Living with Diversity Erasmus Project

General information for the Living with Diversity Erasmus Project

Living with Diversity Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am

Project Title

Living with Diversity

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : School Exchange Partnerships

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2018

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Intercultural/intergenerational education and (lifelong)learning; Teaching and learning of foreign languages; Cultural heritage/European Year of Cultural Heritage

Project Summary

The motivation of our project ‘Living with Diversity’ was to bring together a group of French and British/Irish students from a range of different religious and ethnic backgrounds and encourage them to explore their cultural differences and similarities whilst investigating the impact of diversity on their school lives. This is alongside the language learning value of the exchanges. We wanted to encourage our students to see the value in diversity and how it can enrich our culture as individuals an as a school/society. As an integrated school, we at Strangford College already have an ethos of inclusion and promote a spirit of acceptance and tolerance for all regardless of religion, race or creed. Our link school College Raymond Poincare is a multicultural school and the idea of inclusion and integration is very much at the core of their teaching and learning. The vast majority of their school intake is from a Muslim background with many students who have French as a second language. Both our schools have students who are from socially deprived backgrounds and we wanted this trip to be available to all students. I was confident that this partner school would be a perfect fit for my students and my school and that the benefits of the funding would help us to promote the very celebration of diversity and humanity.
Throughout the project we encouraged the students to explore their cultural heritage and teach each other about diversity. We stayed on site as part of a residential exchange both in Northern Ireland and in Paris so the students could forge solid and fast friendships. The aim of exploring diversity was a focus in both schools and outside of school on day trips. The project allowed the students to have practical cookery lessons and learn recipes from each other’s countries. As our link school has many students who originate from other countries outside of France (such as Algeria), this will be an opportunity to celebrate the rich culture of our varied backgrounds. there was a party on the last night in Paris and many of the parents brought dishes from their home countries for us to sample. The students naturally improved their language speaking skills and visited historical monuments in each other’s countries. In Belfast for example, the students visited the Peace walls and the murals and explore peaceful resolutions to conflict and the impact of conflict transformation on the political and cultural landscape of Northern Ireland. This was entirely fitting with the theme of ‘Living with Diversity’ and the concept of inclusion.
They learnt about felt making, weaving and the art of pottery in Ireland at the Ulster Folk Museum and had the opportunity to actually make some items to take home with them following an art workshop in school with a dual lingual focus. This merged the exploration of cultural heritage and allowed the students to acquire new creative talents whilst improving their confidence and competence in their foreign language skills.

When the students took part in the cookery lessons they learnt about the culture of other countries and explored diversity. They made wheaten bread, a traditional Irish dish and they learnt Irish folklore and music in a workshop in school composing a short jig. This was hard evidence of the mutual learning involved and the celebration of cultural heritage.

We have photo evidence and film footage of the students taking part in the workshops and these were uploaded on a regular basis onto our school facebook page/twitter and school website. All of this was good practice for listening and comprehension skills in the target language. Through day trips and visiting each other’s countries and historical monuments we learnt about the culture of another country and created a google classroom to exchange ideas and opinions in a bi-lingual manner on the theme of young people’s rights and living with diversity.
In Belfast, as previously mentioned, the students visited the Peace walls and the murals and explored peaceful resolutions to conflict and discussed the impact of diversity in our countries and society as a whole. They also visited a police station in a key interface area to learn about the role of the PSNI and the combat unit during the peak of the political violence and their ongoing conflict transformation work in their community. This is entirely fitting with the theme of ‘Living with Diversity’ and the concept of inclusion. Again all evidence of photos can be seen on our social media platforms.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 37820 Eur

Project Coordinator

Strangford College & Country: UK

Project Partners

  • College Raymond Poincaré