Description of our school, Context and Role in Comenius project
Description of organization/school:
The 1st Special Education Primary School of Korydallos is situated in a suburb of Pireas, the biggest port of Greece, in Athens.
We have 36 pupils (from 6 old to 14 years old) with Down syndrome, disorders in Autisme Spectrum, mild and severe mental disabilities, learning difficulties and pupils with epilepsies. Our pupils are dived in 8 classes: 1 class in upper level, 3 classes in middle level and 3 classes in low level. They are all supported by a team of professionals: seven (8) special needs teachers, one (1) social worker, one (1) occupational therapist, one (1) physical education teacher, one (1) speech therapist, one (1) psychologist and two (3) assistants, who are responsible for the personal care and the hygiene of the pupils. All the professionals work at school full time, except for the psychologist who visits us three days a week. Each pupil follows a personalized educational programme, based on his abilities and needs, made by the multidisciplinary team of the school.
General and specific social context (of pupils):
Our pupils come from different socioeconomic backgrounds (they are mostly of middle and low socio-economic status). We have also some pupils who come from countries of Eastern Europe.
For we want our pupils to have real life experiences, close to “normal” people and even more to their peers, our school has run, six(6) educational programmes related to the environment, health and culture, the last 5 years, along with the colleagues and the pupils of the nearby 6th and 8th General Primary School. Our goal is to take our pupils out of the school, give them as many experiences as we can, experiences which are related to every day life, so as we make them capable and autonomous persons in the society, in which they are going to live. In some way, we try to apply the integration. All programmes are available on the website of the school, where parents, pupils and professionals can be informed about them.
The District Area Directorate of Primary Education and the Consultant of Special Education encourage these programmes and care for our attempt.
Role (of school community) in the project:
Our school community did not have, so far, the experience of joining in a European Programme, but till now we have run several educational programmes with success and we have the know how.
Our pupils are trained to take part in those and they feel eager, happy and excited every year we start a new one. We have the experience, not of the high level of a Comenius programme of course, but it is on the cooperation, the warm atmosphere and the positive point of view we were based to make them happen.
If our school is selected to participate in a Comenius programme, all the members of the school community will be implicated (pupils, teachers, parents’ association), as well as the local community and the local education authority. It will be a significant opportunity and challenge for all.
We strongly believe that we can make it together and offer to us and to all around us involved in it, but mostly to our pupils. Last but not least is the European dimension of the programme. It will be beyond any expectation to interact with other pupils and colleagues in a European level.
The role of contact person of our school, responsible for the Comenius programme, in the project, will be to be in close communication with the other partners and the coordinator of the partnership, to transfer the guidelines to his colleagues at school, to organise activities in common concerning how these will be more profitable for the pupils.
Text editor Mrs Oikonomou Theodora, Comenius teacher