I. Description of school:

OS Kapela is a rural, public primary school with approximately 200 pupils aged from 6 to 15, and 24 teachers. The school has some experience in national and international projects and
wants to give the pupils and teachers opportunities to broaden their views in a greater European context.
There are many pupils with learning disabilities who demand teachers’ extra knowledge and effort.

II. Role in the project:

The school is a partner school in the project. In addition to exchanging methods and good practice, the school is responsible for coordinating the shared writing of a storybook in the project.
The school will also bring ideas into the project in how to approach both children with learning disabilities and especially gifted children.

III. National Summary:

Mobility in Denmark, September 2010

Visiting the Danish school was by all means an interesting experience for the Slovenian team. We find the Danish educational system much different from our own, so we did not only compare the teaching methods, but also the school's interior and the organisation of the school's work. We believe that the project aims were fully achieved in Denmark, for which we want to thank the Danish organizers (Marianne and Yvonne) and our project coordinator (Arnstein). It was our informal talks with everyone present and the continual evaluation that helped us see the most of our differences and to get a fantastic cultural experience. After the mobility we prepared a Powerpoint presentation for our colleagues to see pictures and get a sense of the workshops in Denmark. Some of our conclusions will be presented below.

Our thoughts on the different workshops
Cooperative learning

We noticed that

  • it was a simple, efficient, pupil and teacher friendly method
  • it was technologically supported
  • the method teaches pupils social skills
  • pupils have different roles in groups
  • the method establishes social skills, pupils feel good in the classroom, pupils want to interact
  • rules were explained in a simple, clear and efficient way
  • lessons last longer than in Slovenia

We discussed that the method is process-oriented and so more difficult to apply in our overfilled curriculums. In Slovenia it is also more difficult to establish continuity of teaching because pupils have different teachers (for different subjects) in higher grades. Anyway, we are ordering books on cooperatibve learning and will try to use the method more efficiently at least in some subjects (for the start).

Library as a learning centre

We noticed that

  • library is very spacious, has different corners for pupils of different age
  • is a place very important for the entire school (photocopying, computers/laptops)

We learnt that

  • the school library cooperates well with the local library
  • there is an order which suggests how the books should be ordered (different subjects every year)
  • books are labelled according to level
  • pupils can borrow books themselves
  • there are several projects within the library: the project week, the book of the month project, team week, and others
  • there is a media plan in school: ICT content from 3rd to 9th grade

Our suggestions for the transmission into our school environment:

  • purchase of books according to subject criteria
  • books borrowing and returning (activating pupils)
  • books labelling
  • ICT plan for the whole school
  • project week
Pupils with special needs

What was interesting and much different from what we have or can use in our school is

  • the use of laptops for pupils, especially so many
  • the reading/scanning/spelling programme for pupils with dyslexia
  • electronic books
  • a special database system for Danish teachers and students which enables teachers communication with students and support of materials
The use of GPS and mobile phones in the classroom

We saw that the aim of the workshop was for pupils to cooperate in the classroom and out in the field and to perform the tasks successfully. This workshop was something special because it was supported by quite expensive ICT technology. Pupils were very motivated and competitive but in a reasonable (healthy) way. We discussed that we could use this method when our pupils have an orientation hike once a year. It's when pupils have to do tasks while doing orientation hike. We could improve our activity day if we had mobile phones and GPS system for pupils to use.

Maths lesson in the 4th grade

Pupils did multiplying in this lesson. It was a pupil-friendly way of remembering multiplication, as the learners were not forced to know the system by heart; they remembered it by seeing it many times, during different (also tactile) activities. Compared to our system, pupils start learning multiplication later on. Our pupils start learning it in the third grade and already know it when they are in the fourth grade. What was also interesting in this lesson was the way teachers built pupils' autonomy. It was up to the pupils to choose the level of difficulty when picking up suitable multiplication cards.

Use of Excell in a Maths lesson

We noticed that pupils were very good (skilled) at using computers. They saved the data and were able to continue their work at home. We also saw that there was a good connection with the school computer server. We realized again that, if we had (but we don't have) the necessary equipment (laptops for pupils), we could use the method in our classrooms. Still there is a chance to do more computer-based work in Science lessons, as we do have an ICT room. Our teachers suggested the use of Excell in Chemistry and Physics.

