At school, there are various working groups. Each staff member is at least member of one of these groups. The thematic, multidisciplinary groups are linked with the different official contexts of the cross-curricular attainment targets they focus on while organising activities/projects for the pupils.
We also assume that the assignments of project-based intercultural learning experiences always enhance the development of key competences.
Moreover, we yearly define an ‘annual theme’, linked with a cross-curricular context as well. Working groups are asked to integrate at least one concrete activity about the relevant context.
The various concrete responsibilities concerning the aims, organisation, communication and administration about the activities for the pupils are joint responsibility and are made clear in the profile descriptions of the working groups.
In the profile description of the working group ‘Internationalisation @ school’ is stated:
- raising the awareness of the pupils and the staff members about European/global cooperation;
- increasing the number of pupils and staff members with sufficient functional linguistic competences in English and French;
- making pupils and staff members aware that multilingualism acts as a lever for developing intercultural competences.
Specific aims: cross-curricular contexts (official cross-curricular programme)
- Context 5: Political-legal society
- Context 7: Socio-cultural society
Specific aims: key competences (official cross-curricular programme)
Expectations concerning the activities, organised for the PUPILS:
- developing virtual eTwinning partnerships with schools in foreign countries for different target groups of pupils
- organising linguistic and/or intercultural workshops on the European Day of Languages
- organising a multi-day language exchange with our Walloon partner school – Centre Educatif Saint-Pierre in Leuze. Yearly, a 4-days reciprocal visit with a group of 30 interested second formers of the A-stream is organised. Both schools organise multidisciplinary activities about a specific theme during school time. The participants are accommodated in the families of their partners. (subsidies from the Prins Filipfonds)
Other projects we developed in the past:
- (2009-2012) SchoolLinks North-South project with Zambian partner – Sacred Heart Convent School in Kabwe:Millennium Development goals – exploration(subsidies from the VVOB – Vlaamse Vereniging voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking en Technische Bijstand)
- (2009-2010) eTwinning project (not yet integrated in a TwinSpace): My world, your world
- (2009-2011) coordinating Comenius school development project: CoNetCom – Cooperative learning networks for Competence Management @ school
- (2006-2008) coordinating Comenius school development project: Co.B.A.L.T – Competence-based Autonomous Learning and Teaching
Expectations concerning the activities, organised for STAFF MEMBERS
- informing colleagues about international in-service and online trainings and opportunities for cooperation via the further training calendar
- developing a programme for the language exchange
- preparing budget applications for (international) projects
- submitting project results for competitions
- liaising with the ICT-team
The number of members in the middle management team, consulting with each other on a regular basis, and the distribution of the specific managerial task responsibilities reflect a broad support base. Their active participation in the different consultative bodies and in the multidisciplinary working and pedagogical learning groups at school are also minimum requirements for a high and constant flow of information about curricular and cross-curricular policy priorities.
- for internal communication
Information, intended for all colleagues, members of the cross-curricular working groups, is available on the digital platform of the school, Smartschool
- Each working group has got an online (subject) space in Smartschool for communicating and safeguarding info documents about the organisation of concrete cross- and extra-curricular activities with all stakeholders.
- In the module ‘annual plan’, the curricular and cross-curricular attainment targets aimed at while carrying out the multidisciplinary activities, are integrated. The Heads of the working groups use the annual planning module, integrated in the digital platform SmartSchool, for describing the multidisciplinary activities they organise for the pupils and to define the official cross-curricular attainment targets they are aiming at. That way the cross-curricular coordinator can make a structured inventory of all attainment targets worked on during a school year and can inform the Heads of the working groups about eventual links, overlaps…
for communication with internal and external partners
- The Head manages and disseminates the yearly and the weekly school calendar for the planning and the dissemination of the concrete info about the cross-curricular activities via Google Drive.
- Invitations and reports of all consultative meetings at school are drafted in Google Drive and stored in the alphabetical index on the Smartschool platform. For the professional supervision of intercultural activities for the pupils and the participation of staff members in international initiatives, the reports of the Trade Union Committee are of specific importance.
- All staff members have got a Google account. Coordinators of international projects share documents and collaborate with teachers from foreign countries via Google Drive.
- Once a new eTwinning project is approved, the pupils communicate with their partners via the TwinSpace of the project.
- The involved teachers from the participating schools start working in the project diary so that an eventual application for the national/European competitions is a less time-consuming task at the end of the school year.
- The news anchor of the cross-curricular working groups report on the course of the cross-curricular activities via a photo report. The ICT-coordinator is responsible for adding it to the school website, making the necessary links to the sub-websites and eventually integrating it in the digital version of the regional newspaper.
- The coordinators Internationalisation and Cross-curricular matters yearly update background information about the ongoing projects and the annual theme.
Different ways of professionalisation via internationalisation are
- exploring websites of various organisations
- participating in online, international courses – MOOC’s
- developing eTwinning projects with the pupils, agreeing on learning processes and outcomes with the partners, describing the project for the TwinSpace, applying for national and/or European competitions
- interacting with consultants of the National Agencies, taking part in professional development workshops, conferences, … and reporting back on the contents of these workshops and conferences
- coordinating/participating in Erasmus+ projects, organising internal learning groups of colleagues about the project theme, interactions with local/regional external partners – schools and other organisations
- participating in thematic courses/meetings in foreign countries and schools
- organising language exchange programmes for the pupils in collaboration with the partner school
- taking part in teacher exchanges/job shadowing programmes
- inviting foreign guest speakers in the school during pedagogical seminar days
- during (international) seminars, giving lectures about international projects, linked with trainings about ICT-skills, for pupils and staff at school
and writing critical evaluation reports about these learning experiences, discussing the content on diverse forums with internal and external partners and integrating the reports in the annual management plan review so as to preserve these learning experiences for future staff and pupils. The overall aim of these international initiatives is to continuously develop our school as a sustainable learning organisation.