Erasmus+ in conjunction with The British Council: ‘The Better Together Project’ 2018-2020


Welcome to our dedicated website page, which showcases our Erasmus+ Better Together School Partnership Project.

This project was borne out of the desire to bridge the gap between young and old in society.

We are all living far longer and it is vital that we continue to be as involved and engaged in our communities for as long as is possible.

This project aims to encourage old and young to interact and to value each other’s views and to skills-share for the positive benefit of us all.

Our journey so far…

In the summer of 2018, we learnt that our project proposal had been successful and that we were one of only 200 schools throughout the UK to have secured an Erasmus+ bid. Erasmus+ centres on social and educational mobility and the promotion of tolerance and diversity on an international platform.

The project’s full title is ‘Better Together: the re-branding of old age’. The core theme of the project is to bring together young and old people in communities to encourage more social interaction and a sense of greater citizenship.

Autumn 2018 saw recruitment of our Erasmus+ pupil team with presentations in assembly and PSHE time. Y9 pupils were invited to submit a letter of suitability to gain a place on the EU funded initiative. Eleven pupils were selected to take part in the project and we began making links with our partner school in Italy, ITC; a college based in the lovely Tuscan hilltop town of San Miniato, close to Pisa.

In Spring 2019, Ballard pupils departed on their exchange trip to Tuscany from February 4th to the 8th. The exchange was a marvellous success with transnational activities and project activities moved on. It was a packed itinerary with highlights including: an activity-based visit to a local care home to conduct questionnaires and to interview the residents; a trip to the town’s war museum and a poignant audience with a local veteran; a presentation and taste-testing on Tuscany’s very own ‘Slow Food’ movement; a mesmerising trip back in time at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, along with treasure hunts and a visit to the heart of civic pride at their Town Hall. Tears and hugs marked the end of a wonderful warm, welcoming and productive week in the Tuscan sunshine as Ballard pupils waved goodbye to the rest of their Italian Erasmus counterparts: friendships forged and memories made.

In Spring 2019, we welcomed our Italian partner school to Ballard for a reciprocal hosting week from March 11-15th. Despite the notoriously unpredictable English spring weather, we had an excellent week of activities and project work with many highlights. For example: the inaugural meeting of the Silver Surfers Digital Club, which saw the auditing of IT skills and young training old. Other in-school activities included; working on ‘Give It Back and Pay It Forward’, civic passports and a fun-filled ‘taste of Britain’ cookery session. Our Q&A session with New Milton’s Mayor and members of New Milton Town Council to discuss the similarities between New Milton and San Miniato and to consider the future of our partnership, offered a chance to cement ties and for our visitors to gain greater insight into our area. We also experienced a very successful trip to a local care home where young interacted with old to record stories and make new connections for the future. Finishing with a trip to London to visit the National Gallery to observe inspirational masterpieces of art through the centuries as well as a visit to the Hard Rock Café to listen to iconic music through the ages.