2018-2020 – Erasmus+ Local Heroes Project
Erasmus+ Project: Local Heroes QKA’s visit to Germany
The beginning of February marked the first of many exciting international projects for QKA in 2019. Following the Academy’s success in gaining full funding from the prestigious Erasmus+ scheme, 15 Year 9 and 10 students (along with Miss Ground and Miss Hernandez) were fortunate to travel to Germany, to develop our new multilateral project together with our German and Spanish partner schools: Albertus-Magnus Gymnasium (AMG) in Viersen, Germany and IES Enrique Diez Canedo in Badajoz, Spain.
The aim of the project, which will be ongoing between the three schools until 2020, is to identify and research notable local heroes, relating to each partner school’s surrounding area. Through collaborative work with their European peers, students apply and develop a range of skills to produce permanent museum exhibits in English, Spanish and German, as well as museum brochures and interactive tours.
As part of their project work in Germany, students from each of the three schools worked in multinational groups to research five important heroic figures or groups: Albertus Magnus (after whom the school is named), St. Irmgardis of Cologne, Action Medeor (a medical aid organisation), Charlemagne and the region’s volunteer firefighters. Over our 5-day visit, students worked hard to create exhibits, audio guides, videos and brochures in all three of the schools’ official languages. These exhibitions offered a detailed and unique insight into the lives of these local heroes and creatively looked into their significance to AMG and the wider community. On the final day of our visit, students had the opportunity to display and present their impressive exhibitions, which demonstrated the high level of work carried out by all those involved.
One of the highlights of the visit was a trip to Aachen to see the world-famous Aachen cathedral. Constructed under the reign of Emperor Charlemagne, this UNESCO World Heritage Centre boasts a spectacular interior and an impressive shrine to Charlemagne. Students had the opportunity to walk around the cathedral and experience a guided tour of the Cathedral museum, which provided them with lots of ideas and inspiration for their own exhibitions.
Thanks to the hard work and organisation of all those involved, especially the staff and students at Albertus-Magnus Gymnasium, the trip was a huge success and a fantastic start to our Erasmus+ project. In addition to the project work, students had the opportunity to explore the culture and sights of the local area, which included a trip to the nearby town of Mönchengladbach and a visit to the famous Cologne Cathedral. They also enjoyed the opportunity to learn new languages and practise their existing linguistic skills with their European peers.
The trip proved to be an unforgettable experience. There was a strong sense of community and togetherness among all those involved, which enabled QKA students to forge long-lasting friendships with their German and Spanish peers. We look forward to the next stage of our project, hosted by QKA, in October 2019!
I am very grateful for this opportunity and I loved working with other people from different countries on this project. Inesa, Year 9
The best thing for me was our visit to Mönchengladbach because I spent time with my new German friends. Nicholas, Year 9
It was the best experience of my life and one that I will never forget. Kelly, Year 9
2017-2020 – Erasmus+ Project Unity
2016-2018 – From Symbols to Symphonies
This project focused around the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage and investigated the changing face of Europe and the increase in human mobility. As such a diverse school with 41 languages spoken, it was a project very dear to our hearts and allowed students to share their own stories about immigration as well as learn first-hand from a range of people and organisations about the plight of refugees fleeing war and economic migrancy.
The students worked with our Spanish and German Partner schools in Viersen, Germany and Badajoz, Spain to carry out a series of interview, attend visits and talks and they then worked together to create music, dance, poetry, prose and art to explain and express what they had learned.
In Germany the focus was on creating music and in Spain it was dance (although in each location the students created a range of music, dance, prose and art). The final project week took place at QKA where students learnt about European mobility and then put all of their pieces together to create a full-length theatre production, depicting the struggles and successes of migration and mobility.
The project was a huge success and students not only gained a wealth of knowledge about the issues surrounding mobility, but they also gained empathy, made long-lasting friendships with their European peers and developed their leadership and research skills. Earlier this year, project participants and QKA band Black Vinyl, won the 2018 Peterborough Music Festival New Youth Music Showcase Competition with one of the songs from the project ‘Nobody Cried’. Furthermore, the anthology created during the project was commended and published in the Mother Tongue Other Tongue Bilingual Poetry Competition which forms part of the Cambridge annual Festival of Ideas. Black Vinyl performed the songs that they had composed and written during the project to the public audience in Cambridge University at the prize-giving event.
Use the links at the bottom of the page to view a sample of the project work created independently by the Symbols to Symphonies students: