I look after my environment (Cuido mi entorno)
Title of the Project: I Look after my Environment
Project Coordinator: Juan F. Peñas Viso
Centre: CEIP San Babil (Ablitas, Navarra)
Age Range: 4 to 11 years
Link to the Project Materials: TwinSpace
I Look after my Environment is an eTwinning Project which aims to analyse how pupils and their families look after their environment. The project encourages the pupils to reflect on the measures that anyone could take in order to improve the environment. The proposed activities promote reflection, criticism and raise the pupils’ environmental awareness. Juan F. Peñas Viso, the Coordinator of the Project at CEIP San Babil, informs us about the development of the project:
The project I Look after my Environment has the objective of analysing the behaviour and the attitudes of the pupils towards the environment. In addition, it provokes a profound reflection on the measures that an individual could take to improve his or her local environment.
Through an initial and final questionnaire it was possible to find out the different ways that the pupils from each educational centre related to their surroundings. In this way it was possible to observe the changes that took place in their attitudes and behaviour during the project. With the option “Improvement Proposals” derived from the initial questionnaire, it was possible for the pupils to be more conscious of their civic responsibilities. They could make a difference by participating in the phases “Be an Example” and “Your Voice is Important” and “Communicating”. During the project, the pupils work collaboratively sharing their ideas in order to improve their surroundings. Their starting point is their own local environment. The pupils used Spanish as the common language for the project. This allowed them to develop their linguistic skills / linguistic competence when there was contact between another participating country.
The main difficulty encountered during the project was finding time in common to participate in videoconferences with all the member groups. We were able to resolve this problem by using forums and chats on the TwinSpace. Another difficulty was the school calendar, each country has a different school calendar, this meant that we had to coordinate our time as well as possible. Although the activities were planned flexibly, some centres finished their classes without having finished the final part of the project. The fact that five of the participating countries had temporary absences did not interfere with the development of the project. The participation of the pupils and the teachers in the project was excellent. Given that the teachers in the other countries taught Spanish, they did not have help from other colleagues. In my case, the project was integrated into the area of Citizenship which I taught to two groups in the centre. This gave me extra time to work with and it was not necessary to ask for help from colleagues. The parents of the pupils collaborated by filling in questionnaires and participating in some activities. We would have liked to have involved the town hall and other organisations but the pressures of time did not allow us to do this. Once the project was finished, there was an open day to share the results of the project with pupils and parents. There was a session for families, ex-pupils and the general public too.
It is not the first time that our centre has won the National Prize for eTwinning. The fact that this was announced at our open day allowed us to appreciate the prize all the more. It was plain to see why we had received the prize and this increased our satisfaction with the whole project. The whole educational community was delighted to see CP “San Babil”, Ablitas, Navarra in the press again because we won a prize.
The most positive aspect of the project has been its impact on the pupils. They continue to be highly motivated and keen to take part in eTwinning Projects. As a teacher, the project has allowed me to reflect on and improve my teaching strategies and to learn from the contributions of the other teachers. Moreover, it has encouraged me to be more creative when I introduce the tasks to different age groups. My pupils have successfully completed a project with pupils from other countries. This has given them an idea about what it means to be a European citizen and it has helped them to see things from a different perspective.
The materials generated during the project (texts, photos, videos, slogans and comics etc.) have been useful to spread the word and publicise the project. In addition, the materials have enabled and empowered the pupils to become involved with the project and helped them to improve their attitude towards the local environment.
As I previously pointed out, it is not the first National Prize for eTwinning that we have received but it is the prize which has given the most satisfaction. It has been a pleasure to be chosen from so many other high quality projects which have been developed by dedicated teachers. This increases the value of the prize for us. Without doubt, this recognition has made a positive impact and inspired us to take part in future eTwinning Projects with my pupils and other teachers from the centre. It has helped me to promote eTwinning as an eTwinning Embassador.
Sources of Images: TwinSpace of the Project – I Look after my Environment