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					     Comenius 2.1 project CIRCE A Classics & ICT Resources Course for Europe
                     Second transnational steering group meeting
                              25th – 29th of March 2004
                      York Archaeological Trust, Ogleforth, York


Friday 26th of March 2004

Participants: Jens Vermeersch, Veerle De Troyer (Gemeenschapsonderwijs, BE;
coordinators); Elisabeth Nedergaard (Noerresundby Gymnasium, DK); Efi Politopoulos (CTI
Research Academic Computer Technology Institute, GR); Mireille de Biasi (Collège
Trémonteix, Clermont-Ferrand, FR); Annarella Perra (SSIS/CIRD Universita degli Studi di
Cagliari, IT); Julian Morgan (Medusa Courses for ICT Training, UK); Dr Andrew Jones
(York Archaeological Trust, UK); Andrew Johnson (Ashville College, Harrogate, UK);
Rosemary McEvoy (The Mount School, York, UK); Dermot George (British Council, UK)

Absent: Haralambos Tsaknakis from CTI, our Greek partner, could not come and was
represented by his colleague Efi Politopoulos; Ian Andrews from Pocklington School (UK)
could not be present due to a sports accident.

Welcome and introduction
Welcome by Dr Andrew Jones of the York Archaeological Trust (YAT), who will be our host
during the entire meeting. Some words about the YAT, which is an educational charity and is
mostly known for its Viking centre JORVIK, which attracts about half a million visitors each

Welcome to the partners by the co-ordinator, overview by Jens of the meeting‟s aims and
overview by Veerle of the programme.

Renewed introduction of the partners
Andrew Johnson (UK) is the deputy head of Ashville College, a Methodist school in
Harrogate. He also teaches classics part time. He has European project experience from two
Comenius school projects. We have a look at the school‟s website
Andrew is one of the three classics teachers who has been invited by Julian Morgan to act as a
reflection group for the UK side of the project.

Jens Vermeersch and Veerle De Troyer are part of the Internationalisation Department of the
Gemeenschapsonderwijs. They are the administrative co-ordinators. Het
Gemeenschapsonderwijs (BE) is the umbrella organisation for the state
schools in Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium (staff: 400 people). The Department
„Internationalisering‟ organises and co-ordinates projects for its network of schools (primary,
secondary and adult education) and has a lot of experience in co-ordinating and managing
projects (Petra, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius 3.1, Comenius 2.1, Grundtvig). The department
has 3 fully employed people. Their contact details can be found on

Julian Morgan runs a training business called Medusa, specialised in helping teachers of
Classics use Information Technology in their teaching and is also a part-time teacher at Derby

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Grammar School. Julian Morgan has a special interest in software design and has written and
produced many programs, all published under his business name of J-PROGS. Julian shows
us two of his most recent products: a Hellenika foto CD and Roman Technology 4

Efi Politopoulos (GR) from CTI is replacing Babis Tsaknakis, our Greek partner in the
project. She is a computer engineer and is here to discuss the requirements for the website.
CTI will design and develop the project‟s website. She shows us two of the sites for which
she did the design. Both are portals and database orientated (a site for job
orientation) and (on technical support for school laboratories).

Annarella Perra (IT) is since 1988 a teacher of Latin & Greek language and literature at the
Liceo "Brotzu" in Quartu S. Elena (Cagliari) and is also teacher trainer in ICT at the "Scuola
di specializzazione degli insegnanti" (S.S.I.S. /CIRD Cagliari - University of Cagliari), an
initial and in-service training institution in the Sardinian region.

Rosemary McEvoy (UK) is classics teacher in a small and independent day and boarding
school for girls in York, the Mount School. The school has a strong language tradition.
Rosemary is updating her ICT knowledge and has been following some of Julian‟s courses.

Elisabeth Nedergaard (DK) is a teacher of ancient Greek in Noerresundby Gymnasium. She and her husband teach A-level Latin and Greek on a regular
basis in the present Danish school system. In 2005 the system will change in Denmark and
Latin will no longer be compulsory except for 19 introductional hours Latin. Fear has it that
classics will be only taught in 8 schools all over Denmark.

