Bertha von Suttner School IGS, Germany
The Bertha von Suttner School IGS is an inclusive secondary school of 1200 students. It is situated in Kaiserslautern, an area of economic disadvantage. The school supports students from difficult social backgrounds, who face a number of barriers to accessing learning and fulfilling their aspirations. The school community includes students with special needs, and prides itself on being an inclusive school. About 10% of all students are faced with different types of special needs. 30% of students are from minority ethnic communities or with a migration background, with many languages being spoken (often with German not being spoken at home). In the course of this challenging situation, the school takes part in a project called ‘Starke Schule-Schule stärken’ to improve the prospects of their students.
There is a special music and sports profile from the first year, for which students are chosen based on aptitude. Bertha von Suttner is an optional all-day school with lessons from 8.00am to 1.00pm, and homework time and extra-curricular activities until 3.55pm. There are efforts to improve the technical equipment and the use of digital media through the purchase of interactive whiteboards and the implementation of an online learning platform in April 2021. Blackboards and a not adequate number of overhead projectors forms the basis of the school’s standard equipment at the moment. Data projectors and one of the three computer rooms can be booked. Most of the teachers use their own private technical equipment for teaching. In contrast, there is a rich (compared to other schools) set of music equipment for use with the ‘BandKlasse’ project, that allows creative work in the field of music-practice.
As a result of the activities offered during the afternoon, the school is experienced in working with extra-curricular partners.
Kodolányi János Gimnázium, Hungary
Kodolányi János Gimnázium (KJG) is a secondary grammar school with 54 teachers and 644 students in Székesfehérvár, Hungary. Education in KJG covers four programmes: secondary education with eight years of study; general secondary education with four years of study; classes specialised in sports with four years of study; and classes specialised in English with five years of study. The students in these classes participate in special schemes during their studies.
The members of staff have expertise of working in an international environment. KJG is an experienced partner in partnerships, however it seeks opportunities to learn new aspects of teaching and learning methodologies so that it can motivate its students with difficult social backgrounds to enhance their achievements and improve their skills, which can contribute to the development of their personality and their rapid integration into society. Staff at the school are also aware of the need to learn new techniques and methods to teach the ‘Z’ generation. They need to become acquainted with good practices across Europe to gain improved teaching skills and meet the new requirements of the 21st century.
KJG also has valuable practice in traditional and experimental teaching and learning methods. As for traditions, it applies the internationally well-known Kodály method in formal music teaching, which it is hoped will provide partners with understanding of this approach to teaching music. As far as experimental teaching methods is concerned, KJG has been open to new methods in teaching through the previous Comenius (2009-2011) and Erasmus+ (2015-2017) projects. Moreover, it is creating new methods for its own needs in the fields of non-formal and informal teaching and learning methods in English, music and other subjects, focusing on the development of the students’ skills.
The school has a variety of supporting partners from the fields of culture and education. In the ‘Innovate to Create II’ project, KJG has worked in partnership with Kodolányi János University in the field of teaching music.
IES Mossèn Alcover, Spain
IES Mossèn Alcover has an educational offer that covers from compulsory secondary education to higher education. Its educational offer includes:
1. ESO (compulsory secondary education).
2. Bachillerato (Baccalaureate), offering the four pathways of Humanities, Social, Sciences, Arts (in the visual arts and performing arts & music versions) and a late-afternoon programme.
3. Basic vocational training in administrative services, in addition to the oral hygiene module and nursing assistant studies.
4. In the framework of higher education, it offers the CFGS in Early Childhood Education and CFGS in Social Integration. In relation to European programmes, the centre started with a multilateral Comenius programme in which teachers received Comenius PAP scholarships, in addition to various scholarships to initiate contacts. This academic year – 20-21 – we have an ongoing K-229 programme.
Every day the Institute welcomes students of compulsory secondary education, from first to fourth courses; this includes ages 11-12 to 16-17. It also offers all the pathways of the baccalaureate: scientific, humanities, social sciences and artistic (arts & music and performing arts versions), which therefore includes students from 16-17 to 18-19. There is also an evening baccalaureate and vocational training offer: CFGS Early Childhood Education, CFGS Social Integration, in addition to the CFGS for Oral Hygiene, the CFGM for Nursing Assistants and the FPB for Administrative Services. These studies welcome students mostly aged between 18 and 21, but the average age in the FPB of Administrative Services is usually lower. Social profiles are very varied: from students from families with a good social position to students who are clearly at risk of social exclusion.
Almby skola, Sweden
Almby Skola is a compulsory school with about 1000 students from pre-school class to ninth grade. The school is situated in a middle-class area in Örebro, and most students live there, but the school also educates students from lower-class areas, which includes students from different social backgrounds. Almby Skola is one of 58 compulsory schools in Örebro, 44 of which are public.
Compulsory schools in Sweden often have a timetable from about 8.00am to 4.00pm. Almby Skola has a few hours each week where students can get help with their homework, either in the morning or in the afternoon, after their school day has ended.
In terms of equipment, Almby Skola has classrooms each equipped with a whiteboard and a projector. Also, within each subject there are textbooks for students to use. All teachers, as well as students, have a computer provided to them by the school.
Regent High School, United Kingdom
Regent High School is a co-educational comprehensive school with 1050 students and 120 staff (full-time equivalent). The school is based in Somers Town in the London Borough of Camden, at the heart of the King's Cross Knowledge Quarter and a founding member of Camden Spark. Regent High School offers students an inspiring and dynamic curriculum including GCSEs, A Levels and vocational equivalent programmes within a multi-award-winning state-of-the-art building that provides excellent facilities for teaching and learning.
The school has held Gold Artsmark status and offers students an exciting and diverse range of creative and cultural learning opportunities throughout their school life and was the first school to join the Knowledge Quarter. Our diverse school community speaks over 38 languages, with 83% of students speaking a language in addition to English at home. Many students at Regent High School face a number of complex barriers to being able to realise their full potential. This can affect their attainment, progression into higher education and into the world of work.
Somers Town sits in a political ward that ranks in the 5% most socio-economically deprived neighbourhoods nationally in terms of socio-economic disadvantage; life expectancy in Somers Town is some 18 years lower than wealthier families two miles away. Typically, 45% of our students are eligible for Free School Meals and 68% have Pupil Premium status, which aims to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers, which the school has been doing successfully in recent years. The economic poverty within the area directly affects our students as they may have few creative and cultural experiences outside of school. This has informed our commitment to providing an excellent creative and cultural education at the school and is a driving force behind our participation in this Erasmus+ project. We want to ensure that our students have access to the very best teaching, learning and extra-curricular experiences in music and English language, and that their socio-cultural capital is developed to enable them to access the universities and careers to which they aspire. We also want to be a leading school for pedagogy in cultural education subjects, which this project has enabled us to develop, meaning that we will be able to retain and recruit the very best teachers who will give our students the best education in this field.
14 Dimock, M. ‘Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins’. Washington, DC: Pew Research Centre, 2019. Visit this website. [Accessed 19 June 2021].