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Ouverture pédagogique internationale
Start date: Jul 1, 2016, End date: Jun 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Emile Combes high-school is located in a rural environment and as such it needs to increase its international network in order to benefit both the students for their curriculum and the teachers, who must re-invent and learn new teaching techniques. Promoting the diversity of learning styles through developing and perpetuating contacts abroad has become a key priority for the school since some teachers have been attending KA1-type courses. This year, some teachers want to stress the need to learn new innovative teaching skills and are willing to communicate and share with their fellow teachers about their training. Two teachers will train for Physical Education (among them one for « non-linguistic subject »). An English teacher wants to learn about teaching English literature. A technology teacher is also interested in a course about sciences and technology as « non-linguistic subjects ». These four teachers will attend organized courses, follow some job-shadowing or visit a literary festival. Another English teacher is planning some job-shadowing and collaborative teaching with a Belgium colleague she has already worked with on other projects. Three out of these five teachers are already well involved in the international project of the school and want to extend and share their experience with European fellow teachers. The other two teachers have little experience in that field but look forward getting involved in such programmes. Yet, the Vocational Teaching Department will not be left aside even though it is less involved in the school’s international scheme. This lack of involvement, which was pointed out in the latest school’s audit report, can be tackled if we manage to create opportunities for vocational students and their teachers. Teaching foreign languages is not enough. Other subjects should be included in such a project. There is an institutional solution, and this solution is the teaching of « non-linguistic subjects ». Launching such a course for vocational students could trigger a real international dynamism within the vocational department of our school. A teacher is ready to rise to the challenge. And she has the full support of the « international team » who is working for the comprehensive side of the school. Some preparatory work has already been carried out to target the subjects that would be the most likely to be taught as « non-linguistic subjects » or the teachers the most likely to train for this. Biotechnology is the best choice as all vocational students follow such a course and also because the teacher is actually very much interested in extending her teaching skills. On both short and long term perspectives, the goals are to train a teacher to launch a new « non-linguistic subject », following a thorough training schedule : refreshing in English, acquiring computer and digital skills in English, learning the specifics of a « non-linguistic subject ». This teacher should be able to pass the exam in spring 2017. This training should prepare her for teaching biotechnology in English but also for looking for European partners for future projects. The school should start the administrative procedure this year (2016-2017) so that the new class starts in September 2017. Through all these mobilities, teachers will try to expand the school’s European network. The variety of contacts enable us to set up realistic and efficient collaborative partnerships, either among teachers (group work, job shadowing, sharing teaching experiences), or with students (KA2, students’ exchanges either in groups or individually). The number of partnerships should keep increasing in the near future. These training courses should have a direct impact on the school with the development of more efficient and innovative teaching skills. All the teachers involved in that « project » are all teaching final year students. Fortunately, students’ results for the final exams and high-school diploma should improve. We also hope that students will choose options teachers have chosen to train for (« non-linguistic subjects » such as Physical Education, Technology or Biotechnology, and English literature). We also expect a significant impact regarding students’ and teachers’ opportunities to get in touch with partners on a European and global scale. International projects dealing with specific and clear topics should be more numerous and of higher quality in our school. As for teaching staff, we expect teachers launching « non-linguistic subject » classes to set up an exemple to their colleagues, encouraging them to take the plunge, forget about any language barrier and get involved in the « international project ». Eventually, we hope to rise to the challenge of our project : each student (whether comprehensive or vocational students) of our school shall be involved in at least one international activity during his time in our school. We’re getting closer to it, step by step, but it’s still a long way to go
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