Day two- Thursday May 23rd: Joi 23 mai
What a busy and enjoyable day we have had today. After an early breakfast we were collected from the hotel and taken to our partner school,’Tiberiu Morariu’ in the small village of Salva. We were welcomed by three children dressed in the traditional clothing of Transylvania- who offered us bread and salt which is a traditional welcome to express hospitality.
We were formally welcomed by the headteacher followed by children in traditional dress carrying the flag of each partner country while their national anthem played. An outstanding school choir then sang a song in the language of each partner country – they chose ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon to represent our school and it was a truly outstanding performance.
Finally we got to meet the children with a grand tour of the school. It is a tradition in Romanian schools that any visitor is given a gift and our staff will be delighted to know that we got a bar of chocolate or cake in each class.
Salva school is much smaller than ours with only 248 pupils whose ages range from 3 to 16. The kindergarten class only had 5 pupils in and classes were generally much smaller than ours. The behaviour of the children was excellent and there is clearly a wonderful relationship between teachers and parents.
In each class we were asked questions which were mainly based on explaining the different way we did things in our school – they couldn’t believe that we had 30 children in classes! Several classes sang a song to the group and the one that made the biggest impression with us was a song about friendship with each verse in a different partner’s language. While the children don’t wear a uniform like us many of them wear their traditional costumes on special days. Salva is a very special school with a really warm atmosphere and it was a pleasure to meet the staff and children who made us incredibly welcome.
The morning finished with workshops where all partners exchanged their brochures on the famous women they had studied- the superb presentation of our brochure was warmly commented upon! Partners also exchanged pen pal letters which we will bring back to you when we return. We agreed that each class would prepare a class letter before the end of the year to share with our partners before we start our summer holidays – some of our partner schools start their summer holidays in June!
Our Romanian hosts presented a ‘movie on safer internet day which included some of the work that we had done in our school back in February. It was great to see some of our nursery and year 3 children in the presentation. We also looked at preparing a ‘Treasure Hunt’ where we find out about each other’s countries using ‘QR’ codes. We also agreed that each school would send some STEM (Science , Technology , Engineering and Maths) work for the second Blend digital newspaper.
Finally we looked back at all the things we had done in the project to date- it has been very impressive to say the least!
After a splendid lunch provided by the school we were taken on a cultural tour of the historic centre of Bistrita( pronounced Bee-street-sah), which is situated about 30 kilometres from Salva. It is the largest town in Northern Transylvania with a population of 70,000 people. It is a beautiful old city with some fantastic historic buildings. We visited the old cathedral and the museum and we saw the original hotel where Jonathan Harker, a main character in the Dracula story, stayed when he visited Transylvania.
Before this though we were invited into a very spectacular council chamber where we were introduced to the Vice President of the North Transylvania council. He told us about some of the history and traditions of the area and it was clear how proud he and his team were of their culture. We were delighted to be informed that Salva school had been nominate for an EEC national award for Romanian education and they will be receiving the top award in July this year for their sharing of excellent practice to schools in both Romania andthe many European schools they have worked with including the Erasmus+ partners. We were all delighted with this news and gave Valy and her team a huge round of applause- the award is richly deserved! We have had an amazing day and hope you like the pictures that we have sent.
What type of feathers can you see on the hat of the boy who welcomed us?
How many years ago was the clock in the museum made?
Do you recognise the Romanian version of very popular English books?
How many miles is 30 kilometres?
Mr Carney and Miss Clarke