Sunday, 31 January 2010

Trains and boats and planes la la la la la la la

An interesting but long journey getting here with just a couple of minor glitches...lost bags etc etc. Best bit of today's travel was by car from Biarritz Airport to San Sebastian. I was fortunate to be in the car driven by an older gentleman. I still don't know whether he was french, spanish or basque.

On entering the bus he offered us the choice of the "whoosh" route or the bendy, bendy route. This was communicated by hand and sounds........ not by words. He said the other group were on the "whoosh" route...viz the motorway! Our group made the excellent choice of the "bendy, bendy route"and during our journey we were accompanied by some wonderful music - including Ravel's Bolero. This is indeed a beautiful part of the world and our journey took us through Biarritz, a town full of superb buildings and then followed the coast road to the Basque town of Ciboure, France, close to the border with Spain. We passed the end of the street where Ravel was born. (Click on the post title link to find more).

San Sebastian (Donostia) surrounding La Concha Bay is better in real life than any picture..... the architecture, the sound of the waves breaking on the shore, the Sunday promenaders wrapped warmly and smartly marching along in the has the wow factor.

Euskara (one of the two official languages) is spoken by 35% of the town's residents. The other language is Castellano (Castilian Spanish).

Lots to see and learn. Roll on tomorrow.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

En Route

We all met up for the first time this evening and colleagues took the opportunity to introduce themselves and, from the healthy discussion about the visit, we can anticipate wide and varied debate over the next few days. I was surprised to find that not everyone knew each other. We come from differing backgrounds and as such ensures a broad spectrum of interests to follow through.

Our first difficult task for tomorrow is to make sure we get up early enough to make the 4.45am bus to the airport for our 6.00am flight to Paris. Early bed this Saturday evening for most but one or two thinking maybe easier to stay up because of the early start!

Second is to learn a few basic words of "Euskara" .........see Tweets!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Aupa!! Team

Zer moduz? Ez dakit euskaraz hitz egiten. Eraman SanSebastian, mesedez. Noiz irteten da San Sebastian ra doan busa?

Topa. Bihar arte.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Euskara Around the world

An interactive link depicting areas where the language is spoken across the world.

Interdisciplinary Teaching Materials

'Europan murgilduz' is a set of interdisciplinary material which aims to provide a series of activities designed to help teachers focus on the Euro-dimension of different areas of the curriculum. It is presented as a journey around different aspects of the European continent (art, culture, economy, political-social situation, languages, customs, etc.), as well as a way of getting to know the Europe that we are currently in the process of constructing (institutions,
citizenship, etc.). The materials are available for both Primary and Secondary pupils. Perhaps we could follow up to see how they are used in the different sectors? How would you contextualise within CfE. Might they be useful in your school?

Zer Zara Zu? Primary Children

Young children doing the teaching.

Could you use this idea by having eg P5-7 pupils make small movies of pupils P1-P7 to support Gaelic Medium parents who may have no language and putting on your school website or burning DVDs for them to access at home? Does anyone already do this? A cross-curricular activity building upon a wide range of skills, knowledge and social interactions. Hits a number or CfE requirements. Your thoughts? Anything from a parental perspective - CnP?

Luberri High School in San Sebastian

Some local school information.


Saturday, 23 January 2010

Structural Organization and Features of the Basque Educational System

Sistema Educ English

Weather Gadget

The little "gadget" on the left will keep you posted re the weather in the area. It won't take San Sebastian but if you click on the edit button and type in Bilbao it will give you the weather in that part of Spain. Maybe help you to decide whether clothing to take will be to cope with the cold or the rain........don't think the sun is going to be too much of a problem.....could be wrong of course! In San Sebastian the winter months from December to February see average temperatures of 9°C. Daytime highs are quite mild, around 12°C and average minimums at night reach 5°C to 6°C. Temperatures very rarely fall below 5°C and snow is highly unlikely. Rainfall is high. There are frequent showers and with the increasing strength of the wind huge storms can visit the area.

Google Map of San Sebastian

View Larger Map

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Would you please confirm in the comments below that you have access to Glow.

Friday, 15 January 2010

San Sebastian

Kaixo - A few words of Euskara

If you are interested in learning a few words of the language have a look at these sites.
If you have a site you have found helpful share it here. I am not sure that the following phrase could be useful in the context of Curriculum for Excellence. However you might perhaps be able to change my mind!

"Nire aerolabangailua aingirez beteta dago" translated of course........."my hovercraft is full of eels"!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Basque Education - Background Reading

Do any of you speak Euskara? Have a look at this site which is written in Euskara and Spanish. One section of particular interest is under the tab "Nortzuk gara /About us". It gives a bit of the development of the Department of Education and the functions of the Berritzeguneak.If you download the google language toolbar it will instantly translate the web pages into english for you - spanish into english (not euskara).

Who are you?

As you can see from the map we live and work in different parts of Scotland. Intoduce yourself to the group by writing 3 or 4 sentences about yourself, your school and an area of particular interest to yourself which you would like to follow up during this visit.

San Sebastian Team

The blog is to allow us to share our experiences, thoughts and views of the visit exploring Immersion Education in The Basque country in Spain. What might we learn to inform good practice in Gaelic Education in Scotland?