In France too there is turmoil among classicists, due to a decision to make bigger classes in
the upper grades. Mireille de Biasi from Collège Trémonteix (FR) is a French classics teacher
who is using ICT since 1997. She has written an e-manual for beginners of Greek. She also
has experience in teaching ancient Greek to distant students using video-conference and
computers. She is the national co-ordinator of the Classics project Musagora, which is created by a team of classics
teachers from different „académies‟. The aim of this project is also to prompt co-operation
between teachers and students in Europe as some of the pedagogical files are being translated
into English and modern Greek. The partners are invited to join the electronic forum of
Musagora (click on „Listes de diffusion‟)

Discussing the draft of the manual
Veerle explains that we are in a luxury position in regards to the manual. The partners have
already done a tremendous job on the manual in a very short time, so that they now can have a
good look at how to present it and how to improve its content.

Julian has provided the partners with a beautiful printed version of the draft. Elisabeth
remarks that the manual looks too big to her. The coordinator proposes to present the manual
as a loose leaf system with different subsections and a few introductory pages per section.
According to the needs and interest of the individual teacher, the other pages will be
downloadable from the project website.

Dermot George of the British Council joins the meeting. Jens was explaining the two sets of
trainings we have in mind: a transnational 5-day training which will be listed in the Comenius
catalogue and advertised through leaflets distributed by the national classics associations in

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the different countries and the national training course in the various countries which can take
different forms according to the needs of the different partners and their training culture.

Classics teachers from the UK could not be given a Socrates grant to attend the course if it
was organised for the first time in Oxford (Corpus Christi College), as these grants are
intended solely for courses outside the UK. Dermot suggests the possibility of meetings
which set up contacts between schools and for which grants are available.

Lunch with the Lord Mayor in Mansion House.
The partners of the CIRCE project and the members of the York Archaeological Trust are
kindly received by the Lord Mayor and the Sheriff of York and are offered a lunch. There is
member of the press present: Mr George Sharpley of the Times Educational Supplement, who
will write an article on the project. The coordinators are interviewed by Dermot George of the
British Council on the project management.

Additions and remarks on the manual
The coordinator proposes to go through to manual chapter by chapter and to discuss specific
details and additional remarks afterwards with the editor. Not all the partners have read the
whole manual, which means that there are less remarks than expected. The partners are
invited to give their additional remarks in the weeks after this meeting to the editor (see Task
Sheet: Annex 1)

The manual will need to be tested by selected teachers before we can think of printing it.
A new chapter 3 is inserted called „The role of the teacher‟(pages 8-13 of former chapter 1).
Chapter 5 on lesson plans should be better structured, says Mireille. There follows a long
discussion on the structure with different views and approaches. Cause is the different
pedagogical methods in each country (more traditional versus integrated reading of texts). The
conclusion is that Chapter 5 needs a short introduction to explain this issue.

Veerle remarks that a list of abbreviations should be added. All remarks and additions on the
manual are listed in Annex 2, attached to this report.

Saturday 27th of March 2004
Participants: Jens Vermeersch, Veerle De Troyer (Gemeenschapsonderwijs, BE;
coordinators); Elisabeth Nedergaard (Noerresundby Gymnasium, DK); Efi Politopoulos (CTI
Research Academic Computer Technology Institute, GR); Mireille de Biasi (Collège
Trémonteix, Clermont-Ferrand, FR); Annarella Perra (SSIS/CIRD Universita degli Studi di
Cagliari, IT); Julian Morgan (Medusa Courses for ICT Training, UK); Dr Andrew Jones
(York Archaeological Trust, UK); Andrew Johnson (Ashville College, Harrogate, UK);
Simon Fletcher (Derby Grammar School, UK)

Discussion of the manual: the case studies (continued)
Also Chapter 4 needs an introduction, says the coordinator. It should say that these case
studies are but a few examples meant to inspire people and that is certainly not our aim to
give a complete overview of all possible cases.

 -   The clear structure of Mireille‟s text on videoconferencing is considered as very good.
     Mireille proposes to add a case study on the use of Perseus by non-English speakers.

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 -   Marc Knecht‟s case study on Powerpoint was much appreciated by the UK teachers as a
     very personal document. Most other cases are written in the third person, to be as
     objective as possible.
 -   Elisabeth‟s case study on networking projects was appreciated because of its attention to
     the technical problems that can occur and which you better keep in mind.
 -   The case study on photographic archives by Julian arouses some discussion. Andrew
     Johnson warns us not to give the impression of making publicity. We should be very
     careful so as not to give ammunition for accusations. The problem could be solved by
     rewriting the text as a more personal experience.

The lesson plans
Mr Andrew Johnson has written a short introduction to Chapter 5. The partners agree on the
proposed text (Annex 3). Andrew has read all the lesson plans: for him they show a totally
different approach to pedagogy in the different European countries. The English lesson plans
show a fixation on assessment, while the French and Belgian ones go for an integrated
approach of language, literature and art. He finds it frustrating that the lesson plans show
only fragments of the whole systems in the different countries.

