoyed a visit to Plymouth to learn all about our Naval Heritage, as well as a traditional British picnic on a rather blustery and drizzly Bigbury Beach.

“The teachers said they will be going back to their own schools in Finland, Slovenia and Italy full of inspirational ideas to teach to their own classes, as well as many photos and information to share about the beauty and rich history of our local area.”

A warm welcome to Torbay
A warm welcome to Torbay
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