Visitors from a host of European countries were treated to a slice of Scottish culture – Buckhaven-style – when they came to Levenmouth last week.
The delegation, from a range of countries across the continent, spent a week in Scotland as part of a major two-year educational project looking at lifestyle choices.
Buckhaven High School is playing a key role in the venture, which is funded through the European Union’s Comenius programme and features schools in the other participating nations – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Turkey.
A group of pupils and staff arrived at Methilhaven Road last Monday, where they were welcomed by Fife’s Provost, Jim Leishman.
After some musical entertainment, they were off on a busy tour, taking in some significant venues around east, central and western Scotland.
Pupils and teachers from the involved countries, and their Levenmouth counterparts, have been looking at a broad variety of issues within the project, which is entitled ‘A Matter Of Choice.’
Important issues such as gambling, bullying, addiction, and more, have come under scutiny.
The young people have been assessing how to choose the best lifestyle options durng their years at school – and, just as importantly, if not more so – when they leave and progress into adulthood.
First-hand experience of the sights and cultures of the various nations have also helped the students form their decisions.
At Buckhaven, the venture is being co-ordinated by history and guidance teacher Cheryl Shiel, with assistance from English, modern studies and guidance teacher Michaela Sullivan.
Mrs Shiel said it had been very worthwhile, experiencing and learning about different cultures, and the Buckhaven pupils had made friends very swiftly with the other students.
Groups from Levenmouth had visited several of the countries so far and more visits were being arranged before the programme finished in May.
Turkey and, in particular, Romania, had made quite a vivid impression on the Buckhaven pupils, added Mrs Shiel.
Last week, Provost Leishman spoke to the guests about the determination and courage involved in making choices, while head teacher Grant Whytock told the teachers about the Scottish education system.
The visitors were entertained with music – including an on-the-spot vocal performance by S5 pupil Amber Sinclair-Case, after a scheduled piper had called off sick – before leaving for a tour of Dunfermline with the Provost.
The area’s MSP, David Torrance, also led the group on a tour of the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood, with a question and answer session, and said he was pleased to have the chance to talk to such a multi-national group.
The mixture of cultural activity and project work during the remainder of the visit included visits to the Castle and Royal Mile in Edinburgh, along with a photographic competition in St Andrews, plus a visit to Highland Games at Loch Lomond and a treasure hunt, concluding with a leaving party at Dunnikier House.
As well as a presentation of certificates, there was also a walk across the Forth Road Bridge and a trip to the Kelpies.