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De Bonneville à Londres : l'engagement vers une ouverture européenne
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Guillaume Fichet Secondary School has about 1000 students and offers a full range of courses, including a vocational section. It is located in the centre of Bonneville, Haute Savoie sub-prefecture, between Geneva and Mont Blanc. Our vocational section promotes equal opportunities and strives to prevent students from dropping out of school. We propose a 3-year professional pathway whose goal is to motivate and develop students' professional skills, and to reinforce a positive image of our school. Thus, we wish to continue sending our students to England in January, for a 4-week internship in London, with the goal that students will gain the following professional skills: - taking initiative - managing donations - managing the till and banking documents of a retail operation, in a foreign currency - following instructions - being punctual and reliable - adapting to a company's rules, and maintaining health and safety standards - working well independently and as part of a team - demonstrating commitment and enthusiasm - adapting to the constraints of the job - developing oral communication skills in a foreign language in order to greet customers, understand their needs, provide information or advice, and complete sales - maintaining the physical appearance of a store by keeping it tidy - developing problem-solving skills - discovering other new professional tasks It is hoped that students will also benefit from personal development in the following areas: - gaining self-esteem, confidence and independence - managing a personal budget and belongings (at arrival and departure) - developing the ability to communicate orally in a foreign language - adapting to immersion in a foreign country with different traditions - providing support to other students by helping them solve personal problems they may encounter during the internship programme - the ability to foresee future opportunities that may evolve from this experience - a desire to return to London of their own initiative at some future date - becoming a more responsible citizen Every year, nine students join the European section. For the most part, they come from underprivileged social backgrounds, and sixty percent of them experience poor academic standing. They are motivated, but some are introverted and lack self-confidence. During their training period in London, the students work in different shops and are supervised by internship tutors. Their main activities are: - welcoming and assisting customers - working at the till - displaying and restocking retail items (clothes, shoes, jewellery, accessories, books, homewares, etc.) - managing product stock levels - tidying product displays - preparing shop window displays - maintaining and cleaning the retail area - managing banking documents We have signed a partnership agreement with the shops involved which covers all of the above activities. Our students currently receive 2 extra hours of study per week, 1 hour of European English (improving linguistic skills) and 1 hour of professional English (learning professional vocabulary). These 2 hours of study strengthen the administrative, professional, cultural, educational and psychological preparation of the students for their internship in London, and their final exams. This project has a 5-fold impact: - Locally: The local papers will promote our project - Regionally: The documents we will send back to them, signed by our partners in London, will indicate that the Regional grant was well used. - Nationally: The BTEC national success rate, and the improvement of our school's ranking. - European: Proof that the European grant has been well used for our students' training and performance improvement. - Future Job Opportunities: Our students may have greater success obtaining job opportunities abroad because of their internship placement. Not only do our students become aware that they must strive harder to improve their skills during their school training in order to be successful during their internship in London, these new skills also act as a springboard to a new beginning in terms of increased academic and personal achievement. Because of this, we are increasingly focussed on international exchanges to promote the future success of our students. Finally, our teachers also appreciate the challenge and stimulation of developing and guiding the students in this programme. Our students in turn benefit further from the experiences, work and motivation of their teachers.
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