Comenius

 

»Developing strategies for effective and inclusive learning»

  1. Concrete aims and expected impact of the project.

The purpose of this proposed School Development Project is to enable teachers from participating schools to learn from the experiences, methodologies and achievements of colleagues across Europe in the development and promotion of strategies for effective and inclusive learning by their students.

Such strategies will involve a cross-curricular focus on aspects of:

a)    motivation of students

b)   effective use of teaching strategies for pupils with designated special educational needs

c)    the effective use of computer technology by employing innovative learning strategies within the classroom

d)   the education of gifted and talented students

e)    the education of minority and migrant groups within school

It is proposed that the teachers involved will write an action plan for the specific area of focus for the school. Monitoring and evaluation will be managed through the school’s established procedures of planning and review and the work will be developed within the normal curriculum framework and structure. Outcomes will be shared with colleagues on a regular, planned cycle of assessment and evaluation.

The impact of the project will become evident in various aspects of school life.

a)    Pupils and teachers will be able to experience and benefit from the development of new approaches and methods of teaching and learning.

b)   The school will have evidence of these different approaches being communicated to staff and this may then become part of the school’s normal practice and planning.

c)    The educational community will become aware of the developments and progress of the project by a variety of means :

  • local head teacher’s meetings
  • meetings with the local/regional education authority
  • meetings with school governors and parents
  • shared training opportunities with teachers from neighbouring schools
  • highlighting achievement by partner’s attendance at regional or national conferences that form part of the school’s normal development programme
  1. Planned Acivities

Planned activities centre on a range of jointly identified themes with a focus on special educational needs being targetted for the first year by all partners. In years 2 and 3, the partners will reach agreement on the selection of the appropriate areas of focus for those periods.

The work will involve a cross-curricular focus on aspects of:

  • motivation of students
  • effective use of teaching strategies for pupils with designated special educational needs
  • the effective use of computer technology by employing innovative learning strategies within the classroom
  • the education of gifted and talented students
  • the education of minority and migrant groups within school
  1. Intended end products
  • new & updated school policies
  • videotaped examples of teaching and learning from each partner
  • teachers with increased knowledge of aspects of inclusion
  • regular printed newsletter with examples of teaching/learning strategies
  • a project website to facilitate information exchange and to allow access to a wider audience about our ideas & innovative teaching approaches
  1. Evaluation of the progress of the project and its impact

Individual partners will hold the responsibility to identify evidence in the following areas of their school :

  • Evidence of the effect on the students

a)    improved knowledge

b)   improved attitudes & motivation

c)    social skills

d)   ICT skills

e)    Equal opportunities

  • Evidence of the effect on teachers

a)    Skills & teaching methods

b)   Exchange of pedagogical materials

c)    New active learning methods

d)   Comparing methods with partners

e)    Social skills – being a good host for a project meeting or conference

f)    ICT skills & use of ICT within European context

g)    Developing intercultural experiences

  • Evidence of effects on the school and on the community

a)    Identify what differences & improvements that have only made possible by the project

b)   project activities in classroom display and reports

c)    School policy – project on agenda of regular timetabled meetings

d)   Involvement of senior staff & head teacher/principal/inspector/director

e)    School policy statement

f)    School strategy plan

g)    Training of teachers

h)   Links with wider community – local schools & impact on other existing national/international links.

  • Evidence of good partnership within the project

a)    List of common objectives

b)   Project works within Comenius guidelines with activities linked to the work plan

c)    Partner schools identify good coordination by coordinator

d)   All partners have clear responsibility and identified tasks

e)    Regular communication

f)    Working meetings are well prepared and productive

Each partner will identify appropriate methods of evaluation – these may include : questionnaires, interviews, observations, group discussion with students & teachers, student reports, presentations to an outside audience, diaries & work records together with some external evaluation & opinion – possibly inspectors or consultants.

