This project involved us working closely with a group of schools from Finland, Latvia, Germany, Norway, the Czech Republic and Poland. The project involved participating schools producing resources about their own traditional songs and national anthems used by all schools to develop a better understanding about the cultural heritage, folklore and traditions of the countries involved. Pupils developed the skills of planning, organising and event, welcoming guests, researching topics and performing. The shared language was English but the project included the sharing of action songs in each partner language, together with the creation of a joint CD using everyone’s own language. The joint calendar produced by all the schools depicting the festivals and traditions in each country was the starting point for an entrepreneurial project in which the pupils advertised and sold the calendar and then tracked the progress of sales and profits. Pupils also made booklets, fact files and posters about music and lifestyle and shared them with pupils from the partner countries.
The main aim of the project was to celebrate diversity, traditions, cultural heritage and language. Another aim of the project was to improve the children’s level of understanding of what it means to be European. We developed children’s knowledge of their own and partners’ culture. We also nurtured a global dimension within the existing curriculum and allowed pupils and staff to gain an understanding of European cultures. By allowing pupils to take ownership of their learning, we raised pupils’ self esteem and confidence. Pupils now understand that differences in language, culture and ways of living should be celebrated.