The Sixth Belgrade Grammar School took part in the ESP conference in Dublin in March 2013. as the only representative of Serbia in a European educational project. Owing to the contacts with AEDE the school was given a chance to participate in a project together with more than 300 schools from 25 European countries financed by the sectors for Education of Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Our students have an opportunity to cooperate and exchange experience with their peers on the topics of promotion of tolerance , mutual understanding and respect of other cultures. In the meantime, they are also given space to develop a range of skills such as communication skills, presentation skills, research and cooperation in order to come up with a solution, and for the same they are required to possess computer literacy and active knowledge of English which is the official language of the project.
The Sixth Belgrade Grammar school participates in the project together with four more schools from the EU (Ireland, Northern Ireland, Slovenia and Sweden) and students will be introduced to the EU heritage and values of the EU as a growing factor in everyday life. The project offers ready-made materials concerning EU institutions, ways it functions, travelling within EU, possibilities of studying and finding a job, history of the Union and characteristics of the member states.
The conference offered a chance to make significant contacts with partner schools, and other institutions able to enable a development of international cooperation needed to domestic schools. Coordinators underwent necessary training in order to be able to work on the project, which is significant step in professional development. Corresponding certificates were issued, and students will also be awarded certificates for their work and effort because they are the ones who deliver the knowledge to their friends through peer education.
What students are most interested in is student exchange, so this is the direction towards which the first steps were made with our partner school Аntоn Martin Slоmšеk from Маribоr, Slоvеniа. Two mutual visits were organized and carried out during this school year , and contacts will be continued in the future with the colleagues and also through mutual contacts of the students.
Two more schools have also joined the project: Grammar school “Isidora Sekulić” from Novi Sad and primary school “Petar Leković” from Požega.
Colleagues involved in the project
Branka Mitrović, citizenship teacher: “ Students’’ reactions to the lectures were great, especially in classes of the peer-teachers. Majority of the students are motivated and what they find most interesting is communicating in English.”
Saša Stajčić, citizenship teacher :“As far as feedback is concerned we have gathered many sticky note messages. You can read different opinions, but I think students were sincere. Peer teaching is an excellent idea- it creates a more relaxing atmosphere for work, and therefore better results.”
Students on the project
“All in all, I believe that classes so far have been a success. Many people approached and asked me what the next topic was. Learning through games and quizzes is interesting and we enjoy it!” (Marija Dejanović III2)
“All the students confirmed that the classes helped them improve their communication skills and team spirit, as well as their knowledge of English and the EU.” (Lana Radnić I1)
All the results of the work, workshops and other activities have been posted on the European Studies platform and exchanged with colleagues we cooperated with.
And as the final activity, there was a video conference together with our partner school on May, 9th, 2013, on Europe’s Day, titled “What Europe means to us?” . The students made a presentation and shared their views on Europe with friends from Slovenia they met beforehand on social networks and Skype.
- Presentation “What Europe means to you?”
We planned and realized student exchange with our Slovenian friends during 2013.-2014. considering that one of the goals of the project is getting to know Europe.
“Our trip to Slovenia for me was an unexpectedly pleasant experience. I had an opportunity to meet people who completely surprised me with their dedication to everything they do, whether it’s school, work or daily chores. I couldn’t even assume that two, according to many opinions, close peoples, can be that different, which I liked very much because I had a chance to completely alter my lifestyle and enjoy it. Next to people, Slovenia is a country of beautiful architecture, clean streets, nature that is taken care of and dedication to preserve this idyll. I carry beautiful impressions from Slovenia and I hope we will provide our guests the same thrill when they visit.”
Fourteen students from Maribor came in a return visit and they were put up with their host families.
The visit included a very ambitious plan of sightseeing in Belgrade, a day trip to Novi Sad and Sremski Karlovci, as well as informal free time with their hosts.
The project also included a teacher exchange during 2014.and 2015. Teachers spent four days in their host schools from April, 20th to April, 23rd , 2015.