OUR Erasmus+ project – ‘The Village’ – is continuing to make great progress, despite the pandemic and its associated lockdown and travel restrictions.

On May 25th, a group of our Year 9 students enjoyed the start of the second phase of ‘virtual mobility sessions’ with our friends in France and Spain – speaking in each other’s languages, getting to know each other and working on collaborative virtual projects.

Last Autumn, King’s Ely secured funding from the European Commission and British Council to deliver ‘The Village’ – a project involving our students and pupils at two of our partner schools, IES Andrés Vandelvira in Albacete, Spain and College Chaloupe Saint-Leu in La Reunion, France.

The two-year project will involve dozens of students from each school and the aim is for participants to explore the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations through the creation of a unique virtual city, The Village, while developing cultural awareness and social interaction in order to create a real context to enhance their language skills.

Once travel restrictions have been lifted, exchange trips will be planned for students and staff involved in The Village project, enabling participants to meet each other, work together and learn more about each other’s languages and cultures.

Esmeralda Salgado, Head of Modern Foreign Languages at King’s Ely, said: “During these latest virtual mobility sessions, which followed on from our first mobility sessions to Spain in February, students and staff enjoyed some ice-breaker activities to get to know each other better, we worked on a collaborative photo album on La Reunion, students presented their proposal for our village flag and we learned about the Human Rights Act.

“Our partners from La Reunion also treated us to a virtual tour using Google Earth, and students from each country created an artistic tree to represent how the Human Rights Act influences our lives. Students defended their trees to our partners in French!

“Overall, although this could not replace a physical visit and living the French culture first hand, it was a fantastic example of collaboration, team work and technological expertise, and provided students with an opportunity to work together, learn from each other and practise their linguistic skills at a moment when human contact is so needed.

“Well done to everyone from King’s, Spain and France for working so well together throughout the three days.”

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