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The Henry

Comenius Trip to Czech Republic

Five schools from five European countries unite to kick start an international project set to span two years.

As part of the Comenius Partnership scheme, students from France, Poland and Spain, together with Henry Beaufort School, met in the Czech Republic to collaborate on an ambitious, cross-curricular project. This was the first of five exchange visits, with plans for each partner school to host the others during the course of the two years.

TowerAfter weeks of preparatory work by many Beaufort students and staff, Chris Bentley, Grier Butterworth and Jack Mitchell with teaching staff Miss Guille and Mr Reese traveled to snowy Ostrava in the eastern region of the Czech Republic.

Soukromé Gymnázium, the host school for the stay, is a new college that has two classes and sixty students, each aged between sixteen and eighteen. During the five-day visit which served as the introduction to the project, students and staff from Czech Republic, France, Poland, Spain and Henry Beaufort were engaged in various activities designed to help gain an insight into each other’s lives, at home and at school. The visit required the preparation of presentations, the culmination of surveys and questionnaires, and the production of a short film entitled ‘A Day in the Life of a Student’; each school from each country coming together to share the results of their hard work, to have fun and make new friends.

TurtleAlongside classroom activities, students and staff were treated to a rock concert by the school band, taken on tours of sites in the city and the local region, and given opportunities to sample traditional Czech cuisine.

On the last full day in the Czech Republic and after a night of heavy snow, the party of new friends embarked in the morning to Štramberk, a small mountain town dominated by the ruins of the Castle Strallenberg. To commemorate the lives lost in a legendary battle, it is a tradition in the town to bake biscuits in the shape of chopped-off ears!

ClockIn the afternoon the party visited Olomouc, a city famous for it’s several town squares, six Baroque fountains and a gothic chapel with a tower adorned with a beautiful astronomical clock.

The final outcome of the project will be a guidebook publication with details of every partner school’s region, local environment, history with local and national recipes; it is a project that’s designed to cover all areas of the curriculum. Attached to the publication will be a DVD with short films made by the students about the towns and regions of the European partners, including local myths and legends


The next Comenius visit will take place in late March, when more staff and students representing each school travel to Collège Marcel Pagnol in the medieval town of Perpignan in South France.

Check out the school website’s International Links pages for more information, accessible from the front page of the Henry Beaufort website.