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The aims

With partner schools coming from Southern, Central, Western and Eastern Europe, standards with respect to ecology and sustainability are very different. Results therefore could only be achieved when we had project groups with participants (both pupils and teachers) from each partner country. The six Learning/Teaching/Trainings Activities enabled all participants to get to know each other and to cooperate. With English as the project language, the improvement of the language competence of both pupils and teachers has been a major result of the school partnership.

This school partnership also implemented new forms and methods of teaching in order to be able to deal with ambitious topics like ecology and sustainability – topics which are so important for the future of Europe – in a way that is suitable for pupils. Workshops and project days were based on peer-to-peer principles. This means that pupils were taught by pupils with teachers from 6 European countries preparing the pupils for this task and supporting them in the implementation. Teachers therefore had to take on new challenges, had to develop new ways of working and learning and had to live up to these new expectations. The pupils learnt to act independently and responsibly. Peer-to-peer activities improved their communication abilities and with English being the project language, their knowledge of the foreign language was also improved. All these skills are highly important in today’s labour world and this project fostered these competences as to increase the chances of each participating pupil on the labour market.

A multilateral school partnership also makes it possible for a large number of pupils to take part in the project. Many pupils got the chance to get to know another European country and realized what being a member of the European Union means as European cooperation became visible and could be experienced. All partner schools were prepared to provide accommodation for the participating pupils within their families thus increasing the direct contact with the host family. This was reflected in the language competence as well as in the personal identification with Europe and the European Union. A further very important result of this school partnership was the large number of mobilities.

The mobilities did not only aim at cooperation concerning the project agenda but also at getting to know the partner country, its culture and its inhabitants. The pupils of each partner country arranged a cultural program so that the guests from the other partner countries did not only see the town where the school is located, but also the region as a whole. We wanted to overcome barriers and this is not limited to language ones but also cultural barriers and prejudices should be targeted. Therefore we were especially pleased that in the preparation phase of this multilateral school partnership, parents have agreed to accommodate the pupils from the other countries. That way it was easier to make friends and intensify contact, thus fostering the intercultural dialogue enormously. The pupils planned the visits themselves which acquainted themselves with the situation of the partner countries.