Apart from the workshops we discussed about some other issues like:
  • a lot of space in the Danish school compared to our school
  • process-oriented versus goal-oriented learning, the first being typical of the Danish school and the latter of Slovenian
  • a tolerant society reflected in tolerant teachers and pupils
  • a different, more flexible educational system (two class teachers, help of school pedagogues, lots of cross-curricular work)
  • Danish school is financially much more supported than our school; it is much better technologically equipped

Mobility in Germany, May 2011

About organization of mobility

First of all, we were very touched and impressed by the warm welcome and goodbye ceremony. We felt that we were united as a big European family.

  • All activities were very well arranged and balanced
  • German team considered suggestions, needs of the group
  • Activities were excellent planned and excellent carried out
About workshops
  • We got many good, challenging ideas for our work and also for discussion, self-reflection about our work with children
  • We saw that teachers in Grundschule Baiersdorf successfully use modern methods like cooperative learning, multi-sensual learning, self-control learning, use of books, newspaper material, dictionaries, authentic exercises
  • We observed many good, concrete materials already prepared and also made by teachers themselves that we can transfer to our work for improving literacy and numeracy
  • We found it interesting that children in the 1st grade learn letters and that they have one week for learning one letter. They also give more attention to develop children awareness where and how they speak certain voices.
  • We were interested in the reading box, constant use of the same colours for marking things in all grades, reading competition that we could use for gifted children, newspaper project, parents reading to children at school in the afternoon, calming children with music (for example triangle).
About presentations
  • We got honest, critical information about German educational system with its advantages and disadvantages. We felt that it’s really difficult for children, their parents and teachers to decide so early for the next step in educational system. Results of assessments and other marks at the end of 4th grade are very important for further education and that is especially stressful for all. Despite of these, teachers are still positive, optimistic and they really hope for changes.
  • We also discussed about advantages and disadvantages of teachers’ education in Bavaria. We believe that it is necessary to have more practical education in Slovenia too. But strict specialization of teachers is not useful for our educational system. We need teachers who are capable of teaching different subjects.
  • We also liked positive attitude of Teachers Union toward solving problems.
  • We learned a lot from practical and theoretical presentation of method “Reading by writing.”
  • Presentation of work with children with special needs was also interesting because we could compare it with our work and our theoretical frames.
  • We “brought home” a seminar for left-handers and their parents in pre-school year. We need that in Slovenia and we decided we will try to cooperate with our kindergarten to develop similar program.
About intercultural competences
  • We got information about nature, traditional food, historical development and life in Bavaria.
  • We had opportunity to compare and exchange experiences.
Other topics that we discussed
  • It was surprise for us that teachers can educate and get licence for making psychological tests.
  • We could feel Comenius project in classrooms (special place in the classroom) and in the whole school (boards).
  • Children are prepared to work with anyone. They change seats order weekly.
  • It’s also interesting that they collect information about every child in folders and when children finish Grundschule they have to send those folders to a new school. Sometimes they organize meetings with new schools.
  • Parents’ association has an important role, but we felt that both (parents and school team) try to build good relationships
  • Good cooperation with local community.
  • What we noticed about the building: The school building is warm, bright, spacious, has colourful walls, useful flexiboards, main wall for information in the lobby, locking system.

At the end, we took a piece of Bavaria and the German team in Grundschule Baiersdorf to our homes, but not only in our mind but also in our hearts. We got a lot for personal and professional development

