Comenius Project

What is a Comenius Project?

Jan Amos Comenius was a 16th Century educator and is generally considered to be the father of the modern education system. It is his name which has been given to partnerships of European schools and colleges working together on common projects. Each institution within a partnership is funded by their own national agency – for Helsby High School this is The British Council.

british-councilComenius has two main objectives:

  • to develop knowledge and understanding among young people and teachers of the diversity of European cultures and languages, and the value of this diversity
  • to help young people to acquire basic life skills for their personal development, for future employment and for active European citizenship

Funding is for 2 years and is based on an agreed number of “mobilities” – that is return journeys made by staff and pupils to other schools within the partnership. For a project to receive funding an application must be submitted and one school must agree to be the coordinator.

Further information can be found on The British Council’s website.
Helsby High School has received funding for 2013-15 and we will be working in partnership with schools in France, Germany and Poland.

The title of our project will be ‘Healthy Europe – Happy Europe’.

Updates will be posted here as this project unfolds!







Year 8 Students Welcome Comenius Partners.

Year 8 students and their families travelled to Manchester and Liverpool airports on Sunday to welcome our Comenius visitors from Collège Noël Berrier, Corbigny, France and IGS Wallstraße, Wolfenbüttel, Germany.

We are looking forward to working with our partners this week, on a range of activities linked to our ‘Healthy Europe -Happy Europe’ project. Students will be learning a new sport, taking part in physical challenges, as well as looking at healthy eating and regional foods – and during all of this, communicating in three languages!

The Comenius project is a British Council funded initiative which aims to develop knowledge and understanding among young people about the diversity of European cultures and the value of this diversity.



Year 9 Comenius students visit College Noel Berrier, Corbigny, France. March 2015.

Ten students from Year 9 have recently travelled to College Noel Berrier in Corbigny, France as part of our Comenius Project. They were hosted by students in our partner school and took part in a variety of activities linked to the ‘Happy Europe – Healthy Europe’ project. Students had also travelled from IGS Wallstraße, Wolfenbüttel, Germany, so it was a chance to renew many friendships made last March.

The Comenius project is a British Council funded initiative which aims to develop knowledge and understanding among young people about the diversity of European cultures and the value of this diversity. We are looking forward to our visit to Germany in June which will see the culmination of this two year project.

Here is what some of our students thought about the visit:

“I have really enjoyed this experience, it has been one of the best things I have ever done in my life and I will never forget it! I feel it has helped me to become more independent and grow up a lot. It has also opened my eyes to how different the French culture is and made me realise how oblivious we are to how different people in other parts of the world live. It has made me want to travel more and see more cultures!”

 “I have really enjoyed this experience and it is something I will remember forever. I feel that I have grown up on this trip and have become a lot more independent. It has helped to boost my confidence.”

 “Corbigny is a very remote village and is very different from Frodsham. I think this made the experience a lot more exciting and interesting as we got to see how people in France really live”

 “I have really enjoyed exploring the French Culture and I would, without a doubt, come here again and again! I would recommend this trip to everyone, not only to learn French but to explore the culture, see the country, meet new people and have an amazing time! This was an amazing opportunity and I am so glad I took it. It has made me eager to find out about more cultures”

“My experience has, without a doubt, been amazing. M y favourite activity was when we visited the Saint-Brisson Nature Reserve.  I have made multiple friends and created amazing memories and experiences”

“Seeing France has changed my view on the countryside. This is because I never imagined that it could be so beautiful”

“I have become more confident and feel more able to push myself in all aspects of life”

“I would say that not many aspects of life here are the same as in England. It isn’t strange or completely weird, but everything is done differently – food, school, customs, rules etc. This is something I’ve loved to embrace and its been such a nice break from my normal routine and I’ve liked being able to do things differently”

“I enjoyed working in mixed nationality groups as it was interesting to create something when you have to communicate in ways other than your native language”

“I would say that coming to Corbigny and getting involved with the Comenius project has boosted my confidence greatly. I would recommend this exchange for future years”

“I really enjoyed this trip; my hosts looked after me very well. The only negative thing to say is that I’m sad to leave. My favourite activities were the catamaran and canoeing as I made many friends through this. This week has changed my views on ways of living our lives and ways of enjoying life.”

“I have become more confident and feel more able to push myself in all aspects of life”

Year 9 visit

Comenius Visit To Helsby High School March 2014

March saw the first of our Comenius Project visits, with students and staff visiting Helsby High School from our partner schools, Collège Noël Berrier, Corbigny, France and IGS Wallstraße, Wolfenbüttel, Germany.

