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What have Italy and the UK in common?

Pupils from Wales High School in the UK and the Boccardi school in Italy with photos of their Prime Ministers.

Wales High School in Sheffield and the Giovanni Boccardi School in Termoli, Italy are starting their new partnership with a Renaissance project exploring shared cultural heritage.  

Pupils from each school met up at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to look at their Renaissance Exhibition before Christmas. 

For their joint Renaissance project  Wales High will focus on Literature and Architecture, while the Giovanni Boccardi School are looking at Art and Maths.
Both schools shared their day out with BBC World Class:

The exhibition brought the schools' partnership and the topic to life.

Pupils from Termoli and Sheffield at the Renaissance exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum

Pupils from the Boccardi school found the exhibition helped them to imagine what it must have been like to live during the Renaissance.  

The Termoli pupils were enthusiastic about their twin school:  "[A]part from the problem of language, we have been able to do this project together and it has been a wonderful experience."

Wales High pupils were impressed by the impact of religion in the period, and found the perspective of the Italian pupils helped them to see the wider story.

"By seeing the exhibition together," they said, "we could discuss the evolution of the Renaissance from one country to another."

Pupils agreed that it is important to study history.  In the words of Termoli pupils, "without history we wouldn't be here".

Pupils from Termoli and Sheffield at the Renaissance exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum

Both schools talked about the potential to improve on the past. 

"We study history to avoid making the same mistakes," say pupils in Termoli.  "During the renaissance for example there were the crusades, racial discrimination and wars which nowadays we avoid."

And what do the young people think they have in common today?

Both schools commented on shared membership of the EU. 

Pupils at Boccardi School also pointed to popular culture: "music and sport (especially football)". 

Wales High pupils took a more political line: "Both have areas of wealth and poverty. Both have unpopular leaders at the moment."

How did they do that?

Wales High School have years of international experience and are presently working with schools in France, Romania and Paraguay.  

This partnerships is developing as an off-shoot from a Comenius funding application for a project on 'pilgrimage' from Wales High School in Sheffield and their partner school in Romania.   The British and Romanian schools were looking for more European schools to join them and Giovanni Boccardi school asked to take part.  They will find out whether their application for Comenius funding is successful in June. 

Comenius is an EU funded scheme from European schools to work together and is managed in the UK by the British Council. 

Aside from this, Wales High and Boccardi School have planned collaboration across the year. 

In March, Wales High will open a joint art exhibition on the theme of food to raise money for the victims of last year's earthquake in Italy.  The show will transfer to transfer to Termoli.  

Sheffield's Food Technology Department  will compare Wensleydale and Mozarella cheese-making industries.   

In the summer, the Boccardi school plans to send a team to the Rotherham International Handball tournament and visit Wales High.

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