School Life News

School trip: Maltepe archaeological site

30 Novr 2022

Reading textbooks, making project and writing homework – these are only parts of the learning process. The BSS curriculum offers not only that but builds on it in various ways. One such way is offering our students the opportunity to really experience what they study in a non-school environment. This way, the students get hands-on experience and cement not only their knowledge, but also skills in a given field.

This practice led us and some of our students to a school trip, as a part of the current IPC topic, dealing with ancient civilizations. And when we say “ancient civilizations”, you probably think about the Aztecs, Rome, Egypt or Babylon. We surprised our students with something just as old and sophisticated, which however is close to nowadays Plovdiv - the archaeological site of Maltepe in the village of Manole.

We arrived there on a foggy and rainy Wednesday and were welcomed by the staff of the museum, built around the site. When we got out of the school bus, the grandeur of old immediately struck us. In the middle of the muddy field of the Thracian lowlands there was a huge mound with a seven-story-tall tower jutting out of it, like the sword of a giant, plunged in the ground. Built of stone, without mortar, the structure leaves one wondering, about the immense construction effort, which took place there two millennia ago. We could imagine the workers taking a break from chipping at the stone blocks with bronze tools, and huddling in the surrounding small huts at a day like this, when it was too muddy and wet for building.

What was the purpose of the building? Who were these people, who built it? What made them raise such a tower and abandon it shortly after? These are only a few of the questions, which still puzzle the historians nowadays. However, we learned that the people who lived at the site were great potters, since there are numerous artifacts made of clay, found at the site.

Naturally, the museum offers its visitors to work with clay and make their own pottery jars, vases and mugs. Our students participated in such a workshop and this way we got two birds with one stone: the students not only learned about the archaeological site, but also created items with their hands. This is a powerful learning technique, which is a part of a bigger picture. For a student to successfully learn something, they need to get through several phases: reading, listening, writing, making and speaking. Most of these usually happen during the classes. However, BSS improves on them and teach the students how to make projects and present them, which develops a plethora of other skills: teamwork, time management, ICT skills, public speaking and more. And now we are eagerly awaiting the projects and presentations, about this ancient civilization, who rose, thrived and then disappeared so close to our homes.

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