Améliorer la réussite scolaire dans plusieurs domaines d'action
Start date: 01 Aug 2014, End date: 31 Jul 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The two years spent on our European project have given us the opportunity to effect changes with respect to our practices as well as the strategic direction of the school. When setting out our application in 2014, we highlighted the school's extreme outlying location on Reunion Island. We wanted to overcome this isolation and energise the school through the adoption of an outward-looking international approach involving project-centred teaching.It was also our wish to work for the success of our pupils: to improve the success rate at 'brevet des collèges' exam (French lower secondary school leaving certificate), improve their foreign language skills and overcome the problem of early-school leaving. An important part of our project was devoted to the practise of sports as a factor in fostering inclusive education, motivation and the acquisistion of speaking skills in foreign languages. Lastly, welcoming a localised educational inclusion unit for special need students, we also directed our project for the benefit of cognitively impaired pupils. Our initial focus from the beginning of the 2014 Autumn term, and before undertaking any overseas training, was on foreign language competence. We thus initiated a CLIL programme for the teaching of history and geography through the medium of English in European Studies classes, as well as an introduction to foreign-language sports lessons taught in English and Spanish. We also set up a number of events to showcase foreign languages and cultural diversity. Through the impetus of the pupils themselves, classes in non-linguistic subjects conducted through the medium of English and Spanish as well as foreign-language celebrations have now become a permanent feature of our calendar. These changes were made possible thanks to Erasmus+overseas training programmes: thus our colleague who is qualified to teach CLIL history and geography classes in English could receive didactic training in these subjects in the United Kingdom. Similarly our colleagues in physical education were able to benefit from linguistic training in English and Spanish respectively. The impact on P.E classes conducted in foreign languages and on sports outings to the volcano and lagoon in a language immersion format was the subject of a detailed evaluation. The conclusions are extremely positive in terms of pupils' motivations to learn a foreign language but also in regard to school and pluridisciplinary cohesion. The findings can be consulted on the school's website. Also in the context of foreign languages, we organised three training courses in the United Kingdom for English teachers. These training programmes focused on enriching classroom practices as well as providing linguistic and cultural immersion necessary to teachers of these subjects at a time when curricular developments are underlining the importance of placing culture at the heart of the learning experience. These training periods spent in England and Scotland before, during and after the British E.U exit referendum also allowed for a better understanding of the reality of a theme in the modern languages curriculum entitled: 'Cultural idiosyncracy and sense of belonging'. the positive impact of this training can be seen in terms of results in classroom management, pupil progress and the creation of European partnerships. In addition, the area of our work corresponding to tackling early school leaving is exemplary of the development and success of our project. We adapted the work that we were doing in this regard and developed further training opportunities with a view to reinforcing progress made in terms of student retention within our school. Two education advisers attended three training courses with one on the management of learning-related stress leading to the setting-up of dedicate workshops in the school. they also benefited from a week of training in Finland during which confrontation with different practices, discovery of a new educational environment and reflexivity enabled them to initiate changes within our internal organisation and manage a recognised project in the area of early school leaving. Lastly, while cognitively impaired pupils are a minority in our school, we have made a priority of their care. The specialist teacher in charge of this class underwent training under the tutelage of professionals at the day hospital of Charleroi in Belgium. She has thus become the referent teacher in our school for the care of pupils with learning difficulties. She also undertook an English language course with a view to enabling pupils in 'educational inclusion' classes to also benefit from introductory foreign lanuage tuition and from greater awareness of other cultures. All in all this project afforded us the opportunity to develop our professional skills for the benefit of pupils. Our school now enjoys a new dimension to its international relations as well as an enhanced reach for the foreign languages that it teaches.

Coordinator