This could be solved by creating a database for lesson plans on the website. The examples in
the manual are a first step to a much broader view which can be gained from the project
website, where the lesson plans will be searchable via different search categories.

The appendices
The appendices 3 and 4 are now available in long and short versions. The short versions in the
paper manual are intended for all those people who want to have a short overview of the
situation in another country. The more extended versions will appear on the website as they
are intended for the national courses. These longer versions will be available in the language
version of the specific country.

Overview of tasks
The coordinator has a look at the task sheet. It is apparent that the partners generally have
done the tasks agreed. Greece however has failed to deliver lesson plans for chapter 5 and has
not delivered any information for appendices 3 and 4.
Efi replies that classics teachers in Greece are very traditional , do not use ICT in their
teaching and that therefore Greece cannot provide these materials. Veerle explains the
symbolic value of Greece being represented appropriately in the manual and presses for a
solution. Jens concludes that there can be no payment of the Greek partner before this
problem is solved.

The in-service training course
The training course resulting from the project would preferably be modular. It is agreed by the
partners to write a proposal for a the national CIRCE training by the end of June. By the end
of August Veerle will write a proposal for a five day training course.

Some of the national courses should have to be tested before the meeting in Denmark (spring
2005). Materials to accompany the national trainings should be gathered by the Athens
meeting (October 2004).

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The website
Its target groups are: teachers, teacher trainers, everyone interested in classics, classics
associations, universities, content providers and administrators
One general forum should be open to everyone while one subforum should be reserved for
those participating in the Comenius 2.2 training courses.
As a working hypothesis Efi proposes a sort of portal based website. After some discussion it
is agreed that this would be insufficient to fulfil our needs. We will need an original website
with some dynamic elements (mainly lessonplans chapter 5 + appendix 4/5).
For such a website the meeting proposes a draft structure after some brainstorming:

 CIRCE-logo                      EN/FR/IT/GR/SP/NL
                                 (Language choice)

        ICT in classics         Logo as a watermark or
        Courses                 monthly changing photo
        Photos                  (will be part of lay-out to
        News                    be designed)
        Forum

 With the support of the EU

 -   Where necessary each item should reveal a drop out menu. For instance ICT in Classics
     should have a drop out menu with the headings of the manual: Introduction, ICT &
     Classics, the role of the teacher, case studies, lesson plans, Greek Fonts, and the
 -   Lesson plans should be searchable by language, country, age, subject, methodology.
 -   Under Courses there could be the following items: a list of the participants of former
     courses, a photo gallery, some reviews by participants, a link to the forum, lesson plans
     created during the course etc.; for upcoming courses there could be a registration form,
     practicalities on the next course and a possibility to express an interest in our courses.
     Jens shows the website, which was created for one of our
     Comenius 2.2 courses.
 -   Under Photos there should be a statement of copyright issues, (archaeological) site of
     the month and links to other sites.

Efi will prepare templates to put in our data.

The partners agree that all information should be freely available for everyone, apart from the
forum, for which you would need a pass word.

Testing the manual

As soon as the agreed changes to the manual are done, it can be released for testing by
teachers. This should be just before summer. We will ask selected teachers for their
comments. The manual will be put on the on a hidden page of which we will
inform the selected teachers. The manual will be split: each chapter will be an individual
PDF-file.We cannot use the Yahoo-group for this as it cannot be freely consulted. We will
provide a small questionnaire to collect feed-back on the same webpage.

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The selected teachers will be warned that it is still work in progress and that such things as
layout are not ready yet. We only ask comment on the content.

Sunday 5th of October 2003
Participants: Jens Vermeersch, Veerle De Troyer (Gemeenschapsonderwijs, BE;
coordinators); Elisabeth Nedergaard (Noerresundby Gymnasium, DK); Efi Politopoulos (CTI
Research Academic Computer Technology Institute, GR); Mireille de Biasi (Collège
Trémonteix, Clermont-Ferrand, FR); Annarella Perra (SSIS Universita degli Studi di Cagliari,
IT); Julian Morgan (Medusa Courses for ICT Training, UK); Dr Andrew Jones (York
Archaeological Trust, UK)

Layout and logo
Everyone is satisfied with the proposed logo which is consequently accepted. The logo will be
made available to the partners is 3 different formats on the Yahoo-group.
There is a discussion on which font to use in the manual and on the website. It is agreed that
“Verdana” is the best choice. For the text of the manual we will probably use pitch 10, and
pitch 12 or higher for the chapters. Julian will adapt the manual accordingly.
The Greek partner would like to know what font was used by the lay-out person in the logo.
The co-ordinators will check this out.

