IES Huelin, a secondary school in Malaga city, recently played host to teachers and students from schools in Wales and Germany as part of an Erasmus+ programme, funded by the European Union.
This was the third leg of the One Class-Total Inclusion project, which started before the pandemic and was put on hold until this year. After previous visits to Wales and Germany, in April it was the turn of four teachers and 11 students from a German secondary school and three teachers from a special education school in Wales to visit Malaga.
The local students shared different activities with their guests, organised by the school's Department of Internationalisation of Education, including a "mindfulness" workshop at the school, visits to the Picaso museum, MAlaga city centre and the Gibralfaro castle as well as the dolmens and El Torcal in Antequera, 'El Henchidero" catering colleges and the Alhambra in Granada, among others.
The week in Malaga meant a reunion for some of the local students who had previously travelled to Wales before the pandemic and Germany in February this year. On that occasion the host school was Stadtische Realschule in the city of Ochtrup.
During the stay, ten students from Malaga accompanied by three of their teachers enjoyed activities such as cultural visits Ochtrup, Münster and Essen and inclusive activities with pottery and weaving workshops, music and sport.
In the city of Münster they visited the cathedral, on the site of which in 793 Charlemagne built a monastery, the origin of the city, and its town hall where in 1648 the Peace of Westphalia was signed, ending the 30 Years' War. In Essen they visited Zollverein, the largest and most modern coal mine in the world, which was closed in 1986 and declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2001.
The teachers were able to get to know the state-of-the-art facilities of the Realschule, a secondary school that teaches up to fourth year, explained the Erasmus coordinator at IES Huelin, Emilio Guzmán.
The Spanish teachers said they were impressed by three main aspects of the German education system: the opportunity to do work experience from the age of 14; an education adapted to the student's abilities with a focus on future vocational training; and an offer of extracurricular activities organised by the teachers themselves.
The first leg of the programme took place in February 2020, when students and teachers from Malaga and Ochtrup travelled to Wales, where they took part in activities at a special education school as well as cultural visits.
"This type of Erasmus+ learning experience fosters academic as well as personal, social and European citizenship competences, broadening students' horizons," said Guzmán.