Erasmus+ provides grants for a wide range of actions and activities in the fields of education, training, youth and sport. The program gives students the opportunity to study abroad to improve their knowledge, skills and employability.
Salesian School is partnered with the Bilingual Grammar School of St. John Bosco in Bardejov, Slovakia.
In October 2015, our two schools started to work on a project funded by the Erasmus+ Program. The project was called "Transforming partner school education programs at European level through sharing of innovation and good practice" and lasted two years, until October 2017.
The main objectives of this project were to create a well-functioning partnership and to enrich both schools by sharing good practice. Within the project, two exchange study sessions were held from each partner school. Thirty students and three or four teachers attended each stay. The project was divided into three phases - observation, engagement and analysis.
In the first phase of the project, "Visit", first Slovak pupils travelled for a week-long stay in the UK in November 2015. They were all pupils of Year 1 at the newly opened Bilingual Grammar school. Slovakian students joined classes in History, Geography and RE to enrich their vocabulary and develop their knowledge of specialist subject terms. Teachers' assignments were to study subjects, share best teaching practice and communicate with colleagues from the partner school.
The return visit by Salesian School was to introduce students and teachers to Slovakia, an area of Eastern Europe which most people knew very little about. We focused on the areas that the Bilingual School teaches in English. In Geography, we went on a field trip to the High Tatras, we also visited Belianska and Jasovská Cave. As part of a History excursion, we visited Auschwitz site of the Jewish Holocaust. We also visited Svidnik and its surroundings, where heavy fighting took place during the First and Second World War. Salesian School was keen to support the work of the wider Salesian community, developing a relationship with another Salesian School in nearby Postarka who successfully work with marginalized children from the local community.
The second phase of the project was called "Join". Students from both schools took part a group learning activity creating mind maps, quizzes and glossaries on selected topics from History, RE and Geography, which will be publish on the internet after they have been processed in electronic form.
The third phase was called "Analyse". For this our partner school organised a seminar called "Go Bilingual" where our insights on teaching were presented to a wide variety of teachers invited from across Slovakia. At the seminar, we presented ideas on current best practice, introducing forms of learning that actively empower students to think and deepen their knowledge and understanding.
Both our schools are planning continued cooperation based on our shared spirit, values, and Catholic faith. We are both committed to enriching each other's school communities and offering exciting opportunities to future students and teachers.
We are pleased to confirm approval for further financial support from Erasmus+, which will be implemented from November 2017 to November 2019. The aim will be developing critical thinking skills across the curriculum.