School of Dreams

  •  Poland, Szadek
  •   2019
Time frame
  • The implementation of the project "School of Dreams" aimed at developing key competences and preparation for further education and entering the labor market as a continuous activity. It consists of 62 hours of extracurricular activities per week during school time for students of classes I–VIII of primary school. At the same time, teachers participate in post-graduate studies during the weekend and in the afternoon and evenings. There are 30 training workshops on various subjects. During the summer, a comprehensive renovation of 9 classrooms took place, and then the entire school was equipped with teaching aids. Every six months there are general school presentations for the entire community of students, parents, families and residents summarizing the scope of acquired competences of key participants and their development in the form of a presentation, as well as promoting the idea of learning. These presentations were combined in May 2019 with European Funds Open Days, which will be repeated in June 2020. The project is a continuation of two previous activities of a similar scope and scale – "Kindergarten of Dreams" and "I learn technoLOGICALLY" implemented continuously from September 2016 to August 2018.
Categories
  • Digital Technology
  • Creative STEAM (STEM + Arts)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Formal Education
  • Inclusion
  • Conditions for Learning
  • Methods & Events
  • Training & Capacity Building
Level of Schools
  • Primary School
External Partners
  • Public Authority
Type of Schools
  • Public primary school
URL
Number of Schools involved
  • 1
Number of Schoolheads involved
  • 1
Number of Teachers involved
  • 37
Number of Students involved
  • 269
Number of Parents involved
  • 269
Number of External Partners involved
  • 4
Short Description

The implementation of the project "School of Dreams" aimed at developing key competences and preparation for further education and entering the labor market as a continuous activity. It consists of 62 hours of extracurricular activities per week during school time for students of classes I–VIII of primary school. At the same time, teachers participate in post-graduate studies during the weekend and in the afternoon and evenings. Every six months there are general school presentations for the entire community of students, parents, families and residents summarizing the scope of acquired competences of key participants and their development in the form of a presentation, as well as promoting the idea of learning.

Objectives

- Popularizing interest in mathematics and natural science among children and youth by experiential education, using experiments.
- Developing language competences in the use of English.
- Developing creativity and entrepreneurship among children.
- Involving the local community in active cooperation for the development of the child.
- Activating children to work for their own development using modern tools and assistance.
- Implementation of the use of information and communication technologies and adopting innovative attitudes.

Methodology

Students participate in extracurricular activities implemented according to their own programs in small groups (mathematical workshops, developing social competences, improving learning skills, foreign languages, the Internet as a source of knowledge and others in various fields). Before applying for funds each department had an assessment of its needs. Each course begins with a diagnosis of the student's skills and ends with evaluation.
Teachers carry out post-graduate studies in the field of work with students from the SPE (typhlopedagogy, surdopedagogy, oligophrenopedagogy, pedagogical therapy, sociotherapy, sensory integration), but also computer science and science subjects - in total teachers will receive 22 diplomas.

There are 30 training workshops available, all conducted in the facility in the afternoon.
As a summary of each half-year, students present acquired skills in the form of drama, songs, experiences, experiments, and dance. Groups prepare stands with products. The ceremony is attended by students of the entire school, their families and the local community. Purchased aids and manufactured products are presented, which helps the development of children's interests and allows for equal opportunities, including those who need special education.

Funding

Funds for the implementation of the project "School of Dreams” are provided by the European Social Fund, from which the school obtained co-financing worth PLN 1,846,258.88.
The above-mentioned project is implemented under the Regional Operational Program of the Lodzkie Voivodship for the years 2014–2020.
Classes and taking student home after classes are free for children.
The ESF also fully finances post-graduate studies and workshops for teachers – the teaching staff does not have to cover any costs.
The funds obtained were also used to carry out comprehensive renovations of 9 classrooms and to refurbish all 29 classrooms operating at the school.

Outcomes

Participants gain skills related to the development of key competences, including mathematical, technical ones, in the field of foreign languages, entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition, they acquire the skills to use digital competences while learning, the principles of safe and positive use of Internet resources.

The result is an increase in children's interest in the world of science. As a result of the actions taken, students will learn about the areas of their interest in an attractive way through experiments, observations and practical exercises. This encourages subsequent groups of children to participate in additional classes and take actions to explore the world of natural, mathematical and computer science.

In addition, public presentations of acquired skills allow children to arouse interest in a given topic among other students and affect self-presentation skills and strengthens self-esteem.

The implementation of the project involved parents who, together with their children, selected activities from the offer presented, supported their children in preparing for the presentation of achievements and acquired competences in the local community.

As a result, students will be better prepared to continue their education in secondary schools and then to enter the labor market.

Justification

The "School of Dreams" project shows interesting directions of development for students, allows them to learn through play and action, and at the same time directs them to further education and development. It presents the school life to the local community, its development as a learning organization, spreads the idea of learning.

It can be a role model for other educational institutions, motivation for creative and entrepreneurial activity, mobilization to organize the teaching process through activity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

It breaks stereotypes about under-equipped schools, teachers who do not have access to expensive forms of improvement, about unsightly classrooms and boring classes.

It proves that we have a huge impact on shaping the reality that surrounds us.

Didactical Concept

The most commonly used teaching methods: drama, laboratory exercises, observatory, teaching games, field exercises, experiments and experiments, puzzle method.

