Our main motivation for starting a new Erasmus+ project is increasing the level of basic skills in the field of secondary education. The project we have prepared is multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary and aims to foster key competences, especially regarding maths, science and literacy.
Acquiring basic skills in literacy, mathematics and science at school is crucial for the development of key competences in all further learning. These skills evolve throughout the course of learning when students deal with more difficult information with understanding and develop qualities such as problem solving, critical thinking, initiative and creativity. Key competences in the shape of knowledge, skills and attitudes are fundamental for each individual in a knowledge-based society. They provide added value for the labour market, social cohesion and active citizenship by offering ability to adapt to constant changes. We have studied the needs of the schools and students thoroughly. The data we collected proves that there are students who cannot read properly, have made little progress in mathematics skills and lack other basic competences. The percentage of low-achieving students in some schools is very high and the exam results show that these schools need support to reduce their number.
Students with low basic skills often cannot cope with more difficult material, show no interest in learning, lose motivation and leave school early. Students’ weak performance in maths and science results in their rejecting following a career in MST when Europe faces a growing demand for qualified human resources in these branches. In addition, female students continue to be under-represented in these subjects.
The aim of our project is to improve reading literacy as well as both attitudes to, and attainment in mathematics and science. While working on the project, students will be acquainted with different learning strategies, acquire digital and social competences and develop creativity, initiative and entrepreneurship. During the meetings, they will participate in different workshops on the issues presented in the application form. Students will learn to analyse and conclude, find correlations between processes and their consequences, select and present data. They will combine knowledge and skills acquired at school with interpersonal and social skills. Each task will consist of several stages: an experimental part, collecting data, compiling and analysing it with the use of mathematical and IT tools, looking for solutions to problems and presenting conclusions.
The official language of the project is English so teachers and students will improve their language skills. Developing language competence refers not only to communicative skills but also broadening vocabulary in various branches.
These activities, thanks to applying modern tools and teaching approaches will prevent school failures and early school leaving and will help to achieve high-quality educational outcomes.
Cooperation between school will take different forms. Participants will cooperate via the Internet and directly during the meetings in international groups. It will enhance students’ ability to work in a team, which is one of the priority skills in labour market. It will also promote major European values such as tolerance, equality and diversity. Participating students and teachers will broaden their horizons by getting insight into other cultures, customs and mentality of the partners.
The most important objectives of the project are:
- development of skills such as: effective learning and teaching,
- applying ICT and other devices in doing research and experiments,
- creative thinking,
- logical reasoning,
- using knowledge of maths, science and IT for solving problems,
- and also: - European integration,
- getting to know culture and geography of the partner organisations and their regions,
- taking measurements, - exploring local fauna and flora,
- creating a website and running a blog,
- collecting and selecting research material,
- outdoor activities.
The project answers the needs of students and labour market and meets the requirements that the teaching staff have to face. It helps to achieve high-quality and effective teaching and enhances the professional development of teachers because of exchanges of good practices and innovative teaching approaches. Thanks to the project, some partner schools can introduce innovative solutions to their problems. In the schedule, there are planned transnational meetings, at which such issues as ways of motivating students and working with low-achievers will be raised. Organising short-term exchanges and supervising students’ work on various tasks will teach school coordinators and participating teachers to manage time and human resources. We believe these activities will bring positive and long-term results for students, teachers and schools as organisations.