It was strange Christmas this year. Socially distanced, with masked Santa, without older relatives, without meeting friends or singing carols together. We did what we could do in these specific circumstances – we designed Christmas cards and shared them together on one board wishing each other health, peace and coming back to reality soon.
Mental Health Day, celebrated worldwide on 10th of October is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate against social stigma. During various classes, such as biology, physical education, citizenship and form time students were encouraged to talk about mental health. All the lesson plans and materials for speaking activities were shared on one common padlet. https://padlet.com/tambelli_sylwia/v4hdqb44r5ex0hvd
The objectives of the classes were:
making students understand and empathise with anyone burdened with mental health issues
realizing the lengths of effects it can have on the people around them
portraying various disorders and their symptoms
encouraging students to looking for professional help in case of noticing any symptoms of mental disorders
promoting activities they are engaging in to keep up good mental health and well-being
helping children distinguish between mental health myths and reality
Students were involved in discussions, watching films, lectures with the school psychologist and psychotherapist, they took part in role playing and they learnt some simple mindfulness techniques.
‚Tolerance – according to UNESCO’s 1995 Declaration of Principles on Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.’In order to promote acceptance and understanding the teachers collected various resources which were used during different classes. The resources included videos, songs, lectures, games, worksheets, discussion prompts and lesson plans.
Is online bullying more damaging and upsetting than usual bullying? Both may be destructive but because it’s usually anonymous and difficult to trace it can me even more harmful than usual calling names and having fun at someone’s expense. It’s also hard to control, and the cyberbullies person has no idea how many people have seen the harmful photos or posts. Moreover, it doesn’t finish at school, as usual bullying used to. Living under the constant threat of being bullied online can lead to anxiety, state of upset or fear, eating disorders and insomnia.
What can cyberbullying involve?
mean and aggressive messages and posts
sharing personal information, embarrassing photos or videos
Students discussed the reasons for which some people bully others, they decided which forms of bullying we can categorize as bullying, which can be on-line bullying and which are both. They provided some examples of bullying they know from books and TV shows. Students also searched for the data, checking how many people are traced down and punished for their misbehavior on the Internet. They took part in the anonymous survey answering questions about their own misdemeanors. We brainstormed for solutions and ways of reacting to the crimes like these. Italian students Set up their own anti-bully committee and prepared their publications – manifestos on how to deal with bullying. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZaaR8RgydGVbaoeIgb7X4kHDGkBkJ4oy/view?usp=sharing
Fostering relationships we have to talk to each other. Communications skills can be learned. No matter how well we know and like each other, we are unable to read other people’s minds. We need to get across our message to avoid confusion that may result in hurting one’s feelings, anger and bitterness. We have to learn how to communicate effectively and it does require practice and hard work. Whenever we talk to others we should bear in mind that:
we have to listen to what another person is saying
we have to make ourselves clear
we have to focus on the conversation
we should know what we are talking about
we have to mind other people’s feelings and try to wear their shoes for a while
A clean environment is essential for healthy living and so is believing that we can reduce our negative impact on the Earth. Since we are on the verge of a climate catastrophe and ineffability of it most of us find distressing, we decided to undertake some activities promoting active citizenship and introducing some minor changes in our routines. Students took part in workshops, they played games, made posters, they learned how to sort rubbish, avoid wasting water and electricity, how to encourage others to using public transport rather than cars. They brainstormed on reducing the amount of plastic we use on a daily basis. The older students interacted with the younger ones teaching them the rules of sorting the rubbish. Because of Covid 19 restrictions we were not allowed to go rubbish picking as we used to do on the beach, but a lot of students went for strolls with their families and did it individually.
Starting the project we thought about counteracting the typical amount of stress we live with. Nobody expected a worldwide crisis like the one we have been experiencing since the epidemic outburst. It is difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle when we are in the middle of a havoc like this. The uncertainty, feeling alone, deprived of social contacts and family worries disrupt our routines, our lifestyles, motivation and mental health. The flow of disturbing information from all over the world increases our sense of anxiety. Stress is a normal response to these types of situations. In order to maintain the contact and give a sense of going through the same difficult situation, as we share the same need for support and belief it is going to be better one day, we decided to design card reminding us of those basic human needs – kindness, affection, good will, warmth and finding pleasure in petty things.
The event we created to showcase the impact of our project and the experiences of us, as the beneficiaries of the Erasmus+ Programme, was an online partners meeting, during which we summed up the activities and results of the first year of the project and adjusted the previously planned actions to the Covid 19 sanitary requirements.
Another event we organized was a video conference for teachers from the neighbouring schools, who also coordinate Erasmus+ projects. We exchanged views about online solutions we have been applying to perform our activities in the changed circumstances, we discussed the benefits of mobilities; displaying photos, products and films we highlighted our projects’ achievements, and showed the impact of Erasmus+ funding. We also discussed the benefits which sharing good practices brings to schools and how life long learning shapes us, teachers, making us more effective.
As to sum up all the activities performed this year we made a film highlighting all the most important events and undertakings which have taken place. We started from the first meeting of the teachers, during which we got familiar with each other, established the rules of the cooperation, and made a schedule of the activities. Next, the first exchange of students followed and afterwards, since no meetings could be organized due to the Covid 19 regulations we present in this video some of the tasks which we were trying to do online.