The initial trans-national meeting of Wallace’s Erasmus+Project Language School 2.0 was an enormous success. The school was delighted to host our partner schools Athénée Léonie de Waha, (Belgium) which is the lead school for the project, the Fundación Zalima College in Córdoba (Spain) and the Institut Vall de Llemena in Cataluña (Spain.) The project which will extend over a two year period will seek to answer the question: How can new technologies improve language learning, motivation and autonomy? Each school will visit its three partner schools with the final visit being to the Athénée Léonie de Waha in mid 2018.
During the three days of the conference the nine visitors met with the Wallace staff directly involved with the project to set goals and to plan for this academic year; in addition Alan Cowie from eTwinning delivered helpful training on how to use the eTwinning platform successfully. Our guests also visited classes to observe our use of ICT in daily practice and had the opportunity to rest their minds and stretch their legs as they enjoyed a walking tour of historic Lisburn. This gave our European colleagues the opportunity to see some of the landmarks associated with our school’s founder, Sir Richard Wallace, prior to meeting the Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE who hosted a reception for our guests in the Civic Centre.
Wallace is renowned for its innovative use of ICT and in particular the widespread use of the iPad throughout the school. The school has featured in some university based research projects on the use of iPads and we are delighted that a major UK university has contacted us about this project. During the visit some of our guests conducted an extended question and answer session with our ICT technician Colin Napier; Colin is now a star on the etwinning website! Year 13 pupils Celine Chan and Matthew Allen met with the European teachers to share their experiences of ICT in Wallace and Year 12 students Rachel Scott and Sarah Scott provided a polished account on camera of the contribution ICT has made to their language learning in particular.
The project team established clear pedagogical goals for the project including the creation of a shared platform where teachers from each school will upload exemplar lessons which will be linked to Bloom’s Taxonomy. A further goal is to explore the most effective apps available and to develop innovative lessons focused on independent learning strategies. Pupils will be considered for selection for the various trips on the basis of published criteria and those fortunate to be selected will have the bulk of their costs covered by the Erasmus+ funding. During the visits to our partner schools the pupils will attend classes, collaborate on a project and stay with a host family; on their return they will present their project to the wider school community.
Wallace Principal, Mrs Deborah O’Hare, who formally opened the trans-national meeting spoke of her pleasure regarding the project noting that:
“All the schools involved are immensely fortunate to have gained the generous funding which makes such projects possible. Wallace is justifiably proud of the reputation it has gained for its use of ICT but we do not like to be complacent and the project is a great opportunity for our young people to work collaboratively with others and to enrich their language learning.”
Senior Teacher Miss Pam Brown who is leading the Wallace team said:
“Having been involved in the past with a very successful Comenius Project I am aware that for the pupils selected this will be one of the greatest highlights of their time at Wallace. We have had an exceptionally productive three days and I would like to thank everyone in Wallace who contributed in any way to the conference. I would especially like to thank our new friends in our partner schools for their enthusiasm and commitment; I know the Wallace teachers are really looking forward to the development of the project and to extending our innovative practice.”
Erasmus +Press release
Last modified: March 9, 2017