Mobility in Romania, September 2011

  • warm welcome at the airport
  • willingness for solving the problem with the luggage
  • Very well prepared, translated materials (also worksheets), so we could easily followed the lessons
  • experience of (traditional) Romanian culture (food, dance, museum)
  • relationships between teachers themselves and pupils
  • kindness of people
  • very attentive people
  • hospitality of all
What was new?
  • Star explosion and other methods.
  • Pupils wear uniforms
  • Writing sign plus or minus on the right side of the calculation.
  • School strategy, decision about application of modern methods in all stages and in all school subjects
  • Children skillfully use pens already in second grade
  • There’s no accumulation of materials, furniture in classrooms
What was interesting?
  • Gallery tour (self checking).
  • Pupils are familiar with different methods (when they hear the name of the method, they know what to do)
  • Children write and read at the beginning of second grade.
  • High standards of knowledge at math and also in mother tongue accordnig to pupils' age (for example: arithmetical operations till hundred in first grade)
  • Successful use of modern methods and their development through grades
  • Clear, exact determination of time for single exercise. Short amount of time for some exercises
  • Children quickly understand teacher’s instructions
  • Application of Gardner’s theory
  • Checking/controlling between pupils themselves (constructive feedback)
  • Constant use of applauding at the end of activities/lessons
  • Children know how to play outside by themselves (they don't need adults to control them and they don't need many modern toys to have fun and relax).
  • Schools (I1 and I2) have been involved in many European projects till now
  • Weak support to children with special needs
What will we use?
  • Inventive, creative wall boards (styrofoam).
  • Star explosion (forming correct questions and answers) by working with text.
  • Signs (visual sign for words with the similar and opposite meaning).
  • Gallery tour.
  • Predictive reading
  • We will give even more attention to developing different pupil’s skills according to Gardner’s theory
  • Emphasize the importance of homogeneous groups and attention to progress not only final result, achievement when we are developing their weak abilities. We should be more aware of children's defensive mechanisms when they are under pressure (when they have to do something where they don't feel capable and comfortable)

Romanien experience gave us opportunity for professional and personal development. Mobility gave us lifelong experience. Thank you Mihaela and Adrian and your staff.

Mobility in Norway, May 2012

What was new?
  • During the lesson one teacher can work with a smaller group of students
  • Younger children aren't wearing any slippers
  • Children don't have their own pencil cases
  • They mostly write with pencils and not with pens
  • The library is arranged very nicely. The books are sorted out by the level of difficulty
  • Students are very independent, well behaved and polite
  • Early years literacy and numeracy programme impressed us (working in stations)
  • Usage of LP-model for developing learning environment
What can we use?
  • Recreation break that children have outside, in the playground
  • Arrangement of the library
  • Teachers that look after the children during the break wear special recognisable vests
  • Young children walk with their hands on their heads on the corridors
  • Shaking hands in the beginning and in the end of the day
  • Special, respectful relationship towards books
  • A lot of space for outside activities and lessons. Everything is made of wood and teachers can use those areas for educational purposes (outdoor mathematics)
  • Calming children with music (before the ceremony)
What was surprising?
  • The school is very warm, cosy, domestic, also the arrangement of the classrooms
  • Extremely good English knowledge and English speaking competences of the students
  • Opening ceremony was magnificent. The students behaved in a very calm and balanced way
  • Good material conditions for working in the sense of school supplies
  • Weakly work plan for students and parents
  • Communication with parents concerning the homework, reading
  • Knowledge, respect for each other and cooperation with each other are the core values (fundamental values)
  • The classrooms are opened during the lessons
  • Rhythm and music are very important
Comenius specialities
  • You can feel the project where ever you go in the school
  • Good thing is, that we are all in the same hotel (location)
  • A room for teachers, where they can plan and prepare for lessons, consult with other teachers
  • Impressing staff-room and terrace
  • All the teachers really got involved and made an effort (being taxi drivers, cooking for us,…), so that we felt very welcomed. You were all magnificent hosts!
  • Extreme belonging to the country of all the Norwegians. You can really feel that all the Norwegians are proud of their country
  • We have never seen such a celebration of a national day in our lives
  • The whole country celebrates the same values

We will all take a part of Norway back home and we will always remember all the warm and kind people we have met here

IV. Local Activities:

SLO_LA_1_schoolsystem.pdf SLO_LA_2_children_with_special_needs.pdf

V. Contact:

OS Kapela, Kapelski Vrh 95, SLO – 9252 Radenci
Ms Anastazija Avsec, headmaster and contact person
Telephone: +38 62 566 90 61
Fax: +38 62 566 90 65