Kilrea Primary School

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Slovakian Sunshine

While Northern Ireland was enjoying its usual mixed bag of May weather, two members of the Kilrea staff were enjoying temperatures in the high twenties in Trencin, in the Slovak Republic. Mrs Stinson and Miss Steele were there to attend the final project meeting for 2008-09 and to plan the next set of activities for our European Comenius project, Preserving Our Worlds, sponsored through the British Council Lifelong Learning Programme.
After flying to the capital city, Bratislava, they journeyed one and a half hours north-west to the historic city of Trencin. They were joined by representatives from the other partner schools in Germany, Italy and Spain and the visit began with a tour of the host school, Zakladna Skola Bezrucova. Over the next few days they enjoyed a packed and fun-filled programme of meetings and visits.
The visitors were welcome next morning by the pupils, resplendent in their national costumes, and were then given the opportunity to visit classes and observe the pupils at work as well as to talk to the teachers about the curriculum and school system. The Slovak pupils entertained the visitors by playing instruments, and singing and dancing to both traditional and modern music. A number of pupils also entertained the group to some exceptionally fast and furious music and dancing on our cultural evening, as part of the traditional folk group, Radost.
During the meetings the results of our previous activities were discussed and displayed before the next activities were agreed. It was decided that these should include presentations on our favourite sports and games as well as the designing and making of information workbooks on each local area.
After the hard work was over there was still time left to visit the local area and to find out a little about the history of Trencin and Slovakia. We strolled around the cobbled streets to visit the famous Roman inscription and an art exhibition in the synagogue and were received by the Deputy Mayor in the town hall. The tropical weather didn’t make the steep climb to the top of Trencin Castle, which sits high on a hill in the centre of the city, any easier, even if we did find the secret staircase and the good weather continued over the weekend when we visited Bojnice Castle and zoo (which like Belfast zoo also involves a very steep climb).

After five tiring days we thanked our generous hosts and bid a sad farewell to our old, and new, European friends. We wish them all happy holidays and we are looking forward to our next meeting in Muggio, Italy in November.

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