The Anti Xenophobia project for children of  European (primary) schools.

“A child friendly European project about an important issue!”

PAXEP

Dutch agency: Europees Platform.

Coordinating school:

O.B.S. Het Palet, Patrijsstraat 2, 4043MR Opheusden, Netherlands. Tel. 0031488441451, Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken., www.paletopheusden.nl

Director: Diana Brouwer.

Coordinator: Anton Verwey, 0031345684247, mobile 0031613698777, Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

Partners:

St. Cronan’s Boys National school in Bray.

Gozo Sannat Primary school and special unit on Gozo – Malta.

Volksschule In Plancheros Austria.

Gozo Collegge Qala Primary school on Gozo Malta.

 

“Cooperating”  Partners:

Základní škola, Praha 9 - Horní Počernice,  Czech Republic.

E. Vilde general secondary school in Juuru Estonia.

Kath. Grundschule in Marienbaum, Xanten Germany.

Sauvo primary school in Sauvo Finland.

The Dutch school:

Our school is quite small but is an important place in a rural area. Our school is deemed a 'Vreedzame school' (peaceful school).

Our  'Vreedzame school' prepares children for a diverse modern society. We want to start a project that promotes anti-xenophobia on a child friendly way.  We will use our experiences and work together with other European primary schools and share results.

 

Summary

Visitors will be guests; guests will become friends: the Anti Xenophobia Project for children of European (primary) schools:  AXPEP.

What is the item?

We wish to find ways to teach primary school children that there is no need to be afraid of people from other countries; you can be friendly with these interesting guests and learn a lot.

The subjects

This project for Primary school children will equip them with skills to challenge xenophobia in a child friendly and motivating way. The project will utilize subjects that are expression rich, including art, music, drama, writing, design. The children will develop a story….with a happy ending that promotes positive images.

 

A project for children, teachers, and parents.

Children across Europe will work from the same story beginning. They will be able to compare and contrast how children in other countries have developed their stories.  Teachers will meet their European colleagues to exchange ideas, plan, support and talk about their experiences and learning outcomes.  Parents will see what their children have produced or see performances…… and what is more they will see what children from other European countries have done with the same story!

 

The idea behind it…

The idea is simple and straightforward to develop: Every participating school will get the same story beginning they will grow the story from that point.

 

The story is as follows:

There is a small community (it could be a village, a school, a hotel, holiday camp, small town etc.) and everyone is busy with their everyday life. Suddenly they hear the sounds of new people coming. The people of this community are surprised, what is going to happen?

Rationale, the motivation why this project is needed.

In our school we have children from different countries and cultures. The influence of media like television and papers on xenophobia is very strong. Children gain positive and negative images towards people from other countries. This doesn’t create open-mindedness  towards people from foreign countries and other cultures. We think it is necessary to help our children with a child friendly project so that they can interact freely with other children in our school.

 

Project objectives and Strategy.

We have expertise in our multicultural 'Vreedzame school' in preparing prepares children for a diverse modern society. We wish to share this knowledge and also extend our own skills by working and sharing ideas with other schools across Europe. We wish to use a wide range of subjects such as art, music, written language, ICT and design, to enable communication to be as broad as possible.

In the first year every school will develop the story in its own way; they could finish the story by writing, making a comic, producing a performance for others on stage, making pictures or a video…. The story is flexible it can be developed in so many different ways that schools can choose what suits them best!

 

Teachers (and perhaps children) from other European schools will visit each other’s schools to see the outcomes and perhaps performances…

 

In the second and last year the participating schools will choose one of the approaches that another school has adopted and develop it in their own way. They will present it for the colleague schools, children and parents. This is a project with an important message which is why two Dutch schools will work simultaneous in two separate projects. These schools are not in the same regions. In this way we can share experiences and stimulate each other as coordinating schools.

 

During the mobility’s teachers will visit the schools and see the presentations of the host school. They also will visit classes of these participating schools and will give a presentation in English of their own school and country. This must be done in a way that the pupils will be able to understand it. This will also support the item of the project: anti xenophobia because the children will know more about other schools and schoolchildren. We will also try to have contact with the classes of the visiting teacher by Etwinning.

