What's the project about?
The partners of this programme have had the opportunity to meet each other through previous professional encounters, and because of the positive impact of these meetings they together decided to deepen this relationship. Working on a programme for a period of 2 years and in the setting of different European countries truly brings an opportunity to widen each one's horizons and bring new innovative ideas into practice.
The programme brings together; two schools from the Northern European countries (recognized as PISA winners) who both are known for their strongly developed pedagogical approach in their leisure time activities, especially in the outdoor, and for their highly developed relationship between educational and pedagogical tasks; a Dutch school specialized in language development of children from an early age; and a German school set in Berlin that has won many prizes and is exceptionally strong in the stimulation of creative development especially theater. These four schools together have decided to intensify their knowledge on how to create a good school and leisure time organization where children's development is stimulated in a strong and holistic way.
School and after-school
A good school in cooperation with good after school care is more then "looking after children of parents that work". It is the best way to give children a good basis for all the skills they need in the future, being a competent citizen (also in working life). It gives children from all backgrounds a good basis, and therefore creates more equal opportunities. That's not all: a good combination can bring more fun and enhances the acceptance of the differences and possibilities that each individual child possesses.
Because of the importance of this all partners see it as their role for the future to act as so called "ambassadors" for a good combination of learning and leisure time activities. These ambassadors can spread the experiences among other institutions in their home-country. Also we create an opportunity through working intensively together for a period of 2 years that the pupils and teachers will become interested and motivated to extent European contacts and exchanges after the programme ends.
The first concrete objective of this partnership is to define the parameters of a good quality relationship between school and after school care organizations within each country, which will stimulate the development of an holistic set of competences of the children. This objective is to be reached by extensive exchange of teachers, staff, management and pupils from the participating schools and supporting systems within each country/city.
The parameters of a good quality relationship that we will focus on are;
- The organization of school- and leisure time;
- The concept of the school- and leisure time (which guidelines are followed, how is quality defined by all parties);
- The level of participation of everyone involved, all staff-members, children and parents;
- The organization (construction) of different spaces;
- The cooperation and communication between all members;
- The types of specialization (specialized education) that is needed for the staff;
- The financial organization of an holistic/whole day approach;
Improvement of academic skills
Next to this we also want to investigate how leisure time activities can contribute to an improvement of traditional academic skills, also in children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Therefore we will focus on how the key-fields of the school, the specific subjects language, arts, sports and nature activities are developed in each school and how leisure time activities can contribute to strengthening these subjects even further and thereby stimulate the learning abilities of the pupils.
The objectives are reached by;
- Intensive exchanges and evaluation of knowledge through study groups visiting each school, firstly on the explained parameters to define a good relationship between school and after school care, and secondly on the construction of the specific subjects and their relationship with leisure time activities,
- Exchange via modern media;
- Doing concrete research in the pupils drives, development, results, and learning ability (also important for the PISA- discussion);
- collecting ideas and opinions of pupils, teachers, pedagogues, staff and parents;
- Using the key-field teaching subjects as a point of focus among the partners;
- delivering reports on the results each 3 months.
- developing projects on each school with pupils, teachers and pedagogues focused on quality development of the key-fields, using the pupil's presentation and the knowledge of the school that is most experienced in the subject as a starting point.