Posted on by Lidija Kralj

Štefanija Šarec and Sanja Ivačić, Croatia

Veliki Bukovec Primary School team visiting Italy: Marta Bačani, Marija Kuzmić, Elena Kovaček, Rudolf Leon Filip, teachers: Sanja Ivačić and Štefanija Šarec

This school year has been yet another very fruitful year filled with project activities. The fifth and the final meeting of the two-year Comenius project „Be Smart, Be Safe“ has just been successfully realized. Schools from Croatia, France, Italy, Sweden and Cyprus are partners in this project; nearly 1500 students, their teachers, parents and local communities. This project is funded with support from the European Commission.

Primary goals of this project are raising the students' awareness about both the positive as well as the negative effects of Internet use, and developing their skills needed to use the Internet in more appropriate, responsible and safer way; implementing teaching about Internet safety across the school curriculum; developing children's skills for participating in international projects and giving them the opportunity to get to know, communicate and cooperate with their foreign peers from various European countries.

In October 2012 Croatia was the first country to host it's visiting partner schools' representatives; Sweden in March 2013, Cyprus in may 2013 and in October 2013, France. From April 7 until April 13 2014 the fifth meeting was hosted in Italy's picturesque town of Trani.

Trani is a seaport on the south-east of the Apennine Peninsula, in the Apulla region, lying on the Adriatic coast 45 kilometres north-east of Bari. It is the centre of the surrounding agricultural area, famous for it's Muscat (Moscato) wines and marble stone quarries, with it's economy resting on fishing and tourism.

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In the early morning hours of Monday, April 7, the Veliki Bukovec team set out for Zagreb Airport in the local fire brigade minivan. It was a very exciting moment for the most of the team members, since it would be the first flight for us. That did not put us off, quite the opposite, we enjoyed the flight and the view of out wonderful homeland. We briefly got off the plane in Split Airport to go through Customs, and then continued our flight towards Rome Airport. There we had a couple of hours to spare before the day's final flight to Bari. It proved to be the most impressing one because it was a night flight, but the not-so-impressing part was when, upon arrival, we realized that the half of our checked-in luggage was missing. So we were a bit delayed registering at the Lost and Found Office, but our Trani hosts were kind enough to wait and greet us in the most friendly manner, even though it was very late when we finally arrived. Immediately it was clear to us that we'd arrived to a country of outgoing and attentive people. They were eager to provide what was necessary to those whose luggage was missing.



The next morning, all the participants gathered at the assembly hall in our hosting school Scuola Secondaria di Primo „Bovio – Palumbo“. We were a little bit sceptic regarding getting to know each other and communicating, but when we saw familiar friendly faces of our dear colleagues we came to know before, everything was much easier and jollier. At the beginning of the show we were greeted by Trani Mayor and the school principal.


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introducing our school


Our team was the first to present our school and we chose to tell the legend about the origin of the tie. We based our presentation on a story by Božidar Prosenjak, and we also included a song about the wonderful Bukovec area to accompany it. The remaining schools' presentations were interesting, but the hosting school managed to impress us with their students' performing skills, which included acting, singing and dancing.




 Treasure hunt

The afternoon of the first day was quite amazing and interesting – we went on a treasure hunt! Both the students and the visiting teachers were organized into four groups, each consisting of pupils of all nationalities. Each group was given an envelope with a clue that was to get them to a designated location by a historic sight using a QR reader. A teacher and a small group of hosting children were there, waiting to tell us something about it and to give as another clue which would then guide us to the next location. The most prominent one proved to be the Cathedral of St Nicolas the Pilgrim with it's three levels, one of which lies under ground. We finished our tour with a visit to Trani castle where we heard an interesting story about queen Helen and brave warriors who bravely defended the city in the past.




Once again students gathered at the school, but this time in order to participate in internet safety workshops. They were organized in two big groups. One of them worked on materials for an e-magazine they gathered during the school year, and the other was to test, evaluate and distinguish real websites from fake ones. In each of these groups students were organised in even smaller groups consisting of a representative from each country. So they were forced to communicate with each other in English (or in what ever way they could), and they managed to cooperate very well. They later presented their results to the remaining students. Another workshop that took place was the one involving creating interactive stories about internet safety, which was also quite interesting and successful.

 Elena editing the digital magazine

The team of teachers was working on pedagogical and didactical model. After reviewing what had been done before and sharing some new ideas that came up since the last meeting, we discussed many issues, involving the form of the model, it's contents, use and the means of accomplishing and evaluating the goals. We also discussed our experiences in the curricular and practical field and compared the differences and the similarities of our work. Putting our heads together we managed to create a document we thought would embody everything we wanted.