 

 

Results and outcomes.

September 2013. Start project. Coordinators and directors come to the Netherlands. Then will be During this visit colleagues also will be informed how to work with the special  made website so that every school can upload their information: stories, pictures, reactions  etc. presented which item every school will choose the “story” and how it will be.

September - October 2013 First presentations on the joint website.

 

May 2014  Meeting in the Holland to evaluate the first presentations, partners formulate the first evaluations of the first project year and make appointments for the next year so that every school knows what item is chosen for their own pupils

November 2014 Second installment of the presentations on the website.

End of April 2015 Deadline for upload information on the website.

End of May Meeting in the Holland to evaluate the first presentations, and formulate the evaluations for the valuation of the last project year and make appointment for cooperation in future.

European added value.

Besides anti-xenophobia, in which schools (pupils, teachers and parents) will experience positive multicultural images, pupils will have lessons from teachers from partner schools, parents will see the results of our project on the website, school newspapers and board announcements about other European schools. Europe will be promoted very positively to young Europeans of the future.

Impact, what impact is expected from the partnership activeties on pupils, learbers, trainees and staff and on the participating institutions.

1. Children will be more empathetic towards children and adults from other cultures

2. Teachers will broaden their knowledge base through a better understanding of multicultural issues and a greater knowledge of European culture and school systems.

3. Teachers will use English for communication which will improve their personal skills and result in improved English lessons.

 

 

Relevance towards the objectives of the programme.

To improve the quality and to increase the volume of mobility involving pupils and educational staff in different Member States

 

To improve the quality and to increase the volume of partnerships between schools in different Member States,so as to involve at least 3 million pupils in joint educational activities during the period of the programme

 

To encourage the learning of modern foreign languages

 

To support the development of innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practice for lifelong learning

 

The relevance of the project in the context of the Dutch school.

 

We hope that as a result of this project there will be a more empathy created on all our schools and also a change of ideas by some of our parents. Unfortunately we can see that there is a negative development towards people from abroad. We aim to break through these intolerances.

By developing this project we will promote a modern approach to education by using ICT (for etwinning and our website).

We have chosen different schools that are spread.

Teachers will have helped coach and train each other by the realization of the project; using drama, music, language , working with ICT aspects, Etwinning etc.

Topics, the main thematic areas of our partnership.

Fight against racism and xenophobia

Artistic education, also including Arts and Crafts and Music

European citizenship and European dimension

Educational/training fields.

Religion / Ethics

Arts and crafts

The key competences of the project.

Social and civic competences

Cultural awareness and expression

Communication in foreign languages

 

The horizontal issues.

1.    Promoting an awareness of the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity within Europe, as well as of the

2.    need to combat racism, prejudice and xenophobia

3.    Cultural and linguistic diversity

4.    Fight against racism and xenophobia

5.    Promoting equality between men and women and contributing to combating all forms of discrimination based on

6.    sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation

7.    Equal opportunities men and women

8.    Racial or ethnic origin

 

Distribution of tasks.

In the first year every school works the story out in its own way; they could finish the story by writing, making a comic, producing a performance for others on stage, making pictures or a video…. The story is flexible it can be developed in so many different ways that schools can choose what suits them best!

Teachers (and perhaps children) from other European schools will come to your school to see the outcomes and perhaps performances…

 

In the second and last year the participating schools choose one of the approaches that another school has adopted and work it out in their own way. They will present it for the colleague schools, children and parents.

 

We wish to find ways to teach primary school children that there is no need to be afraid of people from other countries; you can be friendly with these interesting guests and learn a lot.

 

The subjects

This project for Primary school children will equip them with skills to challenge xenophobia in a child friendly and motivating way. The project will utilize subjects that are expression rich, including art, music, drama, writing, design. The children will develop a story….with a happy end.

A project for children, teachers, and parents.

