The coordinator teams
The task of the coordinator-teams is to keep the countries connected and to give main bases for working together and planning the projects. They consist of representatives of all the students and teachers participating from each school.
Montélimar is located in the southern part of The “Rhône-Alpes” region, which means it does not benefit from the multicultural influence of the university centres of Grenoble and Lyon. However, economic activity is highly developed around Montélimar, along the river Rhône; this means economic development, management of technical risks –with its nuclear plant in Cruas- and preservation of natural areas (Natura 2000) have to be juggled..
Alain Borne sixth-form college is located at the town-centre of Montélimar ; it welcomes students living in Montélimar as well as students from sixty surrounding villages , mainly located in rural areas and spreading on eight hundred square kilometres. About 1300 students attend our school.
Our school has trained new teachers in different departments for several years, which means we are developing new teaching methods. It is also involved in an English immersion class for sciences .Besides, we have a “Club Citoyen” where students launch campaigns at school to help other students become aware of what being a European citizen means. This year, several teachers have set up a transversal project -involving geography, economics and science teachers- related to climate change , to help students understand what was at stake at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015. From 2009 to 2011, we led a Comenius project “Sustainable Management of One’s Territory: a step toward European eco-friendly citizenship.”This project involved sciences, geography, history,modern languages and art. For the new project, the actions will be led by the teachers involved in the Comenius project as well as well as by other teachers who were interested in the results of the Comenius.
Some teachers of our school followed a vocational training concerning “flipped classroom” and they are enthusiastic trying this new methods.
The Ostendorf-Gymnasium is a school of secondary education.
Our students are between 10 and 18 years old. We have about 800 students in our school. The school is located in the mid-west of Germany near Dortmund or Paderborn.
The school provides general education in a local area and is in competition with three schools of the same kind. Since August 2009 the school has been awarded the title of “Europaschule”, which shows its commitment to the European idea. There are some pupils with specific needs like pupils at risk of social exclusion, migrants and refugees. Integration is one of the basic aims of our school, due to the fact that we are facing an increasing number of refugees in 2015. From this it follows that language skills are getting more and more important even in daily school-life. Furthermore, inclusion of pupils with special needs is an important and growing topic at our school. All these pupils are supported by special staff – e.g. social worker, external teachers, language teachers , students and parents supporting social integration.
The school has bilingual classes which could be helpful for the other schools to foster language skills (exchange of teaching methods , job shadowing).
Throughout our school’s history, natural sciences have always been a subject of significant importance. Starting with Hermann Müller, a teacher for biology and friend of Charles Darwin, who prepared the basis for our school’s reputation in the field. Nevertheless, the interest of todays students in the natural sciences is (slowly) decreasing, a phenomena which can be observed in Germany as well as in other European countries.
That is reason why we introduced the “Science fair”-project for students in Year 8 (students’ age: 13-14) several years ago and furthermore a group of students that cooperates regularly with the Natural Science Musuem of the University of Münster.
In addition, there is also an optional course dealing with the development of science. The students learn how scientists developed and discoverd natural scientific laws in the course of time and within their historical context.
In addition, we also propose a course for senior students (age 16-17) to participate in a youth science competition (‘Jugend forscht’) but still the students’ enthusiasm could be improved. As our practice leads not to the result expected we like to get other examples for teaching methods which could be helpful to reach our aim that more students are interested in sciences.
Il Pontormo is a school of general secondary education situated in Central Italy, between Florence and Pisa, in an area which is economically developed, but with an increasing percentage of pupils with special needs and a certain number of migrants from non-European countries, who are still integrating.
The school has about 1400 students aged 14-19 and it is composed of two main branches: one (of about 1000 pupils) which is vocated to scientific subjects (science, mathematics, physics, information technology), the other (of about 400 pupils) which is vocated to social studies (psychology, pedagogics, economics). The school also gives the students the possibility to add the learning of French and German language to their curriculum, together with the traditional learning of English.