From the very first visit to Bovio Palumbo School it was clear to us that the students, as well as the teachers, give much attention to art and are quite skilled. Huge mosaics made of small pieces of glass are hung on the walls of the school, depicting famous and interesting moments in Italian history. That is why the hosts had prepared a set of interesting workshops for us to get involved.

While one group of students got their hands dirty using clay to create little owl-shaped pendants, starfish and dwarfs, the other was testing their patience and stillness of hand decorating glass plates with decoupage.

  Making famous Italian pasta “orecchiette” the traditional way

Teachers had the privilege to prove their culinary skills. After a detailed demonstration, courtesy of experienced Trani housewives, they engaged in what seemed to be an easy job, but proved to be quite the opposite. Nevertheless, we didn't return home empty-handed, our hosts kindly packed us some of their delicious home-made orecchiette.



All those participating in the “Be Smart Be Safe” project had the privilege to be greeted and welcomed by the mayor Luigi Nicola Riserbato in his office. Even though he had already greeted us upon our arrival the first day at school, it was a pleasure to be in his company again and listen to his words of praise and enthusiasm about our project activities.

 The mayor, the school principal and professor Marilina Lonigro

Our hosts made an effort to organise a few excursions where we learnt about the historical, cultural and economical features of the Apulla region.

We visited a medieval citadel and castle called Castel del Monte not far from Trani, which has a shape of an octagon and is known as the most fascinating castle built by Fredrick II.

Andria, a city that we visited, is one of the largest in Apulla region. There we visited the Confetionery and Museum Mucci Giovanni and enjoyed the unparalleled taste of authentic, small masterpieces of the confectionery art.

Another city we visited got it's name after the first Italian queen, Margherita di Savoia. It lies by the salt flats where Europe's largest saltpan, dating from 2nd century BC, is even now situated. In the Historical Museum of Saltern we learnt about the history, processes and stages of salt water evaporation.

The last excursion was to a place which seemed to us as a true fairy tale setting – Alberobello, a small town about 45 kilometres from Bari, special for it's white houses with unique cone-shaped rooftops. On our way there we enjoyed the scenery of olive groves, vast vineyards and blossoming citrus orchards.

 Project members group photo in Alberobello



The last night in Trani all the children, teachers and parents gathered at Clarisse's Convent where we enjoyed local cuisine and each other's company, singing, dancing and laughing. These last moments were very emotional and we were all a little bit sad knowing that tomorrow we would have to part.

The next morning we met in front of the school, just like every day before,  but many had tears in their eyes. Clouds covered the Trani sky that morning and the rain came down. New friends long said their farewells and could not let go of each other. We all felt grateful to lovely people who took us in their city, their homes and their hearts, and showed us true Italian hospitality.

Together with our friends from Sweden, France and Cyprus, we took the bus to Bari Airport and eventually we all separated to continue our ways back home.

Late in the evening we were at the doorsteps of our homes, which, even though we had a great time in Italy, we started to miss. We were tired from the journey but fulfilled and happy for the success of another meeting which had contributed to development of internet safety awareness.

The experience we all gained was immense and unforgettable. Through themed workshops we managed to see new places, meet people, experience their culture and the way of life. We gathered plenty new ideas and made valuable friendships that will certainly go on, but in a virtual world. And because we've learned, we will know how to keep them safe.


Trip to Versailles for Cyprus team

Posted on by Varvara Michael

Within the framework of the European Comenius programme, a delegation of our students and teachers travelled to the beautiful city of Versailles on Monday 7th October. The waiting at the airport seemed non-ending; we anticipated meeting our friends from the other countries.


On arriving we went straight to the host-families, had a rest and the next morning we had a warm welcome at the school “College Pierre de Nolhac». At the opening ceremony, each country presented an allegorical myth of Aesop in English. Our team presented the myth of « The Cicada and the ant», where all members had an active part.  After that we took part in a get-to-know-my-city game, following the written instructions that were given to us along with some secrets of the French teachers. We walked around the city centre as well as the picturesque neighborhoods built in blocks.


The next day we were all divided in teams and participated in two workshops. The first workshop aimed at creating a Comenius diary with the use of photos that were taken during the sightseeing tour of the previous day. On the other hand, the second workshop targeted at creating the scenario of a short film on the subject safety on the Internet. During the afternoon we were shown around the City Hall and the magnificent Palace of Versailles. In addition, we visited Paris, where we saw and admired many sights; the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, L’Arc de Triumph, The Parliament. We enjoyed our boating on the river Seine. At night we took great delight in the excellent French cuisine; the vast assortment of cheese and the peculiar salads with vegetables, cheese and cold meat!


