© 2018 by The MECE Project. 

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'MECE' TWIN TOWNS

Middelkerk (Belgium)  

Epernay (France) 

Clevedon (UK)

Ettlingen (Germany) 

Twin towns are a form of legal or social agreement between towns & cities, counties, provinces, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties. The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after the Second World War in 1947, was intended to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation, and to encourage trade and tourism.

TOWN TWINNING
TOWN TWINNING

Town: Middelkerke / Ostend

Region: West-Flanders

Country: Belgium

School website:

 http://www.ka1centrumoostende.be

The Town:

Middelkerke is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders, on the North Sea, just to the west of Ostend. The municipality comprises the villages of LeffingeLombardsijdeMannekensvere, Middelkerke proper, SchoreSint-Pieters-KapelleSlijpeWestende and Wilskerke.

 

On January 1, 2006, Middelkerke had a total population of 17,841.

 

The total area is 75.65 km² which gives a population density of 236 inhabitants per km².

The first reference of 'Middelkerca' is found in 1218. Before 1876 it mainly was a farming settlement.

The town's main attraction is of course its beach but there are also plenty of other cultural attractions, sights and museums. 

School Background:

 

The urban college was an official institution for public secondary education in Oostende, which had come in 1878, in the place of Gepatroneerd College, set up in 1842. This was maintained by the city, but depended entirely on the local diocese. In 1881, the organisation of the school was taken over by the Belgian state. In 1882, Royal Athenaeum was established in the former convent on East Street. Towards the end of the nineteenth century plans were made for a new building. In 1898, the provisional building became Jozefskerk Gesloopt where it continued adding Petersburgstraat (now. Spilliaertstraat) with the  construction of classrooms and a boarding school building, which was completed 1900.

In the late 1950s the B-block-system was built as an extension. In the 1970s  'Flandersmuch Autonomous Middenscholen' was set up, also in Oostende.  Athenaeum had hereafter a structure with two degrees. In 1995, the fusion with Royal Athenaeum III, formerly followed by Royal Lyceum. In 2005, ‘Middenschool 1’ returned to the campus, in a new building. During  the school year 2014 - 2015 Royal Rthenaeum and the Middenschool merged, as a result of which the school gets a structure with three degrees. This did not alter too much for the students  who stayed on the same campus. Students of the first degree are however prepared better to the flow into the second degree. At the end of March 2015  the Council of Governing Board for the group of schools decided to entirely restore the building.

The school is now truly a 21st educational establishment as well as a treasured monument for the town. The building's design between 1899-1900 is mainly down to the plans of architect Joseph Caluwaers and the Oostendse architect Achile-Emille Raoux. The building is also on the list of heritage sites in Oostende.

MIDDELKERK 

Town: Épernay 

Reigion: Grand Est, Marne

Country: France

Épernay  is a commune in the Marne department in northern France. Épernay is located some 130 km north-east of Paris on the main line of the Eastern railway to Strasbourg. The town sits on the left bank of the Marne at the extremity of the Cubry valley which crosses it.

Épernay (Sparnacum) belonged to the archbishops of Reims from the 5th until the 10th century, when it came into the possession of the counts of Champagne. It was badly damaged during the Hundred Years' War, and was burned by Francis I in 1544. It resisted Henry of Navarre in 1592, and Marshal Biron fell in the attack which preceded its eventual capture. In 1642 it was, along with Château-Thierry, named as a duchy and assigned to the duc de Bouillon.

In the central and oldest quarter of the town, the streets are narrow and irregular; the surrounding suburbs, however, are modern and more spacious, with La Folie to the East, for example, containing many villas belonging to rich wine merchants. The town has also spread to the right bank of the Marne.

One of its churches retains a portal and stained-glass windows from the sixteenth century, but the other public buildings are of modern construction. The most famous street in Épernay is the Avenue de Champagne which features the leading Champagne manufacturers.

EPERNAY

Town: Clevedon

Region: North Somerset, England

Country: UK

School website:

 https://www.clevedonschool.org.uk/

The Town:

Clevedon is a town and civil parish in the unitary authority of North Somerset, which covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset, England. It has a population of 21,281 according to the United Kingdom Census 2011.[1] It lies among a group of small hills, including Church Hill, Wain's Hill (topped by the remains of an Iron Age hill fort), Dial Hill, Strawberry Hill, Castle Hill, Hangstone Hill and Court Hill which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest along the Severn estuary. Clevedon was mentioned in the Domesday Book but grew in the Victorian era as a seaside resort.