  1. Dissemination of results

A potential means of ensuring effective dissemination of the work will be the setting up of co-operative partnerships between teachers to share aims, working practices, joint activities and outcomes. This will be achieved by:

a)    Direct working opportunities with the partner teacher(s)

b)   Project conferences

c)    Joint In-service training opportunities

d)   Regular contribution to a joint web page for the project

e)    Publication of curriculum newsletter – the responsibility of this task will rotate around participating schools with an identified partner compiling, publishing and circulating the group newsletter.

f)    Publication and exchange of regular progress reports

g)    Student Forum to identify effective methods and styles of learning

h)   Head teachers study visit to consider education management issues for joint curriculum and training issues

  1. Specific measures

Specific measures within the project will include :

  • participation of students with special educational needs – this will be the focus for year 1
  • equal opportunities for the participation of female and male staff will ensured by operating an open, non-disvriminatory criteria of selection for involvement in project activities, visits and conferences.
  • Our project has inclusion as the centre piece of our proposals. Participants will observe their own anti-racism policies and avoid stereotyping. Visits will enable teachers to experience various aspects of the cultural heritage of their host country.
  • We propose to use a variety of means to persue our aims and share ideas. We will not rely only on new technology in order to avoid excluding schools that may be less technolodgically advanced.
  • Participating schools will share thier policies and practices of equal opportunies and how they facilitate the participation of disabled pupils and staff.
  1. Role of participating institutions

Partner schools will be given specific tasks within the project. It is the responsibility of the coordinating school to ensure that these tasks are manageable and achieveable within the agreed time limits of the project. These tasks will include :

a)    ensuring that partners adhere to agreed time frames and deadlines – coordinating school

b)   ensure that schools reach agreement on project planning and submission of renewal application & end of year evaluation reports – coordinating school

c)    production of 5 minute video about school’s current practice & curriculum – all partners

d)   production of video/cd-rom of all partners’ video contributions into a project introduction – designated school 1.

e)    Compilation and publication of examples of teaching methodology project handbook – designated school 2

f)    Setting up and maintaining project website – designated school 3

g)    Twice yearly illustrated project newsletter – designated schools on agreed rota basis.

h)   Arranging to host visits and project meetings – as agreed on annual schedule.

Guidelines on the organisation of project meetings.

Project meeting’s and head teacher study visits will last for a maximum of 1 week. In order to assist host schools with their planning, the following guidelines were suggested as a possible approach. Host schools will make their own decisions according to their personal circumstances and suggest the most efficient way to organise the week to meet the objectives of the agreed focus.  A typical structure might take this form :

Saturday – participants arrive                        Sunday – free day to explore locality.

Monday & Tuesday – days in school to follow project programme.

Wednesday – time to make visit to place of cultural/local/national interest Thursday – visits to other educational establishments in the vicinity

Friday – concluding meeting to agree future work. Some time for shopping Saturday – participants return to their own country.

  1. Use of information and communication technologies

Partners will use a variety of ICT strategies for both communication and development work. Thes may include :

  • collaborative website managed by 1 partner school
  • regular (at least monthly) e-mail communication with monthly updates together with less formal contact
  • use of an e-mail contact board to post problems, suggest solutions and celebrate success
  • use of fax to exchange documentation
  • use of video – exchange by film or cd-rom format
  • seek opportunities to explore potential of video conferencing and use of a web camera.

Comenius team – School Years 2005-07

  • Emmanouilidoy Marianthi
  • Georgiou Georgia
  • Katsapi Eyaggelia
  • Konstantinidoy Kiriakitsa
  • Mixailidis Dimitris
  • Ntagioukla Maria
  • Pechlivanidis Neofytos
  • Psychloudis  Konstantinos

– None of us have participated before in a Comenius project.
– We wish and hope the best about the project.
– We are excited with the project for the following reasons:

1. to have the opportunity to know teachers from other countries,
2. to develop and disseminate methods for educational exclusion and school failure,
3. to promote the integration of pupils with special educational needs
4.to change experiences
5.to promote the use of information and communication technology in school education 6.and in the training of staff working in this project.
7.to support the fight against racism and xenophobia.
8.to improve the education of children of migrant workers, gypsies and travellers

The meetings

  1. Nilsia (Φινλανδία), 12/02- 18/02/2005
  2. Χαλκηδόνα, 21/05- 27/05/2005
  3. Stanbridge Primary School, 5/11 — 11/11/2005
  4. Lillehammer -Νορβηγία, 13/05–21/05/2005
  5. Bucarest  – Ρουμανία ,04/11-10/11/06
  6. Monza  – Italia, 26/05-01/06/07

Photo gallery from Comenius project (2005 – 2007)


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