Children across Europe will work from the same story beginning. They will be able to compare and contrast how children in other countries have developed their stories.

Teachers will meet their European colleagues to exchange ideas, plan, support and talk about their experiences and learning outcomes.

Parents will see what their children have produced or see performances…… and what is more they will see what children from other European countries have done with the same story!

The idea behind it…

The idea is simple and straightforward to develop:

Every participating school will get the same story beginning they will grow the story from that point.

Cooperation and communication.

There will be meetings in Holland where schools can discuss in what way they will give form to the story in their school. During the visits guest teachers will see in what way the host school worked out the item.

On the website must presented what every school presents. All partners can see what the other partner schools have done.

At the end of the project years there will be evaluations of the last period.

At the end of the project there will be a booklet made of printings of the website pages.

Participants’ involvement.

All the teachers and trainers as the parents association are involved because the project is for every pupil in the school.

The project aims to be an ongoing part of the school curriculum.

 

Therefore the progress and the outcome of the project will be subject for continued staff education.

Integration into ongoing activities.

The aim of this project is meant for every pupil and the pedagogical outcome will be reinforced in subjects like drama, drawing art and language so that the project gives the opportunity to integrate learn activities.

Evaluation.

There will be planned times for summary evaluations. At the beginning of the project clear outcomes will be established against which actions can be measured. Arrangements will be made to collect information, stories and pictures via a project website.

 

The first presentations will appear on the website in November 2012. The project leaders will monitor these to support schools should there be difficulties or misunderstandings.

 

At the end of the school year 2013/14 at a meeting in the Holland there will be summary evaluations on the first presentations. Clear outcomes will be arranged for the second year to enable the measurement of overall success.

 

The final meeting at the end of the second year will evaluate the success of the whole project against the intended outcomes. There will be a summary document for all schools and also summaries on the project website.

Dissemination and use of results.

Every partner will fill the pages of a special website with the results of mobility’s, presentations and performances. In (local) newspapers will come articles about the schools and the project. The final document on the project will be a booklet made of prints of the website.

One of the outcomes for the project is that the good practice developed becomes an ongoing part of the school curriculum(s).


Comenius Project: Anti-Xenophobia in Primary Schools:

 

During our visit, we had the opportunity to visit Het Palet School in Opheusden, the Netherlands  and Marienbaumer Modell in Xanten, Germany.

At Het Palet School we had meetings where we discussed various topics such as the running of the school, teaching and learning styles adopted by the school, the use of tablets in the classroom, the mediator system during breaks, school uniforms, school budgeting and the curriculum framework.  We also had a tour of the school.

We also had the opportunity to observe a demo lesson using tablets.  The teacher had three different age groups in the classroom.  This may sound like an impossible feat, yet much of the work and organization is carried out by the programme supplied with the tablets. This programme focuses on saving a lot of corrections for the teacher and helped student autonomy in learning.

Parents can access their child’s portfolio from home and check his/her progress. Parents can try the tablets too.  

At one instance, a group of students were carrying out dancing activities on their own in the schools foyer.  We were impressed with the high level of discipline that these activities were carried out. 

We also carried out two science and technology activities with the oldest age group in the school.  The first activity was a reaction-time testing activity while the second one involved students who worked in groups to design and make a strong paper structure to span a given distance. 

Whenever there is a quarrel, the students involved do not refer the incident to the teachers but try to find a solution themselves with the help of the mediators. This is known as the ‘Mediator System’ and the school has acquired a reputation as a ‘peaceful school’.

A curriculum framework is provided by the State Education Division and then every school is allowed to fill up the gaps according to its particular needs and goals to be reached.  In this way, policies are not carried out top-down.  Schools and the teachers themselves have ownership of the Curricula, are self-providing and independent. 

The school we visited in Xanten on the 28th May has a population of 79 students, 1 Head, 5 teachers and 1 student-teacher.  During our observations, we noticed that 9 year old students were comfortable using a microscope. Children had the opportunity of self-evaluating their work by means of multi-coloured simple resources.