On the last day we finished the workshops and at night the parents and students organized a farewell party. We danced, tasted various food all of our partners brought from their countries, and had fun. We invited everyone to come to Cyprus in the summer. It was an unforgettable experience; we made new friends and learnt more for France culture.

The trip to Trani for Cyprus team

Posted on by Varvara Michael

Comenius trips have always been a unique experience to both teachers and students.  But a trip to Italy with a group of eleven people was expected to be a very promising and enjoyable experience for everyone!

On arriving to Trani we felt the warmth of the Italian hospitality at once. The host families welcomed us with a wholehearted smile and hug.


Comenius programmes have as their main goal, to create bonds among the individuals participating as well as get to know the other European cultures. Therefore the first day at Trani was scheduled according to this; through a treasure hunt game.


We started from Castello Svevo, which was built around 1132 BC by the Normand king Roger I, and today used as a tourist attraction. Following, we visited the church of Saint Teresa and the Cathedral of Saint Nicolas the pilgrim, which is the main sight of Apoulia. Italy and pizza are synonymous; so in the evening we tried the traditional Italian pizza.


The next day we visited Castel de Monte; a castle on the top of the mountain, a very spectacular sight which impressed us for its octagonal architecture. A sweet surprise was to follow! We went to the most famous confectionery Mucci Giovani, which is in the museum of the city. We had the opportunity to see how they manufacture the multicolored sweets and tasty chocolates. In the end of the tour we tried and bought some of them.


On the 4th day we got acquainted with the art of decoupage and pottery. In the afternoon we went to Margherita di Savoia, a town where salt is produced. We also visited the museum there, where we saw some amazing sculptures made of salt crystals and we observed the salt processing.


On the 5th day we had an excursion in the small town of Alberobello, where we admired the little white picturesque houses with the domes. Along our return to Trani we had a quick stop at Polignano a Mare town for a stroll by the sea with a tasty Italian gelato. In the evening we had fun at the farewell party organized by the Italian team at the monastery of Clarisses.  It was a wonderful evening; the crowning touch to a week full of experiences, knowledge and friendship.


The following day we said goodbye to our new friends with the promise to meet’ through the social media sites and the wish our friendship to last a lifetime.

Safer Internet Day 2014

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SID 2014

The 11th Safer Internet Day was celebrated in our high school thanks to our Comenius team «Be Smart Be Safe»

The theme of the year was: «Let's create a better Internet together».The 180 students of the level 4ème were invited to participate to a game created by the association «Internet sans crainte»

They were prepared to debate by watching different videos choosen on the site concerning their protection online . Then debates were torganised by the students of the Comenius Team. The Comenius students were very motivated to inform their mates and to help them to be more vigilant with the use of their mobile phone.

Most of the students were quite interested and discussed a lot about questions as :

What freedom of expression on the web?

Geolocation, yes but for what purpose?

The Comenius project has brought to the school the interesting activity of Safe Internet Day which will be continued to be organised in the next few years

Spreading out the programme to the community

Posted on by Varvara Michael

On the 14th November, in cooperation with the Municipality of Latsia, we organized a lecture at the lobby of the Town Hall, by Mr Panayiotis Iakovou, spokesman of Cyprus Police Force. The event aimed at informing the parents and guardians of the students at Latsia schools (elementary and high schools) of the dangers their offsprings or they themselves run when surfing the Net. In his speech, Mr Iakovou focused on the spread of paedophile in social media sites, emphasizing that there are ways parents can protect their children. The lecture ended in a constructive conversation between the parents and the spokesman, where lots of views as well as advice were exchanged of how someone can be protected from Internet dangers. 

Croatian team in France

Posted on by Lidija Kralj

by Antonio  Štefanec


Day 1 - 7th October 2013th

In Paris, we arrived about 11 o’clock. We were greeted by teacher Thomas who took us to school, and later we went on the tour of the castle of Versailles, and a large garden. Around 6 pm we went home with the family.


Day 2 - 8th October 2013th

At school we had to present everything we have prepared and we sang. We had a game at Versailles, where we were looking for answers until 5 pm. Then we had dinner and we had some icebreaking activities. In the evening we went to McDonald’s restaurant with our hosts.


Day 3 - 9th October 2013th

We had a workshop where we created calendars and we later worked on a short film, which we filmed on Wednesday and finished on Friday (11th October 2013).

Day 4 - 10th October 2013th

In the morning, around 7:30, we went by bus to Paris. In Paris, we first visited the church of Notre Dame where we spent around 30 minutes and then we went on a boat trip on the river (Bateau Bus). By boat we came right in front of the Eiffel Tower. We were there for 45 minutes and then we started walking around Paris and ended up in a cafe where we got warm. We got home at about 5 pm.


