29 May 2008

Youth on the trail of the World Heritage

Bergen, Norway

Report from Bergen

This is the 3rd time Kirkevoll School has participated in the World Heritage Project "Youth on the trail of the World Heritage". This time we were twinned with Batory School in Warsaw. We got a marvellous contact already from the start and thought that this time we would try to expand this project a bit by sending some of the pupils from Kirkevoll to visit our twinning school. (The City of Bergen, Department of Education, paid the costs).

So, when starting up this project we all both parents, pupils, teachers and the person responsible from City of Bergen, had a discussion who to send to Warsaw. This was a new idea compared to similar projects and the plan to visit our twin school gave us all a kind of push.

In the beginning we thought we would send one girl and one boy among those who during the project had done the best work, both according to what they made personally but also how they had participated involving the others and how they were able to present their work. However the class themselves concluded that the two best pupils should travel, and finally we ended up with two girls.

Amalie and Cecilie were chosen to represent the class. Here they are with the Culture Palace as a suitable background.
Both the newspaper "Bergens Tidende" and "Fanaposten" found the project so interesting that they came to visit us and wrote articles before we went to Warsaw. They were particularly interested in what the pupils had been learning about heritage and why it is so important for coming generations.

Coming to Warsaw the meeting with Batory School was just fantastic. We were warmly welcomed from the beginning. Our pupils made a presentation about their project, our school and the City of Bergen.

After that they followed some lessons together with the pupils at Batory and were of course shown around.

Later on we were picked up by Ursula Zielinska from Cultural Heritage Management Office, City of Warsaw, who showed us around in the city. She told us parts of the Polish history we never had been able to find in a Norwegian history book. Especially the part concerning the Second World War made a deep impression on us all.

The next day we were invited to have breakfast at Batory School together with the class and they had promised us some real Polish dishes.

The way our pupils mixed together with the class during the meal and meeting was just lovely to see.

After breakfast the Polish class had prepared a guided tour to the Old Town where each of them had a presentation of buildings, architecture, history, streets, churches and castles. An amazing experience very well prepared.

Here is most of the group in the old town.
Sadly this was our last day in Warsaw but we promised each other to keep in touch. We hope we can do something in return in the future and perhaps invite them to us, showing them our World Heritage.

Personally I will highly recommend future twin schools, if possible, to make a visit to the school they are working with.

On behalf of Kirkevoll School I will hereby send special thanks to my college Alexandra Filinska at Batory School and Urszula Zielinska at the Cultural Heritage Management Office in the City of Warszawa, who made this visit to a tremendous event for class 9CD in Bergen. And not to forget Arve J. Nilsen (responsible person for the project the City of Bergen) at the Cultural Heritage Management Office; without his participation, help and support this could not have been done.

Geir Hansen
Responsible teacher at Kirkevoll School


 Report from Warsaw

Our idea for the implementation of the next stage included a tour of Warsaw. In the meantime the Norwegians enquired about possibilities of a study tour. We couldn’t get a better opportunity to practice than to present our beautiful city in public to those who do not speak Polish (as we are not using Polish in class, but Ss know we understand it).

After a quick and spontaneous decision to visit Poland and our school, the Norwegians from Bergen (monitored by Arve) arrived on Wednesday 16th May 2008 safe and sound – two teachers and two best students.

We recommended some interesting places for the first evening and agreed to meet at school the very next day to observe the class.

The students were very curious to meet the peer group and their teachers, especially that they are exposed to Native Speaker’s accent constantly due to a GAP YEAR project with the participation of Australian students. Therefore we were looking forward to check whether it works and the skills students gained are communicative enough to pass the ‘big test’.

Description of it in the file described by Students (part 1 – lesson). Then Norwegian colleagues presented their Heritage stage 1 and awarded the class with a Norway guide and the teacher with a small typical for the region Bergen House.

The group met the School Management – Deputy Headmistress in charge of IB programme at school and the Headmistress Mrs Cichocka to tell about the project.

After the class our guests left for a Warsaw Uprising tour with Mrs Ursula Zielinska which ended in Wilanow (Royal Summer Residence), where we had a short tour and a perfect Polish lunch.

In the evening the group decided to move on a mall crawl in search of gifts and curiosities I suppose as we also have a lot to show and share. We asked them however not to eat a breakfast the very next day and not to go to the Old Town as it was planned by Students for Friday.

Friday morning the Headmistress had a small reception where we exchanged ideas for further cooperation and small gifts, but this would be about the formal part.

While the students prepared a little surprise at school: a typical Polish cuisine festival with real food such as bigos (sourcrout with meat and juniper), pierogi (meat and cheese dumplings), delicious apple pie, poppy and cheese cake and the black brownie cake.

The cakes were swept off the plates instantly, the dishes must have seemed a bit strange, but for us were definitely familiar and tasty 😉

The next – short guided tour around the school (a beautiful building it is indeed, one of the oldest schools preserved in post-war Warsaw, one of the most modern and prestigious at the time where most intellectual elites of both pre- and post war Poland were hatched) go to www.batory.edu.pl

And finally: the box office number one – the sightseeing tour around Warsaw with due focus on the World Heritage (reported by students).

We had lots of fun together, enjoyed the approach the Norwegian group showed with loads of friendliness and understanding and a non-stop curiosity which was the best compliment for our students and gave them great motivation and boost to study even more as it proves useful.

We would like to thank all who helped in organising and funding the study tour, and the project itself as it seems a great idea to make people discover what remains concealed even for the local inhabitants. We are looking forward to continue the co-operation in the future, perhaps even re-visiting the school in Norway in September.

Aleksandra Filinska
Coordinator of Youth on the trail of the World Heritage Program
Warsaw, Poland