Worthy of special note was an after-school programme which aided students who had parents working till late.

It was remarked  by the Dutch and German teaching staff that children from Sannat school knew a lot about other countries including the Netherlands.

On the same day, an evaluation meeting was held where everyone present attended. The meeting started with a welcome note by the project coordinator Mr Anton Verwey.   He thanked all those present for their hard work throughout the year and asked them to share experiences to give feedback.  After around thirty minutes of professional dialogue, the group divided itself into two:  Mr Vervey and the Heads of Schools remained in the room whilst the remainder attended the presentation prepared by the Gozitan delegation (Qala and Sannat Primary School).  The presentation focused on the activities held by the schools on Gozo (Sannat and Qala), in relation to the Project.

The meeting between Mr Vervey and Heads of School evaluated the progress of the first year of the Comenius Project (2013-2014). 

On a side note, people from different countries should ideally be hosted in the same hotel.

More especially, parents must be informed how to access the Comenius Project website.

 

Daniel James Cassar Donald Gauci Paul Camilleri Joseph Gatt


Report on Comenius Project Evaluation Meeting,

 The Netherlands, 

28th – 31st May 2014

Maeve Tierney

Wednesday, 28th May

I arrived at Rhenen station about 3.00pm and was met there by the co-ordinator, Anton Verwey, and all of the other visitors from the partner schools. It was good to meet everyone after so many months and to put faces with the names of the teachers in Gozo whom my colleagues had met on previous mobilities.

We went straight to the school in Opheusden and met Diana Brouwer, the director, and her colleagues.  I was very fortunate to be treated to a very good power point presentation about Ireland by two 11 year old boys from the senior class. They had obviously spent a lot of time with their teacher, Frances, learning about Ireland and they were very well informed.



The Director,of Opheusden school,Diana Brouwer (centre), with colleagues, Elena, left and Els, right.

All the visiting teachers then had a meeting with the staff of the Opheusden school to discuss progress and issues of concern about the project. Colleagues were asked to share their experiences to date and to give feedback on areas that might be developed or improved. The co-ordinator emphasised that it was important that visiting teachers stay at the same hotels if possible and also that reports about mobilities be sent to the Dutch school as soon as possible, so that they can be put on the website.

The meeting then divided into two separate groups with the principals of the partner schools and the co-ordinator, Anton Verwey, remaining to evaluate the progress of the first year of the project and the other group attending a presentation by the teachers from Qala Primary School..

There was a discussion about the website being in Dutch, resulting in some schools finding it difficult to access the section on the project. However, it was agreed that there would be clearer information on how parents and other members of the partner school communities could access this in the future.

The second year of the project will build on the work of the first year and it is open to schools to choose from a variety of methodologies in the creative subjects to expand on this; this may involve creative writing and presenting work to parents via reading sessions or at morning assemblies; art work, drama, musical performances and showcasing pupils’ work. It was also decided to continue with the exchange of correspondence by post and email for pupils in the partner schools.

The mobility dates for 2014/2015 were agreed.



A section of the display cabinet in Het Palet Opheusden, with a range of souvenirs from Ireland



Chatting over the meal in Opheusden.

Later that evening the staff of Opheusden and the visiting teachers met in  a local restaurant  and had lots of interesting conversations over a fine meal.

Anton brought the group back to Leerdam to their hotels and I checked in to mine: Gasterhuij het Oude Posthuis, which used to be the town’s post office and was recently converted to a hotel. It was a very pleasant hotel with very attentive and friendly staff and is very centrally situated at a bridge over the canal.



The Hotel in Leerdam, Gasterhuij het oude Posthuis..

Thursday, 29th May

Thursday was  a free day, particularly for those who had been in the Netherlands since Monday. I was fortunate to be in such a charming town as Leerdam and I took the opportunity to visit the local cathedral and the Glass Studios which had the most extraordinary and exquisite work made by master crafts people from all over the world. Leerdam has its own glass making factory for many years and many of the local shops had their products for sale.