The seafront has ornamental gardens, a Victorian bandstand and other attractions. Salthouse Field has a light railway running round the perimeter and is used for donkey rides in the summer. The shore consists of pebbled beaches and low rocky cliffs, with an old harbour at the western edge of the town, at the mouth of the Land Yeo. The rocky beach has been designated as the Clevedon Shore Geological Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Clevedon Pier, which opened in 1869, is one of the earliest surviving examples of a Victorian pier. On 17 October 1970, two outward spans collapsed when the seventh set of legs from the shore failed during a routine insurance load test. A trust was eventually formed and the pier and its buildings were restored and reopened on 27 May 1989, when the Waverley paddle steamer berthed and took on passengers. Other landmarks include Walton CastleClevedon Court the Clock Tower and the Curzon Cinema.

Clevedon's light industry is located mainly in industrial estates, including Hither Green Trading Estate near the M5 motorway junction. It is a dormitory town for Bristol. The town is home to educational, religious and cultural buildings and sports clubs.

 

School Background:

Situated in the Swiss Valley area of Clevedon, North Somerset, the 'Outstanding' academy caters for 1200 children aged 11 – 18 years, as part of the Clevedon Learning Trust.

Clevedon School,  believe all our students have the potential to achieve anything they aim for in life. Providing a stimulating curriculum experience, and a culture of aspiration and ambition by developing leadership of self, others and the wider community. Every member of the community is encouraged to 'belong' through a sense of contribution, responsibility, ownership and confidence which is seen in the pride students have for their school.

The school has a reputation for student-focused and clearly targeted learning initiatives. Encouraging robust, independent thinking and facilitating students to understand how they think and learn best.

Clevedon understand that it is not solely academic achievements that develop young people and prepares them for their future. The school offer a wide range of opportunities for students to develop themselves, their skills and abilities. An extensive extra-curricular programme offers something for everyone, from sport and dance to the media team covering all school events, to arts and crafts.

CLEVEDON 

Town: Ettlingen

Region: Baden-Württemberg

Country: Germany

school website: 

http://www.amgettlingen.de/

Erasmus+ school link: 

https://amgettlingen.de/lernen-am-amg/erasmusplus/

The Town:

Ettlingen is a town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south of the city of Karlsruhe and approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the border with Lauterbourg, in France's Bas-Rhin department. Ettlingen is the second largest town in the district of Karlsruhe, after Bruchsal.

Ettlingen is situated at the northern edge of the Black Forest on the Upper Rhine Plain. The Alb River arises in the hills of the Black Forest and flows through Ettlingen before emptying into the Rhine at Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, making Ettlingen a central feature of the Albtal, the Alb Valley. Central Ettlingen and its largest constituent communities (Bruchhausen, Ettlingenweier, Oberweier) lie on the plain itself, but some of the villages (Spessart, Schöllbronn, and Schluttenbach) are nestled among the northernmost foothills of the Black Forest.

Ettlingen was an important crossroads during Roman times, when the region was part of the province of Germania Superior. This is demonstrated by the many artifacts found in the area, including the "Neptune Stone," which commemorates a flood of the Rhine, and the remains of a Roman bath excavated beneath St. Martin's Church. The town was first mentioned in 788 as "Ediningom" in a deed of donation belonging to Weissenburg Abbey in Alsace (now in France).

In 1966, Ettlingen passed the 20,000 population mark and raised to the status of Große Kreisstadt by the state government of Baden-Württemberg. During the communal reforms of the early 1970s, several smaller communities were incorporated into Ettlingen, raising the population to over 30,000. Ettlingen's renowned open-air theater series, the Schlossfestspiele first took the stage in the Baroque inner courtyard of Ettlingen Palace in 1979.

School Background:

The Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium is a secondary school with around 750 students, 85 teachers and 2 social workers. It is located about 10km south of the city of Karlsruhe. The school profile focuses on both natural sciences and modern languages. The school is very well equipped with three different computer rooms, several labs, a beach voleyball field, a a gymnasium, digital presenters, video projectors and pin boards in all classrooms, a cafeteria, care facilities and activities for pupils wishing to stay at school after class. Our students are active in the community by participating in several communal events.

Since 2008/09 the school has been involved and expanded multiple partnerships in the business filed on a local level, for example, with the IHK Karlsruhe or DM Dorgeriemarkt. Students of different grades regularly work on projects in the entrepreneurial sector and have contacts with local banks and further institutions. As a matter of fact, the students have to complete a week of placement in the professional field in grade 10 and one week in a social (governmental or nongovernmental) institution when attending grade 9.

The Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium has already participated in four Comenius projects in the past and is currently taking part in an Erasmus+ Key Action 1 and Key Action 2 projects. 

ETTLINGEN