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Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Agrupamento de Escolas de Sernancelhe (Grouping of Schools of Sernancelhe) is situated in a rural area in the interior of Portugal. It comprises a main school with all levels of elementary education (grades 1 to 9) and it encompasses a total of 421 students and 43 teachers. About forty of these students have special educational needs and a significant number of students belong to different ethnic groups. It is a small grouping of schools in a region distant from city life and where cultural, social and professional opportunities are rare. Because of these constraints, and in association with the country's social and economic situation, families and students have poor prospects in relation to school and, in some cases, completely underestimate the value of the education it provides. The teaching staff hasn’t been stable, which made it impossible to implement long term educational strategies. Although the need for teacher education involving European contact has been diagnosed, the constant staff rotation which has characterized this school hasn’t allowed, until this moment, for the implementation of a project of this dimension. Teachers need to broaden their experience; they have been limited to the district’s borders and have access only to the courses offered by the teacher training centre of the region and by the publishing companies of the students’ books used in the school. With this project we intend, for the first time in this school, to give teachers the opportunity to undertake a mobility period in order to develop knowledge. In a Europe of globalization, the contact with other European colleagues is crucial, enabling the improvement and the innovation of teaching practices, as well as the renovation and development of knowledge, ideas and experiences. To take our school and the good things about it abroad is also one of our goals. The course programme of this project foresees the selection of 16 mobilities within different scientific fields, being that the choices strategically fell among the areas of science, foreign languages, and modernization and innovation of teaching methodologies and practices. In relation to Science, the option was to acquire training for a sustainable educational practice, as well as for a more experimental teaching practice. The training of teachers who are now teaching specific areas, parallel to their initial training, in the Students' Vocational Courses was also taken into account. As for foreign languages, teachers are expected not only to develop specific skills, but also to improve organizational expertise in the teaching of a foreign language and to promote a multilingual environment among the school community. In what concerns methodology, our aim is to find answers for a more effective method of working with the differences and the particular characteristics of each student, working towards the inclusion and motivation of students towards school. An update in the methodologies and materials used in the curricular activities is also expected, specifically in what concerns the promotion of ICT resources in class. The training programme abroad will take place in five stages: preparation; mobility; dissemination of knowledge among colleagues; implementation /activities with students; promotion and assessment. At a later stage, national and European certification will be requested, being that part of this project’s aim is to contribute to European identity and citizenship. The results should have a significant impact on: the teachers, through the development of personal, professional and linguistic skills; the school, granting more dynamic curricular activities and foreseeing a multicultural and multilingual school; the community, involving families and institutions in the activities which will be carried out. In the long term better academic results and motivation to learn are expected, as well as the establishment of new partnerships and more exposure of the Agrupamento de Escolas de Sernancelhe. In a global manner this training programme perfectly suits the school’s Educational Project’s aims, whose motto is “Involve to Motivate”.More experienced and motivated teachers inspire students, keep them in school and certainly help improve their academic results, preparing them for new opportunities in a Europe which is more and more equal.

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