Day 5 - 11th October 2013th

That day we finished working on movies and calendars. My mom, Josipa, Bojana, Lovro and   I went to McDonalds from 3 to 5. Then we went to the teachers’ hotel. We all went to the party in school where we were until 11 o'clock at night. We danced, sang, and it was really fun. Then we all said goodbye and went home.


Day 6 - 12th October 2013th

I got up around 8:30, we had breakfast with the family and went to the store on the main square in Versailles. When we got home I played Fifa 2013 and SongStar with Lukas (Zillia’s brother). Later we went to eat and to take some photos. Then Eleonora's mum and my mom came, so Lovro and I went to the parking where we said goodbye to everybody and we were headed to the airport. It took us about one hour to get there. Then we went by plane to Zagreb where I met my dad and my brother.


Visiting Versailles

Posted on by Lidija Kralj

by Josipa Ovčar, Bojana Ciler


7th October 2013th Monday

That morning, at five o'clock we met in front of the school and travelled to Zagreb. When we arrived at the airport, we checked in for the flight. We waited for boarding while drinking morning coffee. When we boarded, we were all very excited. The flight lasted for one hour and forty minutes. It was a quiet flight. On the plane, we had sandwiches for lunch and a drink of our choice. When we landed in Paris where we were greeted by a teacher from the Versailles school, Thomas. Two Italians (son and daughter of Italian teachers Marilina) were with us. When we all (Croats and Italians) arrived in Versailles, we went to school. There were all very happy and excited that we came. We were all warmly welcomed. At school we had lunch and then we visited the gardens of Versailles. Our host families picked us up at school between 4:30 and 5:30. Other children with their teachers arrived late in the evening.


8th October 2013th Tuesday

The next morning we met in the school yard at 8:15 and we had breakfast. At 9:00 pm we had a welcoming event which was attended by all states. Each country had a task to prepare and act out one Aesop's fable and sing a European anthem. We presented our fable very well and we sang "Ode to Joy" with the Italian group. After these events, we had lunch. After lunch we got to know each other. We were divided into groups in which we remained until the end of the week. In these groups, we also played orientation games at Versailles. Those who got all answers right, and first came to school were the winners. Once again we played games with our hosts, everyone went to their house, and teachers had dinner.


9th October 2013th Wednesday

In the morning, right when we got to school, we got into the groups we set up on Tuesday. Then we had various workshops. The first workshop was to create a script and then a movie about the safety on the Internet and e - identity. In the second workshop, we created a Comenius calendar that we brought home to Croatia. At 10:00 am we had a little break, and then we had another workshop. Workshops were hard but we had a lot of fun and good time. Then we went home for lunch, and some of us had a picnic in a nearby park. After lunch we had about 3 hours of free time. Some of us visited other hosts, some went shopping ... At 14:45 we all had to meet outside the town hall. Then again, we had about 3 hours of free time. This free time we used to hang out at McDonald’s, or for a walk. The weather was not very nice, it was constantly raining and it was very cold. In the evening we had a private visit to the castle of Versailles. Around 8 o'clock we went to our hosts’ homes.


10th October 2013th Thursday

In the morning we all met in the parking lot near the school where we waited for a bus for a full day sightseeing in Paris. It took us about 45 minutes to get to Paris. By bus we drove along one of the most famous streets of Paris, it is a street that leads up to the Arc de Triomphe. From the bus you could see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. We went on a boat trip on the river Seine to the Eiffel Tower. From there on we walked. On foot we visited the biggest attractions in this part of Paris. Naturally, we had time to go shopping. About 5 hours later we came to our bus. We went home.

11th October 2013th Friday

On Friday, the workshops in school had to be finished. Calendars and movies were supposed to be completed. When we finished the workshops we had lunch. After lunch we had an hour of dancing and singing. We practised singing the Comenius song for the final event. Once we had had our song well-rehearsed (of course, everyone in their own language), the teams could learn some dance moves to the Michael Jackson's song “Beat it" if they wanted. We had to dance at the final event. The final event started at 8 o'clock in the evening. All the parents of the French students attended the event. All together, students and their teachers, we danced and sang the songs we had learned. After that, we could dance anyway we liked. The songs were played all the time. However, the night had to finish. We said goodbye to all our friends, took the last photos with them and went home. We were really sad.

12th October 2013th Saturday

We were free until 3 o’clock and we and our families could go anywhere we pleased. At three o'clock in the afternoon we were in the parking lot. We went to Paris and slowly departured for Zagreb and Veliki Bukovec where we were welcomed by our families.