Ninian Park were delighted when their bid to visit Italy to study well-being and the Italian education system was accepted. Mrs Morris (our Deputy Headteacher) was eagerly dispatched to Bologna with strict instructions to bring back lots of photographs and ideas. This is her story ...
"Do you want to go to Italy?" It's not how every Tuesday begins, but I think it should be. Once I said yes, there was a meeting, a few emails and then I was off! Not being someone who likes being in front of the camera I took along a friend. He's a little grey cat called Bob and you'll see him in quite a few of the photos below. However, it wasn't just Bob and I that set off to Bologna on a snowy Sunday in March, it was also 20 other teachers from Wales.
We flew from Gatwick to Bologna smoothly and with much excitement and many questions.
What would Italian schools be like?
How were we going to get to the hotel?
Would we know enough Italian words to get by?
Once we landed, the journey was rather easy. We jumped into a taxi and through the snowy outskirts of Bologna. Then 20 minutes and 8 Euros later arrived at our lovely hotel.
The first evening we ate at the hotel and got an early night after an exhausting day.
The first day we met two people who were going to be very important to us on our journey into Mindfulness and Italian education. First we met Emelia. She would be our guide to Italy and Italian schools. She had set us some homework before we left Cardiff to learn some words in Italian. One of our first exercises was an Italian vocabulary test. We were relieved when we could work as a team and we got 100%! The rest of the day was all about Mindfulness with a wonderful trainer called Faiy. She taught us some breathing exercises and the theory behind the practice.
Throughout our trip we were challenged to create a visual diary - a pictoral map of our experiences. As a grown-up, you don't often make the time to sit down, draw and reflect on your day; but this was something that I will always link with my time in Italy. I used to sit by the my bedroom window, overlooking the beautiful gardens and think about what I had learnt and heard through the day. Like everyone else, I didn't always say the right thing at the right time, but I used my mindfulness training, to let that go and not 'beat myself up' about it.
(Here are some pages from my diary)