In February 2019 our school, Szeged International Primary School applied for KA1 Erasmus+ funding for the first time.
Our institution was set up three years ago in 2017 with the aim of implementing a special theme-based curriculum, the International Primary Curriculum, which programme places a special emphasis on the development of personal learning goals such as enquiry, thoughtfulness, cooperation, respect, morality, resilience, communication and adaptability. Our school’s mission is to mould our children into socially responsible, broad-minded young adults, who equipped with soft skills giving them a competitive edge will be able to make a difference in the communities they thrive in.
To improve our language and methodological competences in addition to learning new methods and approaches to develop an institutional ethos where empathy, tolerance and respect towards each other’s ethnic background and cultural heritage prevail, 11 members of our staff took part in one- and two-week courses in England, Malta, Finland and Italy in the summer of 2019. Our learning goals were the following:
- development of language competences to be able to teach our subjects and IPC in English
- learning new teaching methods, approaches and theories that facilitate experiential learning and impact education in the 21st century
- learning about behavioral issues, inclusive environments and community building that can create an ethos in which each stakeholder, students, parents and teachers alike can thrive
The three goals above indicate the directions which we believe are necessary for our staff to pave our professional path towards the high-quality educational work which we would like to provide for our kids.
To achieve these goals the majority of our courses facilitated the methodological renewal of the participants mainly. 4 of the mobilities focused on the methodology of primary education, whereas 3 courses provided a more comprehensive introduction to innovative approaches and technology enhanced learning that can be applied in a wide range of subjects. As regards the improvement we need to make to bring about an ideal institutional ethos in terms of learning to tackle behavioural issues related to intercultural classroom management, bullying or conflicts, we also attended three courses addressing these problems.
In the short term, owing to our participation in the mobility programme our professional capacities have been enhanced through the development of our linguistic, methodological and digital skills, thus enabling us to teach generations Z and Alpha in a more enjoyable and effective way. Besides this, we have also been able to revise our school’s behavioral policy for our kids using the communication and prevention methods our courses equipped us with.
In the medium term, we hope that by attending such professional development courses we can start networking with colleagues from foreign countries, exchanging good practices and getting involved in online partnerships with them. All these collaborations, in the long run, an eventually lead to strategic partnerships which will also facilitate our students’ involvement in international projects and collaborations, which can help them grow and also enhance the good reputation and international dimensions of our school.