Within the Scientific branch, five years ago the school opened a new curriculum called „Applied Sciences“, with additional classes of science and information technology, to which several students enrolled, reaching now the number of about 250. Notwithistanding the initial interest of the students in scientific subjects, and the need of a scientific and technological education in the area, quite a few students seem to lose their interest during the years and some of them have difficulties reaching the expected results, so that they have to do additional studying to pass to the following year in September, and sometimes they even decide to leave the school. That is why the school is trying to develop a teaching methodology for scientific subjects which is more motivating and inclusive.
Throughout our school’s history, teachers have been engaged in projects with the laboratories and museums of the area (Leonardo da Vinci museum, Museum of Paleontology in Empoli, Galileo Galilei Museum in Florence etc.), but recently some teachers have started a work-group aimed at developing alternative teaching methods and materials in specific subjects like physics which can be more motivating, involving and inclusive, while another work group is engaged in planning and designing experimental learning paths aimed at the attainment of transversal skills.
There are a few teachers who have been recently involved in CLIL teaching methodologies and several teachers that have participated in international projects.
Projects for students with special needs have been going on for some years.
The key persons involved in this project are part of the above-mentioned work-group reasearching on teaching methodologies, they have experiences of research in different scientific fields, creative use of ICT technologies, language competences of various levels, educational experiences with teenagers living in a disadvantaged context, communicative and group-work skills.
Uden is a small town in an agrarian countryside, although most people work in industries and services. The region of Noord-Brabant is the front runner in high-tech-industry in the Netherlands. Generally the level of schooling is quite high and the region has a low unemployment rate.
Udens College offers all sorts of secondary education, theoretical as well as vocational (VWO, HAVO, VMBO). We have 1520 students in the VMBO-sector. In the sector there are 100 pupils with specific needs.
Udens College has a long history in international activities and in integrating the European dimension in school curriculum. The school is one of 37 ELOS-schools (Europe as a learning Environment in Schools) in the Netherlands, promoting European citizenship.
Taking part in this project is a sign of the further implementation of international activities in the VMBO-sector.We have a special science-class for our students. This class works with science themes and has a specific teaching method. The students have to work together on a theme. Now at the moment we are integrating new teaching methods in the curriculum. More ICT and bring your own device (BYOD) stimulate students for more independent learning and teachers for more changes in differentiation. We organize various activities to increase interest in technology among girls (Girls day, visit companies, speed dating with woman working in technology companies). We have partnership called ‘Toptechniek’. In this program education, business and government work together with the aim of educating sufficiently skilled technical VMBO and MBO skilled workers now and in the future. Top technology in business chooses a practical approach with attention to the power of regions. Science and Technology Platform facilitates the implementation of regional plans. (www.toptechniekinbedrijf.nl)
Almunge school is a small school situated in the countryside near the city of Uppsala in the mid-east of Sweden. We have about 400 students from the age of 6-16 years old. Language studies, mathematics and natural science are important parts of the education. The students learn English from the age of 7. Furthermore they can choose between German, Spanish and French from the age of 11. To improve the language skills of our students even more we have developed a student exchange project with a school in Belgium for the senior students (age 14-16).
We also provide computer classes, sports and esthetic subjects every week in addition to the regular curriculum.
There are quite a few students with special needs at the school as well as students placed in foster homes. A small percentage of the parents have got a university education. Inclusion of students with special needs and integration of immigrants are important issues for us. This semester we have started two new classes, a language class for students with difficulties in speaking, reading and writing and also an immigrant class for students who recently arrived in Sweden. The district has been facing an increasing number of immigrants during the autumn of 2015 and Almunge school is one of the schools in the region who are helping in organizing classes for refugee students.
At Almunge school all teachers are very committed. We are sharing and developing new methods of teaching and we also use new material such as web based books and flipped classrooms. On Thursday afternoons we have pedagogic meetings where we discuss methods of teaching. Our science- and mathematic teachers have started to use ICT more to increase the students´ motivation of learning natural science and to improve the students´results. We have international networks and an exchange program with a Belgian school. This is an important part of the education as a large percentage of the students have never been abroad and have a very limited experience of other European countries. Since 2014 we have got four head teachers in charge of the pedagogical discussions. To support the students with special needs we have three remedial teachers, one for the age 6-9, one for the age 10-12 and one for the age 13-16.