Innovation

Innovative classes with the use of programming in junior classes are particularly interesting for children.
The classes in science subjects in higher classes include the possibility of breeding aquarium fish, working with terrariums, lessons in the field using binoculars, magnifying glasses, field microscopes.

Educational added value is implemented and introduced regardless of the project implementation.
A continuous pedagogical innovation called "Language Kindergarten" is applied in pre-school departments one day per week when the core curriculum is done in English.

Practice Orientation

All classes conducted with students are based on practical action, on learning through interaction, and for younger children also on learning in motion.
Through practical activities, students learn to define themselves under the guidance of a teacher.

Mutual Learning

Teachers' involvement in the implementation of the classes took place in an open manner, based on written survey declarations of the interested parties. The most important decisions are made by the authors of the project, which ensure reliable implementation of the project co-financing agreement, however, all teachers work only on the basis of their own programs and using the purchased teaching aids and equipment.

Everyone is an expert in some field, which should be appreciated and be used as a basis for mutual learning.

The implementation of the project helps the staff to get to know each other better. The numerous trainings give opportunities to share experiences and knowledge. They help to organize cooperation between active teachers who carry out similar and different assignments of duties and tasks.

Intergenerationality

The project mainly involves students and teachers, but various activities, including semi-annual open presentations, are supported by parents and grandparents. They all learn effectively and have fun together.

Inclusivity

Social inclusion refers to gender, migration, disadvantaged groups.

Disabled children participate in inclusive education. In the framework of the project, support is given to visually impaired, hearing impaired children and those with moderate intellectual disabilities. They participate in classes with a peer group using appropriate adjustments and needs. Suitable teaching materials were also purchased for them.
As part of the project, special help is also provided to children from migrant families, e.g. a girl who returned to Poland after many years of education in Japan.
These children are included in small peer groups, or when needed, supported by individual work with the teacher under the project, e.g. in the form of corrective, compensatory, and specialist classes.

Ethical Aspects

Ethical issues, as an inseparable element of the educational process, are discussed within the educational content taking into consideration the age of the children. They are mainly focused on universal values and ecological issues.

Interdisciplinarity

The interdisciplinary nature of actions undertaken by teachers is supported in the form of postgraduate studies in science subjects. The highly qualified teaching staff, with their new competences and qualifications, can include interdisciplinary content in the field of science, using the new equipment.

Cooperation

The project implementation is supported by: Voivodeship Center of Teachers Upgrade, Higher School of National Economy in Kutno, parents, Marshal’s Office and local authorities. Good cooperation results in a synergy that is enjoyed not only by students, but also by all cooperating partners.

Qualitative assessment Inclusiveness

Students explore the aforementioned principle in classes. Its special highlight are presentations prepared by children open to the entire school community and the local community taking place every six months. The presentations consist of a multimedia part, a performance combined with a show and an exhibition.

Democracy

Teachers' involvement in the implementation of the classes took place in an open manner, based on written survey declarations of the interested parties. The most important decisions are made by the authors of the project, which ensure reliable implementation of the project co-financing agreement, however, all teachers work only on the basis of their own programs and using the purchased teaching aids and equipment.

Everyone is an expert in some field, which should be appreciated and be used as a basis for mutual learning.

Supervision

Pedagogical supervision combined with coaching is done by the director and deputy director. Financial supervision is done by the school management body and the Marshal's Office.

Digital Citizenship

Most of the classes are carried out using technology, including information and communication technology, which are promoted as part of the six-month school-environmental presentations.

An additional effect of the acquired skills was the implementation of the electronic journal in the current school year and efficient distance learning at school during a pandemic.

Cooperation Quality

Cooperation with partners is extremely active and brings great synergy effects. It causes mutual learning and experience. It develops the key competences of all participants. It also motivates further action and gives great satisfaction. Based on the activities undertaken, new ideas are constantly emerging and valuable initiatives are emerging.

Role of External Partners

The main external partner is the Marshal's Office in Łódź. It announces the calls for disposing the funds of the European Social Fund which finances the project.
The Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy is also an external partner that coordinates the national Open Days of European Funds.
The school cooperates during the implementation of the project with the Provincial Teacher Training Center in Sieradz and with the University of National Economy in Kutno (in the scope of working out trainings for teachers).

Institutional Learning

Project implementation involves students, teachers and parents at the institutional level in proportion to their role in the learning process. It gives a lot of satisfaction to all parties. It fits perfectly within the idea of a learning school.

Implementation

The project is implemented by a team of four people consisting of school management and teachers selected in a democratic way (by survey). Gender equality and working time flexibility are maintained, especially for people with small children.

The team performs an assessment at the institution level and builds project documentation based on its results. After obtaining funding, each teacher performs an assessment of his/her class before starting the classes and compares the results with a formula. Based on the results of the assessment, the teacher develops an original program and implements it. Then, the teacher evaluates the results after the end of the class, again compares it with the template and presents the results with conclusions to the implementation team. The implementation team merges the results, analyzes, and passes the obtained indicators to individual members of the organization and institutions supervising them.

Evaluation

The project progress is assessed by the Marshal’s Office based on quarterly payment applications submitted by the implementation team. Substantive progress indicators and financial issues are analyzed.

Documentation
phere

Documentation of the learning process is collected by teachers who conduct classes with students. Teachers archive students' achievements in the form of photos, videos and work products.

Then they forward them to the implementation team, which analyzes the aforementioned documents. Documentation is kept until the end of the project and for the duration of the project.