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Impact of the first comenius project


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Presentation made at the final forum in Dos Hermanas on May 13, 2013

Published in: Education
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Impact of the first comenius project

  1. 1. “IMPACT OF THE FIRST COMENIUS PROJECT AT SCHOOL” As it was felt by Ropaži Secondary School, Latvia
  2. 2. How was our school involved
  3. 3. • Quite accidentally I opened my desktop at etwinning and there was an invitation from Alvaro about the possibility to join a ready- made project. My first step was – consulting Mara (the Head of our school); then there were several phone calls to our local sports centre, to our sports teachers, and I had the green light to write to Spain. Why exactly did our Spanish colleagues decided to choose us – a small school in Latvia – we have to ask them.
  4. 4. Why did our school decide to participate in such kind of international projects? A dream of every school and ours especially.
  5. 5. • It has been a dream of our school to participate in Comenius projects for a long time. Twice we were quite close to doing it, but either one country quitted the team or other mischief
  6. 6. Expectations and doubts
  7. 7. • Whenever you start a new project or activity, you have some doubts and expectations. Expectations were the greatest – active students, responsible teachers, new experience connected with communication with foreign colleagues. At the same time these where the doubts: will the students understand the importance of such cooperation? Will our teachers be ready to improve their knowledge of foreign languages? How to involve parents and representatives of local authorities in our activities?
  8. 8. Impact at school: Has your school changed in some way during the process? Definitely, yes.
  9. 9. Staff motivation, involvement, language learning ,international orientation.
  10. 10. • One of the points – to involve as many of staff in the activities as possible. Partly this goal has been achieved through various tasks planned by the project. And this could be a very successful way to motivate colleagues to think over their possibilities how they could do something for the project or raise any idea. Thus I am grateful to some of my colleagues who advised me to base the tasks as much as possible on local facts, people, achievements. You may see the examples of materials about our local inhabitants who have taken part in paralympic events, even in paralympic games; about the previous athlete – Olympic medallist who works with the students in our village; our colleague who started teaching in the school only in September, but who is an active Paralympic triathlon athlete.
  11. 11. Syllabus and regular learning program. Does it suffer some modification or adaptation? Should it?
  12. 12. • One of the aims of this project – language improvement. We – the teachers of English- managed to join several tasks that were asked to do for the project with our regular program. F.ex., translating games; organising some activities in English (interviews, discussions, presentations). Some tasks were done together with the teachers of Latvian and also Russian, the tasks where students had to prepare interviews, strategies for the interviews, especially in smaller classes. If such merging is possible, then the involvement of students in the project work is almost 100 %. • Modification of syllabus was not felt, because our students are supposed to know how to present themselves, how to introduce rules of sport games, how to give instructions etc. Why not to do it on the bases of any project tasks?
  13. 13. Real benefits at school. Does Comenius(in general) provides some specific benefit for the students or the community?
  14. 14. • It is difficult to point out some specific benefits. If the work of the project is organised on a high level, any project may meet the needs of a school and community, so there can be benefits. Taking our project. Students had the possibility to visit other countries and to gain various information from peers not under the guidance of teachers. They could feel free in expressing themselves, in finding out issues essential for them. Working on project tasks, they were allowed to improvise while making videos, while organising activities. And we- teachers felt that it improved their self confidence, their self-esteem. And these qualities have to be improved in such small schools and communities as ours.
  15. 15. Does the Comenius Projects impact or get the students involved?
  16. 16. • I have already answered this question. Probably, the beginning of the project was not quite satisfactory, because we-teachers wanted to do everything. Fortunately, we have an excellent Head teacher who managed to direct our cooperative work properly.
  17. 17. It is easy or difficult to get the community involvement. Did you get it? How to get it for a beginner?
  18. 18. • The first year of the Project was rather complicated, because it was not clear for us how to involve parents, how to get a closer cooperation with local authorities. The second year proved that many things could be done easier if only we ask for help. F.ex., cooperation with other enterprises of our community was organised by PR people. Parents Board helped with some activities that were organised together with local organisations. That was partly because these people have children who are mainly our students.
  19. 19. What kind of products or outcomes are more profitable?
  20. 20. • We tried to take videos and photos of every activity we did. That can be useful only with some explanatory notes. At first we had two separate documentations: a description in a word format and a video of the activity or photo collection. But later we came to the conclusion that the information, f.ex., about a game can be filmed and the rules can be added as a comment. It doesn’t exclude a PDF or Word document. The final result can be used in any format that turns out to be more convenient.
  21. 21. How to bring the project work to the class and not just to the visits.
  22. 22. • I have already mentioned how teachers of languages have introduced the tasks in the class work. Besides, the material what our partners gave us at every meeting was shown at the English lessons; the teachers were acquainted with the booklets, brochures, f.ex., teachers of history, of geography. Sport teachers were given the material about different games. Students prepared and presented the games at sport lessons and other school activities.
  23. 23. Assessment and recommendations· Is it finally worth it?
  24. 24. • Of course, every day of this project was worth it. We are glad that the coordinators have been strict in their demands to do all the tasks. But what I enjoyed most was the way how each of the delegations had understood the home tasks. The approach was different but the result – the task done according to the demands. In this way everyone got an enormous experience.
  25. 25. Recommendations for a first project school. How to be successful?
  26. 26. • I would recommend to be active in the project work, to follow the tasks, do everything properly and in due time, learn from your colleagues. I would recommend to organise a strong project group that includes a certain amount of teachers and students.
  27. 27. What should a first project school avoid? • Coordinators at schools – trust your team
  28. 28. • I am sure that I did almost half of the organisation work. And this is my serious drawback. Coordinators at schools – trust your team. They are able to fulfil the tasks and produce the final result.
  29. 29. Why would you recommend joining this kind of projects?
  30. 30. • I think that now having heard my thoughts about our work in the project, there are no doubts that Comenius projects are important in any school’s social life.