Visitors were hosted by some of our Year 8 students, and they worked together during the week on activities related to the ‘Healthy Europe – Happy Europe’ project. During the week visits were made to Anfield Stadium and Chester City Centre. The group also undertook an ‘International Tri-O Challenge’ involving a walk of five miles, with three challenges along the way involving both communication and physical skills! The group learnt how to play Gaelic football, a new sport for all students and one which required learning a variety of new and difficult skills. Students also spent a session in the Food Technology department, creating a traditional afternoon tea. School Governors and Senior Teachers came to meet our visitors and find out what we had been doing during the ‘Tea and Presentations’ sessions on the final afternoon.

All students entered fully into the Comenius spirit; working together to get to know one another, enjoying each other’s company and overcoming the challenges of communication.  It was a great week, and although it passed very quickly a good working partnership has been established – as well as some firm friendships. All three schools are now looking forward to working together over the next year and planning our return visits for 2015.



Some student comments on the week:

“To be honest, I don’t think much could have been done to improve it. Maybe they could have stayed for the weekend? I look forward to part 2 of the Comenius project – our trip to Germany in 2015!”

“The best things were the cookery and the tri-o challenge because you had to work together and communicate”

“I really enjoyed this week because I learnt new things about a different culture”

“I have made some friendships which I think will last for a long time”

“I thought this week was amazing! I’m excited to go to Germany next year to see my partner and other friends”

“I hope they had a really nice time and I can’t wait to see them again next year”

“Now the week is over, I have realised how close me and my partner have become. The best thing in the week was getting to know each other and making a new best friend. I hope Comenius goes on for years to come”

“I have very much enjoyed the week as it has brought a multicultural aspect into my life. We now regularly contact each other”

“I am really happy to be involved in this project and can’t wait to return to France next year. I have kept in touch with my partner via email and our parents have also talked. I am very excited for next year”

“I feel that my knowledge of Europe has improved as a result of the Comenius project. I even think that my German has improved!”

The Anfield Visit by Kayty

On Monday the 24th of March 12 English, 12 German and 12 French went on a trip to Anfield as part of the Comenius project.

We arrived at the stadium around 11 o’clock for our tour. We got taken around the back by our tour guide and walked through the same way all the players do before a match. We got shown the interview booths, the Away Team Dressing Room, the Home Team Dressing Room and the Match Official’s door. They allowed us to go into the Home Team Dressing Room, have a look at all the player’s shirts and take pictures- Whilst we were in there we were told some facts like, the most expensive thing in the dressing room was the floor which cost around 20,000 because it was non slip to help avoid the players from slipping before playing the match, but in the away teams dressing room it just had a normal floor that cost the ordinary amount.

After walking through the corridors and going past the Liverpool sign about the stairs that each of the players touch before going out onto the field, we went out into the open stadium. We were allowed to sit where the Away team normally sits when playing Liverpool, to take more pictures and again learn some facts. Whilst we were out on the field the grass was being mowed and afterwards we were allowed to take some of the grass that had been cut home. We learn all about the stadiums stands, what they were called and general facts.

Then we headed into the museum in the front of the stadium to learn more about the history of Anfield. Next we went to have lunch. Then lastly we went to look around the shop and buy some souvenirs or tokens-before heading back on the coach back to school.

Overall I had a great time there and despite the fact that personally I am not super interested in football I still enjoyed myself greatly. I think it was a great experience that I don’t think I will be offered again and I thought it was a great time for the English, German and French to get to know each other a bit better as this was the first activity that we went on as a group. I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to go and had a great day! Thank You!


The International Tri-O Challenge by Hannah

Overall, I really enjoyed it!

We walked up Frodsham Hill and did three challenges. One was the trust line challenge, which involved us being blind-folded and we led our team-mates through a small trail with obstacles en-route. We had to try to communicate in three languages. At this point we were drenched but it was still fun! We went to Castle Park and did some orienteering in our mixed nationality groups. We then walked back to school. I would do it again, however I would enjoy it more if the weather was better!



Gaelic Football by John

We first did some small training and warm up exercises, like the method you use to dribble with the ball; bounce then kick. We did small races in mixed ability, nationality and age teams. It was really fun! Then we practised the ‘hand-pass’ in our teams. Shortly after that, we began to play about ten 3 minute long games in our teams. It was really fun and energetic. If I was given the opportunity to play Gaelic football again, I would definitely go for it because I really enjoyed it. I would describe it as physical, energetic and fun. It was really nice of Mr Callaghan to help us learn this game. In two hours we became really good at it and everyone looked like they enjoyed it – I definitely did!


Tea and Presentations

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