Description of schools

Coordinator school: Vižmarje – Brod Primary School, Ljubljana Slovenia

Vižmarje Brod Primary School is situated in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Pupils are aged between 6 and 15. Our school was built in 1975 and being situated in a greenery setting makes it very special and interesting. The grounds are extensive and allow for plenty of outdoor activity areas.

There are 550 pupils and 65 teachers and most pupils come from the nearby area. Our pupils tend to be highly motivated and our national assessment results are well above the national average. The fact that we want to upgrade a healthy environment for our pupils and having predispositions for that, we are highly motivated to conduct this project and to spread the ecological awareness in the school.

Our school is particularly well equipped to undertake this project, as we are equipped with excellent ICT hardware throughout our school. Our children are very competent and proficient in the use of modern technology. We have produced many short animated films that have achieved success at national level. All pupils have extra-curricular activities during the year. The final-year pupils go on international exchanges. There are also activities for charities (a festival in May). We pride ourselves on our appreciation of and commitment to the arts and to music. Our school orchestra and choir perform regularly at school events and in the area. Our school is the founder of the »Mini school of rock’n’roll«. This rock’n’roll school has become so popular that pupils from other schools keep coming and take lessons with us. We offer special care for pupils who have special needs such as dyslexia. All students are tested during the first year and receive the necessary help throughout their school careers. The school places a strong emphasis on personalized learning. Most of our teachers work within a team of colleagues specialized in a specific part of the school organization. We call these “core teams”.

Key people in charge of running the project in the school are: the head teacher, one English teacher / Erasmus + coordinator, one Biology / Science teacher, one Home Economics / Science teacher, one lab assistant, two ICT teachers, one Physics teacher / Robotics mentor.

Regarding the experience that we can offer in the project is participating in a STEM project for the second year now, using the weather station as a basis for stimulating the children. It has been successful in motivating our staff and pupils to be creative and innovative and to embrace wholeheartedly new and creative ways of learning in the areas of STEM. We were in a position to display this project on an international scale, at the 2nd Regional Headmasters’ Conference for SE Europe, and received hugely positive feedback.

Partner school: Gračani Primary School, Zagreb, Croatia

Gračani Primary School is a public school from Zagreb, Croatia. It has 55 employees and 412 pupils aged from 6 to 15. The school provides general education and prepares pupils for a high school. The scope of our work is primary education of children in various fields (as stated in our national strategy of education). We also provide extra-curricular activities for children: a film group, sports activities, citizenship, first aid education, creative workshops, chess and other.

The school and its staff have a holistic approach to teaching and learning, we want to encourage children to think critically and teach them to be self-confident. The 21st century is a challenging period which demands new social skills and knowledge, as well as deep-rooted changes in a quite an old-fashioned education; this especially refers to nurturing critical thinking and ecological awareness about environmental issues. We are highly motivated for the project because we want to encourage multicultural values through rising awareness about the ecological issues because they concern the whole world, not just a particular country. We believe that cooperative projects like this one will bring our pupils and teachers together and we will rise awareness about the environment and green architecture and their benefits to the school. The project will broaden our teachers and pupils’ horizons in order to easily accept cultural and other social differences and teach them how to work together in projects for sustainable living and environmental protection.

The project will embrace different teachers in order to conduct project activities among wider school audience. Key people for the project are: 2 Science teachers (one in Physics/Chemistry, one in Biology) who have experience in Science school projects, 2 classroom education teachers, 1 PE teacher who conducts sport activities for multicultural education, 2 ICT teachers who are experts in digital methods of teaching, 2 language teachers (one Croatian – the head teacher and one English language teacher) for the communication and social activities innovation, and the school accountant who will take care of the administrative and financial issues.

Regarding experience, we have conducted ecological activities in the school so far. Our school takes care of the natural environment through different school extra-curricular activities: our eco-group and little scientists take care of the school garden and general school look. They participate in activities such as decorating school walls and interior. The school has the certificate of the Eco School and a special eco school board that consists of teachers, pupils and parents together. The project will encourage pupils and teachers to keep doing the good work about ecology and the environment and would enhance their knowledge and skills.

Partner school: Djuro Pilar Primary School, Slavonski Brod, Croatia

Djuro Pilar Primary School is a school situated in the city of Slavonski Brod, in the east of Croatia in the Slavonia region with a population of more than 59 000 people (2011). It provides education for more than 500 pupils, age 7 – 15. There are 71 employees in our school and 52 teachers of various profiles. Our curriculum is based on the National curricula, so our school covers a variety of subjects. Primary programmes (7 – 11) cover Science, Croatian, Math, PE, etc., and upper classes (11 – 15) offer ICT, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, etc. Our school also provides extra-curricular activities, such as Young chemists, BIO crew, Sports, GLOBE and Astronomy.

Our school has a strong will and motivation to engage in the project and innovative learning approaches with the goal of upgrading our educational process. Moreover, Slavonski Brod area is known for the air pollution and through this project we would like to encourage our students to “think green” and enable them to become responsible decision makers when it comes to the environment and ecology. In the past 3 years, EU projects, mainly Erasmus +, KA2 projects have been a core source of innovation in our classes because of the curricula “freedom” they offer. The school year 2017/2018 is the beginning of our 2-year strategic goal to boost the success of teaching in the STEM area as it was set to be by our school team for quality. Therefore, this project would offer our school and Project team members a great chance to implement new ideas and approaches to serve our specific goal.

Our school motto is “A school where good ideas come true!” and the project team considers the ideas of the project to be more than good. Considering all of this, the school is highly motivated and willing to participate in this project. Key people in charge of running the project in the school are: the head teacher, one ICT teacher, one primary education teacher, one History / Geography teacher, one English teacher and one Chemistry / Science teacher in order to provide our professional support for the project topic. Team members have been educated to work with pupils on the STEM area. Team members are teacher mentors (Science) and a teacher adviser (Geography).

Specific expertise that we can offer is based on our experience in a project called “Zajedno za školski park” (Together for the school park), a project to boost STEM area results with a tree park with a spiral aromatic plant garden with QR codes to lead to web pages on them, made by pupils. We are also involved in “SMART schools” in IPA Interreg project designed to ensure responsible behaviour towards resources (energy) and in “The Water Agent” international project (Cro/Slo/Srb) designed to monitor and evaluate water consumption in our school.