In october 2007 in the Netherlands, in the province Drenthe, a conference has been organised with the title: ‘open border, open mind’. The goal of this conference was that schools in Lazio (Italy) and Drenthe (Netherland) are coming in contact with one another and to start international activities (projects and exchanges).
The meeting of vmbo-schools in Drenthe with schools of the Italian province Lazio formed the start of the schoolnetwork Drenthe-Lazio.
At the school Roelof van Echten College in Hoogeveen at the location Dwingeland (theoretical way of learning) knows already several years international activities (exchanges and projects). So there has been an exchange with a school in Jicin (Tsjec Republic) and in Bracciano (Italy). In 2006 the Dutch Council for secondary education started a national innovative campaign ‘dare-share-do’. Schools could inscribe innovative projects. There were several prices of 50.000 euros to win. To win such a price the school had to make a projectplan to make clear how to share the innovative project/experience with other schools.
Roelof van Echten College knows already for several years an exchange with the scuola media S.Bosco in Bracciano. This historical city, 40 kilometers to the north of Rome, is visited by 40.000 Dutch tourists every year. The school is in the province Lazio. During the exchanges the teachers talked several times about possibilities for starting exchanging between other schools in Drenthe and Lazio. But unfortunately there were no financial funds.
The Roelof van Echten College made and sent in a project plan for the price with the title: ‘scambio Bracciano: a successful exchange for vmbo’. In the second round in January 2007 our school won the price.
Immediately the school started to work out a conference in Hoogeveen with a number of Italian schools. Roelof van Echten College succeeded in inviting and convincing a number of Italian schools to come to the province Drenthe. Also it invited a number of vmbo-schools in Drenthe. So in October 2007 the college could organise an international conference. The schools represented themselves during a market in the classroom of our school. There was a program with speeches and workshops for teachers, parents and schoolmanagement. The conference was finished with a Italian-Dutch song in which the cooperation between the schools was established.
The Italian teachers, parents and schoolmanagement didn’t only come to the conference. They had also a program to know better the province Drenthe and Holland. So there was a visit to Orvelte and the open air museum Ellert and Brammert in Schoonoord. And of course a visit to Amsterdam could not be forgotten. The visit of the Italian schools was finished by a visit and a dinner in the Groninger museum (modern art).
During the visit of the Italian schools in October 2007 the Dutch teachers and schoolmanagement were invited to come to Lazio. So in the spring of 2008 several Dutchs schools went to Lazio. The Italian school had made a interesting program in which we could see the region Lazio and of course the city of Rome.
The municipality of Lazio (Bracciano) organised also a conference with the title ‘open border, open mind, growing together, to shape the future’. There were a lot of speeches of persons of the politics and school.Cooperating schoolsThe schools who are working together:
– Scuola media statale G.Bosco (Bracciano) and Roelof van Echten College (location Park Dwingeland, Hoogeveen);
– Sms Salvo d’Acquisto (Cerveteri) and Dr.Nassau College (Assen);
– Institute comprensivo Don Milani (Valcanneto) and the Krullevaar (primary school) and the Roelof van Echten College (location Griendtsveenweg) in Hoogeveen;
– Instituto comprensivo Titoni in Manziana and the Esdal Collegein Emmen;
– Instituto comprehensive (Trevignano) and CSG Dingstede in Meppel;
– Instituto comprehensive Stradella in Nepi and Castel S.Elia and the RSG Wolfsbos in Hoogeveen;
– Sms Scriattolli in Vetralla and CSG Vincent van Gogh in Assen;
– Sms Fantappiè in Viberbo and RSG Stad and Esch in Meppel.
The schools in the network are coming three times in a schoolyear together to talk about several practical problems of international activities. We talk for instance about the problem of the lessons when teachers are abroad for international activities. But also how to motivate and involve other teachers in international activities. And how to integrate international activities in normal regular lessons.
There are at this moment not one but three networks. In the vmbo-network in Drenthe and in the network Lazio schools are coming in contact with one another beside of working together in the international network.
In this schoolyear there will be 4 exchanges. And there will be several international projects. Also integrating international activities in the schools, which are involved in this network, will be more implemented in the schoolcurriculum. At the end of 2008 (beginning 2009) there will be a little book which schools can help in the process of organising an exchange in the school. In Drenthe, but also in Lazio, more and more students will have international experiences, which they will never forget.