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Sotkamon lukion kansainvälisyysstrategian tekeminen ja opetuksen laadun kehittäminen
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context/background of the project Sotkamon lukio is an upper secondary school of about 300 students and 26 teachers situated in the rural area of eastern Finland. In addition to the national curriculum we offer our students the opportunity to study in the IB –programme arranged by Oulun Lyseon lukio. Several foreign students have chosen to study in this programme in which teaching is given in English. Approximately one third of our students specialize in sports. Their training is arranged by Ruka-Vuokatti Sports Academy. Our school does not have a current international strategy. The new curriculum (2016) and teaching methods emphasizing student-centered learning and the digitalization of teaching and evaluation will be the most challenging issues of our school in the next few years. Objectives of the project The objective of the project is to create a plan of international co-operation of the school and to improve the language skills and cultural knowledge of the teachers. We aim also at creating a many-sided learning environment for the students developing the use of teaching methods that activate them and help the students with special needs. Number and profile of the participants Ten teachers will participate in the project, five of them teach mathematics and science, two foreign languages, two social studies and one biology. All of them teach/have taught IBDP courses and have a good command of English. Four of them work in a regional group preparing the new curriculum and are members in a number of teacher networks. Description of the activities The objective of the two-year project is to increase international co-operation and exchange and to improve the quality of teaching when teachers avail themselves of the opportunity to develop their skills and obtain new pedagogical knowledge in teacher training courses arranged in other European countries. The courses included in the project will help to reach the objectives mentioned above. One of the teachers has an opportunity to take part in job shadowing in a Spanish school where she can familiarize in the local learning environment. Our school is planning to start a KA2 project with this school. Methodology to be usedbin carrying out the project A work group dealing with international issues will start in our school. It will create a strategy for international co-operation. It will also follow the project, discuss its objectives, progress and results and aims at adapting and integrating good practices in the school policy. During the two-year period there will be evaluation meetings where the progress of the project will be discussed. The other personnel of the school will be informed through various channels. Those who take part in international courses will share their knowledge and experiences in small groups consisting of their nearest colleague who teach the same subjects. All the participating teachers will join/have joined eTwinning network and they are encouraged to acquire the Europass. Results and impact of the project At the end of the project our school will have a well-planned international strategy, which will be updated when needed. The strategy will function as a guideline when the school is moving towards the objectives we have set for ourselves. The language skills of the teachers have improved, the use of English has become more fluent. Teaching methods are up-to-date, digital learning environments have become part of everyday school life. Our students are more active, they take initiative and are more responsible for their studies. Both teachers and students are interested in international contacts and they have sufficient knowledge and skills to act as European citizens in the global world. Longer term benefits Our school is a modern international learning environment where the staff are enthusiastic about their work and have good language skills. We use a great variety of modern student-centered methods, help students with special needs to reach their goals and make use of different learning environments. Digitalization has become an integral part of teaching and evaluation. Teachers have joined European teacher networks where they communicate with their colleagues with the help of social media. Teaching has become more international, which encourages students to participate in international co-operation and to pursue further studies abroad.

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