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VITAL: Approaches to using visuals in teaching and learning
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Education in Europe is currently faced with adaptation to significant socio-demographic and economical changes especially in relation to events that are affecting many European countries such as the higher intake of the migrants and refugees. In order to develop cohesively and inclusively, education and training needs to develop plans and strategies that will allow citizens to play an active role in democratic life. Therefore, the role of educators plays an important part in breaking down barriers to learning and prevent violent radicalisation by promoting common European values, fostering social integration, enhancing intercultural understanding and a sense of belonging to a community, hence supporting integration of all learners no matter their background and personal situation. Schools, in particular are faced with a language challenge not only coming from new migrant intake but also from poor communication skills by pupils who may come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are therefore twice as likely to leave school early than those pupils who come from wealthy backgrounds.In response to the increased importance being placed on developing innovative ways to ensure that all children can communicate and express themselves, this project aims to develop innovative ways to use visual literacy in teaching in early years and progressing through primary education. There is a clear understanding of visual literacy as part or a comprehensive communication education (at all levels), therefore, our project primarily aims: * to address the challenge to increase key competences for children in order for them to fully participate in and contribute to society, by developing a robust and tangible methodology that employs methods to support development of basic skills through the use of visual communication/literacy techniques * to equip teaching and non-teaching staff with a range of skills, key principles and relevant methodologies to integrate and support communication through the use of visual literacy techniques and tools* to develop a set of training materials and best practice teaching activities which will support a wide range of settings across Europe and support integration of those coming form disadvantaged backgrounds.The project ultimately aims to develop applicable and teachable skills and materials which build on sound principles of visual communication and literacy. Specifically it focuses on the use of storytelling, digital narratives techniques, use of art and media and the outdoor to develop creative strategies for integrating all children especially those coming from a disadvantaged background .The project is to be carried out by a mixture of schools, pre-schools centres, association and a training provider all of which are based in 4 countries who have a key role in Europe especially in relation to the migrant and refugee situation for both incoming and outgoing migration. This collaboration will also ensure that the project results can be adapted and used by other organizations in Europe as they build on a European focus. Through a strong collaborative approach, we envisage a number of concrete outputs:O1 Good practice survey: collection of examples of effective activities for the classroomO2: Publication of good practice activities O3: Teaching and Leaning activities: 5 activities by each partner O4: Project website with downloadable training materials and project pedagogical results O6: Compilation of Pupils work O7: Training course outline for replication and sustainability of project results O8: Project DVD C1 Staff Training: Text and Images C2 Staff training: Story telling techniques C3 Staff training: Use of comic and film making C4: Staff training: The world around us: sounds and colours in the outdoors E1/2/3/4 Project launch to the public (UK, Spain, Italy, Poland)Key benefits of the project are:• Enhanced teaching and learning to address specific local targets• Enhanced teachers confidence in the use of the new and specific teaching methodology and cultural understanding• Enhanced teaching and learning of digital competencies to address teachers own skills and performance• Internationalisation of teaching and learning through collaboration, observation and evaluation of models in other countries • Development of a strong EU focus to the organisations teaching and learning• the EU dimension embedded in the culture of each organisation and increased involvement in European activitiesThe project addresses an audience of around 5000 ( staff and pupils). Key audiences are teachers, trainers, advisors, policy makers who will ensure that the results are integrated within a wider context. The project outputs aims to support changes directly into the wider educational community as they will remain available to the public after the life of the project.
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