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Europe United
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Östervåla School is located in the municipality of Heby, in the county of Uppsala. The school serves about 400 students, starting from preschool to grade 9. It employs c. 35 teachers. The school is divided into primary and secondary schools, each lead by its own headteacher. The secondary school also serves students from two other communities that are close by. Östervåla is a small community of c.3500 people. The economy has traditionally relied on agriculture and established craftsman trades and there always seem to have been enough employment opportunities for the local population. The general contentment with this lifestyle is likely the reason that the oppotunities in academic careers have never been considered to be as important. However, modern times are introducing new international flavours changing the nature of commerce and trades of our community. We urgently feel the need and responsibility to inspire and motivate our students to reach for higher academic goals. Furthermore we now have a growing body of students from various cultural background. Our school has a central role in integration. At this time we are particularly concentrated in improving the skills levels of our students in mathematics, foreign languages and ICT. We also aim to develop the social integration and opportunities of our students for studies and work abroad. Our teaching staff is highly experienced. As individual teachers we specialize in teaching specific age groups and therefore we feel that there is an urgent need to improve communication and co-operation within our own institution. We are planning to seek out new pedagogic and didactic ideas that will help us to broaden our vision and focus in the future. This will enable us to deliver the tools that our students need to confidently seek out and search the vast array of opportunities that lay ahead for them. Our aim is also to upgrade our pedagogic standards in order to meet the headline education target, Europe 2020. One of our main goals is to improve both oral and written language skills of our students in all programs. But also in order to improve and meet the educational goals set by the European Union we need to study and see how other European countries are handling various issues. What are they doing to support social integration? How do they arrange daily scheduling? What models are followed when forming study groups? How do they introduce second language learning? How different learning styles are observed and applied? How do they deal with special aids teaching and tutoring? How is the curriculum designed, applied and followed? Our next goal is to closely colloborate with other schools in different parts of Europe. This will improve the language skills of both our teachers and students and create a network of cultural exchange that could serve as a tremendous resource. It will improve acceptance and understanding in between various cultures and opens up opportunities to study and work in other European countries. At this time we are looking to send 15 of our teachers to take part in advanced learning in various European countries. We are planning to colloborate with English Matters and Eti Malta, which are established organisations that have done ground breaking work developing the European school system. Based on their research they now offer an advanced learning for educators, a program that relies heavily on correspondence and networking of colleges within various European countries. Also more advanced learning offered in ICT would be most beneficial as it would bring us up to date with advancements in digital technology. These courses are focused in teaching methods applied to mathematics and foreign languages. We need training and support so that we can maximize the help this technology can offer to us and our students. Our goals are: 1. Improve our teaching skills in mathematics and languages. 2. Discover new ideas and approaches to teaching, familiarize ourselves with new methods and study materials 3. Catch up with the latest IT technology and apply to our needs 4. Improve the overall academic level of our entire student body 5. Developing relationships and supporting network with other schools and teaching professionals 6. Support cultural integration: this will advance acceptance, tolerance och compassion within various cultures and further more open doors for all parties involved. 7. Motivate and inspire our students to seek higher education, not only in Sweden but in any European country. We are looking to colloborate and contribute. Our aim is to share all our knowledge and experience with our collegues and give the best we can offer. In return we hope to bring home the know-how that will provide us the best teaching tools available, prepare our students to opt for ambitious choices for their future and make our school an outstanding example in its field.
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