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Competentiegerichte stages in London
Start date: Jul 1, 2014, End date: Jun 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

A. Number of students and profile: The project is planned for the school years 2014-15 and 2015-2016, each time for 10 students of Commercial, 5 of Aesthetic Body Care and 10 of Hairstyling. Commercial: this project and work experience prepares them for the labour market while also giving them the maturity required for possible higher education. Beauty Therapy: this specialisation year after secondary education on the one hand allows them to acquire more professional maturity in order to apply for a job or to start a business of their own. Others will opt for further education. For those as well, this project will prove of extra value. Hairstyling: this work experience will allow them to become proficient in their job in the course of 1 year. In this training, the main emphasis is on salon management, offering them the stock-in-trade to start up their own business. These students usually have a learning disorder, or have a limited ability to solve problems of a theoretical nature. However, they are clever with their hands and often turn out to be talented in the exercise of their profession. Their London work experience will enable them to enhance their skills even more. Hardly any of these students can afford an internship like that. That is why we apply for this support for them. The opportunity of a work experience abroad is treated as an essential part in the planning of this training. They will be able to obtain a reference which will undoubtedly be an asset when applying for a suitable job. The ability to do things independently, together with other essential skills and attitudes like showing respect and appreciation, admitting oneself to be in the wrong or unable to do something, accepting criticism and learning from it, communicating in an acceptable way: these are values which will last throughout their further career. Communicating in a foreign language will definitely be quite a challenge for these technical and vocational students, but it will also prove to be an important asset. B. The Project Background This project is a continuation of previous Leonardo Da Vinci projects. We have already been to London the last 3 years. A lot of energy has been put into this project, both by the school and the hosting partners. This project has continuously been refined , so that we have now attained the level where we can actually enjoy the benefits of our intense contacts. Therefore we would very much like to continue this project for another 2 years before looking out for a different destination. C. Activities 1. Preliminary phase and selection of the candidates - the students have to draw up a portfolio in which they introduce themselves and motivate why they want to participate in the project. -Interview in Dutch and English. Based on this interview and the portfolio, the participants are selected. - a 3-day team-building activity - 2 info moments for students and parents , partly prepared by the students - Final selection: after the team-building period and info with the parents, the definitive selection is made 2. The actual internship: The students will do a 3-week internship during the periods March-April of 2015 and 2016. Accompanied by 3 teachers, they depart together on the Eurostar. They stay in serviced apartments. These are apartments with one or two bedrooms and their own kitchen, which improves their ability to be self-sufficient. They are expected at their trainee posts 5 days a week. They have to get there by Tube. The teachers are there to help them with their problems, but also to evaluate them during their internship. Each students is evaluated by the trainee supervisor at the trainee post and by the supervising teachers. 3. Discussion and evaluation After their London work experience, each student has to fill in their evaluation in the Ecas System. In addition, there is a more detailed evaluation by both students and supervising teachers. Another assignment for the students is to inform and enthuse the new batch, their ‘successors’, for a work experience abroad. D. Project results: the project plays an important part in the promotion of the different courses offered by our school. It is quite uncommon for students from technical and vocational directions to do a London work experience. Therefore this meets with a lot of response in our town and neighbouring municipalities through the local press and their own trainee posts. Even schools from different school communities like to ask for our expert advice in this field. We look forward to being allowed to set up our project ‘competence-directed internships in London’ for the next 2 years and we hope to be granted the necessary subsidy to do so.
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