This project is created by five secondary schools for students aged 10-14. It has been developed in full collaboration and with all partners. The project will be coordinated by our Romanian partner school. It took about 8 months to achieve the latest version of the project. We created a WhatsApp group which includes five coordinators for effective communication. We followed this line: define the needs, state the topic, improve the approach, methods and technique, decide on objectives, arrange the activities according to schools facilities, define the target groups and project team members, and finally, we completed the application form with all sections by taking ideas from coordinators. It was a great team work.
The starting point of this project is the OECD report about basic skills. To implement the report in our schools, we prepared surveys and observation documents which were filled out by teachers with the aim to monitor and evaluate our students level of “Basic skills, ICT and language skills, healthy life style, artistic skills, social skills, self-confidence, self-esteem, team work” between October and November 2015. The results showed that even if the school programs include classes, subjects and activities, they were not enough to achieve qualified individuals as expected. More or less in every school, there is a need to develop basic skills.
Therefore we framed our project on improving basic skills, a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, responsiveness to social, linguistic and cultural diversity, improved levels of skills for employability as these are also defined as important priorities for EU Erasmus + program.
To battle with the weakness of basic skills, as partners of this project , we decided to provide students with opportunities for international interaction, participation in multiple events and self-expression through after school activities on four topics;
Theatre is designed to improve participation skills, self-confidence, self-esteem
Music is designed to improve language skills, self-esteem and social skills
Photography is for ICT skills, team work and artistic skills
Sports is for self- confidence, participatory spirit and healthy living
Since drama, photography and music are alluring artistic subjects, we aimed at improving the basic skills of our students with the effect of activities including those of art forms.
Sports will develop students’ self-confidence, participatory spirit and healthy lifestyle. The students will improve their skills by acting in drama plays as well as their literacy and writing skills by writing the scripts. Moreover, they will develop their ICT skills by recording and editing videos as well as their language skills by using English both in writing scripts and performing them. They will develop ICT skills by taking photos and creating PPTs, videos, photo stories. They will sing songs in foreign languages and improve their language and social skills.
Our basic aim is to provide an activity for every single student at school and in their peer environment in addition to the ordinary school program. Academic success, school sport facilities or other artistic and musical facilities only reach a small number of students. We have to include everyone in a way that everybody will be able to show an ability to improve his/her self-esteem, self-confidence and feel acceptance in social life. We have learned from our experiences that anyone who joins and performs to their peers, can evolve and improve. A single event may change a student if we provide the necessary conditions.
These four topics will be practiced as after school activities for a 3-month duration. The activities will be open to all and a minimum of 100 students will be included in every different topic, in every school. Students will be divided into groups and before the exchange meeting, there will be a competition to choose the best group. The best performers will be given the opportunity to participate in exchange meetings. This correlation will be done four times in two years and a maximum number of students will be achieved. In 4 learning teaching training activities, we will reach the top level of achievement.
Students, including the most disadvantaged, will get special attention and they will be at the center of all stages. Teachers and other adult participants will supervise the project.
We will draw our students’ attention to the following issues: increasing enthusiasm for theatre, music and sports, needs for activities for students to show their abilities, knowledge of other countries and their cultures, intolerance to cultural differences, need for possibilities of traveling and communication between other European countries, necessity to gain knowledge in ICT and computer tools, get opportunities to practice English as a foreign language, difficulties in stimulating pupils’ creative and artistic skills as they are limited to their neighborhood or region.