We were so glad to be hosted in Barcelona for the Access 21 Leadership through Service and case study workshop at Ribera Baixa.
The teams from Italy (Emilio, Saba, Stefano, Monica, Camilla and Lorena) and Trinity College Dublin (Jane and Ciarán) travelled to Barcelona while Mercy Secondary School teachers (Paula, Thomas and Donal) attended the workshop on Zoom.
The Spanish team – Iñaki, Sílvia, Ana, Javier and Talía – made us feel so welcome in Barcelona. They organised both the working and the cultural sessions of our stay and spent fun moments with us too.
During our working days we reviewed and discussed our case studies and each national team worked on their case study presentations. Ribera Baixa worked on their Libertas project (Leadership in Learning), the Italian team worked on the Orientamento project (Mentoring) and Mercy on their STEM Passport for Inclusion project (Pathways to College).
Regarding Libertas, the Spanish team told us how their students, inspired by a protest in Barcelona, promoted activities and events to talk and inform about the LGBTQ community.
“Orientamento” Project has been built over several years and contains many activities that aim to help students choose their future upper secondary school; the mentoring programme within our “Orientamento” Project consists of a series of mentor-guided activities.
STEM passport for inclusion is a project activated by Irish teachers at Mercy Secondary School to increase girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
- in national teams to prepare and rehearse our presentations;
- in international groups to share opinions and suggestions to make our presentations as clear and attractive as possible;
- in facilitated groups (national team and the leader of another team) to polish them.
Jane and Ciarán organised some ice-breaker activities to get us in the right mood before the workshops. We appreciated icebreakers as effective tools to manage group dynamics and share fun moments and entertainment for team building.
Working in international groups was an enriching experience, and we learned unexpected tricks: new presentation templates, strategies to involve the audience, different presentation tools. We also realized all schools face the same difficulties even though at different levels.
On 12th October (Dia de la Hispanidad) schools were closed so we went on a cultural trip to Sitges, a seaside resort 40 km on the west of Barcelona, where we visited the Cau Ferrat Museum and the Maricel Museum.
On 14th October we visited the centre of Barcelona, guided by our Spanish hosts. We went to the Picasso Museum, we walked through the Gothic Quarter and the famous Ramblas.