Pupils and staff at Tregoze Primary School were thrilled to welcome their Comenius partners from Italy, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany and Sweden to Swindon for a four day visit. Awelcome assembly, attended by South Swindon MP Robert Buckland and the Mayor and Mayoress of Swindon, was a chance to exchange art and music projects, sing the project song, and accept gifts from Sweden brought by project mascot Amicita the dove.
Headteacher Helen Swanson said, “this is the first time we have hosted young children in families, and it’s quite a responsibility, but some very close friendships are being made.”
The mayor Rex Barnett, reflecting on John Amos Comenius, the Czech educationalist after whom the British Council funded school partnership initiative is named, said, “it’s amazing that a chap who was born in the 1500s dreamt up a scheme of world education that’s still in use today.”
“It’s never too early to start learning about other cultures,” said Robert Buckland. “Ignorance is a major barrier, but good things flow from knowledge and understanding.”
The visitors, including 16 children, made visits to London, and took in the delights of Swindon, including Steam Museum including a visit the Mayor’s Parlour and Drove Primary School, so guests could understand more about multi-cultural schools in Britain.”
Helen added, “We’re very grateful to the Drove Centre for lending us their school bus for the Comenius visit.”
Amicita the dove’s visit to Swindon was short however, as she was soon loaded up with British gifts for Tregoze’s Italian partners, whom teachers and pupils were off to visit in October.
See swindonlink’s coverage of the Tregoze Comenius connection in January.
Below, getting ready for visit by partner schools:
Swindon school prepares art for Euro visitors
Children, staff and helpers at Tregoze Primary School spent a frenzied week at the end of the summer term listening to great music and creating artwork in advance of a visit by staff and pupils from schools across Europe at the end of September.
Following the Heros of Art and Music theme agreed by the nine schools linked through the Europrean Commenius project, the children worked on art related to heros of British music.
Classes could be heard working to Mellow Yellow by Donovan, Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending, contrasted with Pinball Wizard by The Who, Angels by Robbie Williams and the Spice Girls.
And Swindon graphic designer Mike Sigrist was roped in by granddaughter Jodie Grey to give advice on how to illustrate the different musical messages, and to share what it was like when David Bowie was Ziggy Stardust and what The Who were like live. He is pictured top right with the creators of the Tregoze Starman.
Reception children listened to The Beatles and painted a yellow submarine as well as collage pieces and decorated shoes for Mrs Magnolia by Quentin Blake.
Year 1 created footsteps wallpaper inspired by Donovan’s Mellow Yellow and took pictures for a David Hockney style collage.
Year 2 listened to Vaughan William’s Lark Rise Ascending and made nests out of different materials. The also used stencilling to print pillow cases and stationery and painted pictures like contemporary artist Chris Ofili.
Year 3 bopped to Who Do You Think You Are by the Spice Girls and painted plates to represent themselves, as well painting butterfly pictures and skateboards using Damien Hirst as inspiration
Year 4 used lyrics from Pinball Wizard to decorate a large pinball machine and designed their own smaller versions using shoe boxes.
Ms Taylor’s Year 5/6 class thought about their mother whilst listening to Angels by Robbie Williams and also created striking Bridget Riley type geometric images.
Mrs Sahota’s Year 5/6 class went all 70s listening to Star Man by David Bowie, designing and decorating their own version, and by contrast painted wildlife pictures like local artist Joanna May.
Year 6 children also designed a ‘tree’ to represent the seasons as they listened to Nigel Kennedy playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
The final artworks were displayed to parents in July. The exhibition will be shown to visitors from partner schools in Spain, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, Sweden, Poland and Italy who will visit Swindon at the end of September.