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Enhancing teaching and learning through effective use of teaching assistants and support staff
Start date: 01 Jul 2016, End date: 30 Jun 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Enhancing teaching and learning through effective use of teaching assistants and support staff" is an innovative project for schools in Romania, where it is not regular practice to work with support staff (if not special needs schools). Elf School has had some experience in this kind of cooperative work between teachers and teacher assistants in order to help each child achieve their potential, especially in literacy, mathematics, science and foreign languages. However, when we look at how other European schools make use of this way of working with teacher assistants, we realize that there is still room for improvement and - after consultation with our teaching staff - we decided to embark on a project that can help our school become an example in this filed in the local community.Having had a very long working partnership with the Bliss Charity School in the UK, through two previous Comenius partnerships and bilateral projects that we organized outside of Comenius projects, we agreed that we can work together in order to develop our schools' efficiency in enhancing the role of teaching assistants in our schools, for the benefit of our students' personal development and academic success.The main objectives of the project are to increase leadership in the classroom, to improve the teachers' abilities to better respond to individual learners' needs and deal with their social and cultural diversity, to empower teachers to develop new and innovative teaching methods and approaches to learning, to improve the skills and competences of the school's managers, to strenghten our school's links with European partners and develop the European dimension in our schools.A number of 10 primary teachers and teacher assistants will take part in relevant training courses (A1) and 2 members of the management will take part in a job shadowing visit (A2), in order to observe how the schools creates a framework for efficient cooperation between teachers and teacher assistants. All the participants will take part in preparatory activities before the courses and the job shadowing week, and will also commit themselves to organizing dissemination activities after the course, in order to cascade the results of the project within their school and the larger community.The impact and results of the project will be relevant for all the teachers in our school, but especially for the learners, who will benefit from the new teaching methods and cooperation between teachers, and will be offered the best opportunities for personal development and achieving academic success. New teachers will benefit from the mentoring activities carried out by the trained staff and the larger community will benefit from articles, seminars and workshops organized by Elf School in order to share new practices.As our school has been ahead of the national curriculum and its implementation in Romania - many features that Elf School offered learners from the inauguration of our school in 1995 have been introduced along the years in the national curriculum (such as ICT lessons, intensive foreign languages study, music education with specialist teachers), we hope that the results of this project will also be an inspiration to other schools and the norm in the Romanian educational system in the future years.
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