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Fulston Manor School

Fulston Manor School A Fulston Manor Academies Trust School

Erasmus+ Project, Trento

Six Fulston Manor students returned from the Italian alpine region of Trento on Sunday following a week of participating in the European Parliament funded Erasmus+ project.  The project has brought together schools from ten European nations, with each country taking turns to host a week long exchange in which students and staff work together to explore, create and perform work related to the theme of migration.      

Leaving Sittingbourne early on Sunday morning, the students met outside Fulston’s gates at 3am.  Following a scenic flight over the Alps, the students were whisked away to a warm welcome from their host families, dotted around the region’s capital, Trento.  First-rate hospitality awaited; traditional Italian food and tours of the town’s Renaissance centre accompanied other treats such as trips to Verona and more than fleeting visits to the town’s renowned gelaterias! 

On the first morning, the students from all of the countries were greeted in a whole school assembly at Licio Linguistico, receiving gifts and enjoying performances from the school’s musicians before heading to their designated workshop groups for the project. 

The workshops were to last all week, developing material for a public performance.  Each day the six students joined others from Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey in sessions focusses on producing art, dance, drama, music and poetry relating to the project’s theme. 

Aside from the creative endeavours of the workshops, Fulston’s students also experienced some of the area’s delights, being guided around Trento’s superb architecture and spending a day snow-shoeing in the hills overlooking the spectacular Dolomite mountain range.  Yet the focus of the week was always clear in the students’ minds; they were to take centre stage at the local theatre for a powerful production in front of an audience hundreds strong.

A nervous buzz descended on the Theatre San Marco on the morning of Friday 6th March as over a hundred students readied themselves for the event.  As the crowd were hushed, the show began…

With the raising of the curtain a fusion of various performing arts unfolded as students from across Europe enthusiastically presented the results of a week of hard work.  A short drama evoked the challenging circumstances facing migrants travelling across Europe, choreographed dances presented complex routines, and recitals of poetry exploring love and migration from Brecht, Naruda and even the Beatles meant there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  The whole event was a huge achievement, eliciting praise from every spectator.  

The students returned from their Italian adventure, a little more experienced, certainly, but more sensitive to an issue informing and defining the experiences of millions across our continent.  As the project continues with forthcoming visits to Belgium and Cyprus, the question must be: how will they better the efforts and vision of Trento?