Project administration and finances
Budget management
For managing the budget of each partner and of the project as a whole, the co-ordinator uses a
set of interlinked spreadsheets (Excel). Every partner receives a hard copy of their set of
spreadsheets. In these spreadsheets every item of expenses is clearly mentioned. This makes it
possible to follow the evolution of every partner‟s budget at any time during the project‟s
lifetime. For instance every expense the co-ordinator pays directly on the partner‟s budget
will be included in the spreadsheets so that the partner can easily keep track of these centrally
paid items. These spreadsheets are available to the partners on the Yahoo group. The
spreadsheets above have the same structure as the financial report forms in the interim and
final report.

The own financing is obtained through general costs (example: costs for communications,
copies, heating of the room etc) and the major part of the staff costs. General costs can never
be claimed on the Comenius grant and are all own financing. No proff of the these costs has to
be provided. The partners are again given notice of the existence of a financial handbook,
available in every EU language on This handbook should be
consulted every time a partner wants to declare expenses on the budget to check if they are
eligible. The partners are asked to familiarise themselves with this handbook.

It has been agreed that the co-ordinator will only pay for costs after declaration and no
advances will be paid. Declaration of staff costs can be made every 6 months. Partners should
be aware that international payments are expensive and should thus preferably group their
claims over a few months. The procedure for declaring costs is described in the contract
between the co-ordinator and the partner. Every declaration should include proof of costs

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ICT –costs
The co-ordinator advises the partners with ICT costs to buy their materials ASAP, as the
project has started on 01/10/2003 and the commission works with depreciation rates (33,33%
per year) Example: you buy a PC for Y € on 01/04/2004 (that is 30 months before the end of
the project). You use it for 50 % for the project. The depreciation rate will be 30/36 so: 30/36
x Y € x 50% gives Z €.

Staff costs
The EU no longer demands invoices and payslips for staff costs. But for an audit they can ask
for an estimation of who worked when on the project for what partner. Thus everyone should
keep a record of the time everyone in their organisations spends on the project. To do this a
time sheet is provided. There is one sheet per employee. The sheet can be downloaded from
the Yahoo website. „Staff costs‟ works with a lump sum. The sum paid has no direct
connection with the time sheet: it is only an indication, therefore the work mentioned on the
timesheets does not need to be translated into wages. If the work programme is respected each
partner will receive 1/6th of the staff costs provided from the grant every six months.

Travel and subsistence costs
For travel and subsistence only real expenses will be paid. If there is money left on the travel
budget by the end of the project, it can be used to allow extra people to come to project
meetings, for an extra meeting or to do dissemination activities.

The co-ordinator offers the partners the possibility to book and pay their hotels & common
meals during project meetings. These costs will be deducted from the partner‟s budget. Travel
tickets have to be booked and paid by the partners themselves but can be reclaimed later.

Jens explains the partners what to put in contracts with people who do tasks for the project as
subcontractors. What exact information the contract should contain, can be found in the
financial handbook under article iv).4 (On this site the handbook is
available in each EU language)

Task sheet April-October 2004
The agreements which have been made during this meeting are put into a task-sheet on which
everyone agrees. The task sheet is annex 1 to this report.

Planning the next meeting in Athens
The 3rd steering group meeting will be in Athens, from October 7th- 11th 2004. Efi will
provide the coordinator with several options for hotels in Athens. As the maximum rate for
subsistence is 113 €, the hotel should be around 70-80 € at the most. For the meeting we will
need a well equipped meeting room.

Evaluation of the meeting
The meeting ends with an evaluation task for the partners: each partner fills in the evaluation
form and hands it back to the co-ordinator. A summary of the results will be provided by the
co-ordinator during the next meeting.

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And finally…
A guided tour through ….York: visit to YORVIK, the Roman baths, the Archaeological
Resources Centre, the undercroft of the Minster, the Roman walls, etc. It was all terribly

The co-ordinators would like to thank the partners for this very fruitful and very enjoyable
meeting. Thanks as well to Julian and Bone for all the practical organisation.

Report : Veerle De Troyer & Jens Vermeersch

Annex 1 : Task sheet April – October 2004
Annex 2 : Additions and remarks to the manual
Annex 3 : Introductory text to Lesson plans by Andrew Johnson

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