Friday, 30th May

All of the visiting teachers, Peter from Austria, Daniel and Donald from Sannat primary school and Paul and Joseph from Qala primary school, both in Gozo, and myself met early in the morning to visit Anton and his family at their home in Rumpt on the dyke at the Linge river. It is a very charming place, consisting of a wonderfully well preserved lock-keeper’s cottage on the dyke and a number of other very attractive cottages. We had coffee and discussed the project and Anton had a surprise for us all.

He had ordered motorised bicycles for us all so that we could travel around the countryside and have a better view of the sights.



Peter, Joseph and Paul on their motorised bicycles….  an experience to remember!

I had never been on such a vehicle before, but since I had often cycled in the past, it was not as difficult as I had feared and didn’t require any peddling. We travelled for several kilometres over all types of terrain, even taking a short ferry ride, and we also stopped for lunch along the banks of a river. We were fortunate that the weather was so pleasant and it was most enjoyable to view the Dutch countryside from our bicycles.  Some of us got lost once or twice, but that’s another story…



Securing the bicycles before a short break …

Saturday, 31st May

On Saturday, I did some souvenir shopping in Leerdam and packed for the return flight to Dublin, but first there was Anton’s garden party to attend.

Anton and his family hold a garden party at their home on the same weekend every year and there is always a theme of a region or a country. This year the theme was the Austrian Alps and, of course, the guest of honour was Peter from Austria, who came attired in his traditional lederhosen costume. There was a wonderful array of food and drink associated with the region and lots of interesting guests also, including teachers I’d worked with on a previous Comenius project.

All too soon it was time to leave for Schipol and my return flight to Dublin that evening.

                                                                            


Evaluation meeting in Plangeross 5-2-2015.

The coordinator started the meeting by complimenting and thanking the participants for their fruitful presentations. 

He also said that the preparations for the next two visits were at an advanced stage and all were looking forward for the visits to Ireland and Sannat-Gozo-Malta. 

Than he requested that all participating groups from the various schools, ie. Ireland, Holland, Austria, Sannat –Gozo-Malta and Qala –Gozo –Malta, were to present their reports of the visit within 2 weeks of the visit.

He rounded up by thanking Peter Schonger for his great hospitality and all members of the groups for being so helpful to make the project a success.



Anja from the Netherlands said that it was a great nice week meeting other teachers from other countries in such beautiful surroundings. She thanked the coordinator for taking care of the group and Peter for his hospitality. 

The presentations too were great.

She thanked the group for being so friendly.

Ireland: It has been a wonderful week and talking to other teachers was an interesting experience. Sharing experiences with other teachers was a wonderful  experience. And seeing what was going on in other schools was a very constructive meeting. Even the children in Peter’s schools enjoyed the visit. 

Sannat-Qala Gozo: As Head of School in a Primary Setting, this was a wonderful experience for me seeing students so young. It was impressive and this experience showed that students at this age wherever they come from, behave in the same manner and if showed love and interest were prompt to show you back love and devotion.

It was great being with other teachers from other countries and sharing experiences of what was done in their schools.



A big thanks goes to the coordinator for his organization and to the headmaster for being our host.

Frencis from Holland said that the presentations were very well prepared, well organized and informative. She finally thanked Peter for his hospitality and said that she would be pleased to see how Peter handles his class in a normal teaching session. 



Finally a word from my part. A big thanks to Mr Verwey for the well-organized trip to Austria and the visit to the school in Plangeross Austria. 

Also our best regards go to Peter for his hospitality and dedication to please and make all fell at ease and at home.





It was finally Mr Verwey who rounded up the evaluation meeting saying that in the last period of the project teachers are asked to have an evaluation with their classes. This should be in a “class discussion”. The results of this discussion must be a part of the last evaluation meeting in the Netherlands and it must be part of the evaluation on the website. For the website I will send every school a form to fill in. It will be sent in a few weeks.



Mr Marcel Xuereb

Head of School

GC Qala Primary Gozo