Erasmus+ Project

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Reducing barriers to learning and promoting inclusion and motivation through peer support.

Our partner schools are:

What is Erasmus?

Erasmus+ is the youth section of Erasmus. It is an EU funded scheme encouraging international cooperation between schools in which pupils from across Europe work together to improve quality of learning and education through discussion and collaboration.

Over the course of two years beginning in 2017, pupils from Trinity Academy have engaged in a project titled Promoting Inclusion and Motivation Through Peer Support. In this programme three groups of ten S5/6 pupils will go to one of Holland, Germany or Sweden for a week to work with pupils from each country to develop a better understanding of an issue or topic stemming from the overriding theme. This is fed back to schools, on return, who then work out an ideal way to use the knowledge and strategies discussed to improve school experience.

The project’s goal is to look at different barriers to learning. For different reasons students may experience difficulties in their learning process at school. This project aims to identify the various causes of this and to suggest possible solutions, also based on peer support, the idea that students can help and support each other to overcome these barriers.

Our project in full detail can be viewed at our Erasmus+ website.

Jump to Scotland 2018

Jump to Netherlands 2018

Jump to Scotland 2018

Scotland - January 2018

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The Week's Task

The task given to the students for the first installment of the Erasmus+ project was around improving transitions in education for those with additional needs. Through a collection of workshops and presentations from professionals in the field, the groups were given inspiration for their initiatives in improving transitions. They collated their findings from their respective countries about how transitions work and how they could be improved, adding what they learnt from the week's research to come up with initiatives to improve transitions for those with additonal needs and how they would be implemented in the various countries.

itinerary

  • Saturday: spend the day with host families
  • Sunday: Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, Watch ice hockey game at Murrayfield
  • Monday: Opening Ceremony, Presentations, Ice breakers, Group work and presentations about transitions, Evening meal out
  • Tuesday: Additional needs workshops, Presentation from Danny Murphy, Visit to Scottish Parliament, Movie night in school
  • Wednesday: Additional needs workshop, presentation by Jan Gardiner, Presentation Planning, Visit to National Museum of Scotland, Evening meal out
  • Thursday: Presentations at city Chambers, welcome from Lord Provost and Councillor Alison Dickie, Visit to Edinburgh Dungeons, Burns Supper, Ceilidh
  • Friday: Departure of students

Conclusions

At the end of the week the Erasmus pupils presented their initiatives for improving inclusions and transitions for those with additionl needs, at the City Chambers to all the groups, staff, and some council officials. The presentations can be viewed below:

 

The Netherlands - September 2018

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The Project Continued - Motivation

The overall theme of this meeting was motivation. The main goal was to investigate this theme from the point of view of the students themselves and the role which students can play in identifying and further developing the possibilities for improvement of the motivation for learning among students. 

Based on this, pupils put together concrete proposals on how to improve motivation, both aimed at what the school and teachers can do, and perhaps even more importantly, what pupils can do to help each other in this respect (“peer support”). The aim is that these proposals will lead to specific developments within each school to increase motivation for learning.

Check our Erasmus Edinburgh Youtube Channel for some highlights from the trip!

Itinerary

  • Saturday: Spend the day with host families
  • Sunday: Amsterdam - Anne Frank House & City Tour, Dinner at Croy de Pettelaar
  • Monday: Survey presentation, debating workshop, preparing for school visits, movie night at school
  • Tuesday: School visits, exchange experiences, pubquiz at school
  • Wednesday: Motivation workshop, start presentations, Frietkar dinenr & Casino Night
  • Thursday: Presentations at City Hall, free time, dinner at host family
  • Friday: Travel home

Outcomes

At the end of the week, groups presented their proposed 'toolkits' to all of the Erasmus group and staff. These toolkits were inspired by the week's workshops and visits, to try and improve motivation in learning and discuss how realistic they would be to implement.

As a result of the meeting in The Netherlands the following was done at Beekvliet: Activities to allow pupils to have more autonomy and choice regarding their learning process are in an early phase of development. The input and ideas of the pupils on how to improve motivation have been used to stimulate this process. They have been used as input to our new school (development). We are also considering implementing another proposal which came from the Erasmus meeting: a system to allow pupils to do homework at school after regular school hours under the supervision and guidance of teachers and (older) fellow pupils, which will allow pupils to ask questions about the subject matter, when necessary. This has not been implemented, yet. Discussions are still on-going.

Germany - January 2019

The Week's Task

Peer Support

The focus of the week in Germany was to learn about Peer Support and how to introduce it into our individual schools. Throughout the week we took part in a series of group activities and carousel workshops with our mixed-nationality groups; we listened to talks, discussed ideas and presented them to the wider group; we built up a solid understanding of the concept and practical applications of Peer Support and the best ways to implement it. We analysed concepts from psychology studies, learnt about different support methods and questioning techniques and practiced what we’d learnt though role play situations.

Itinerary

  • Monday: Spend day with host families
  • Tuesday: Everyone meets at school for first time, introduction to the week, getting to know each other in international groups, tour of school, sharing information about current support systems in each school in groups, voelkerball (dodgeball) tournament, evening with host families, movie night at local cinema
  • Wednesday: Workshops in international groups, afternoon with host families, visit Waterfront shopping centre, trampoline park
  • Thursday: Role plays in international groups, preparing toolkit presentations in international groups, tour of Bremen, lunch at ‘Comturei’ medieval style restaurant, guided tour of Cathedral and ‘Bleikeller’, free time in Bremen
  • Friday: Preparing toolkit presentations, afternoon with host families, evening pool party
  • Saturday: Welcome to town hall by mayor, presentation of toolkits, break for drinks and food, presentation of certificates, return to host families, ‘Kohlfahrt’ traditional walk and games followed by traditional ‘Kohlessen’ meal and party
  • Sunday: Travel home

Conclusions

To conclude the week each of the small international groups delivered a presentation of what they found to be the key points of what they had learnt together from all of the sessions and discussions, and shared their views of how best to follow on in the delivery of the ideas.

Implementation

Over the year following the return from Germany a Peer Support service has been set up at Trinity Academy, finally launching in late February 2020 with a group of 24 keen fifth and sixth year volunteers. The service will hopefully be long lasting and have a positive impact on the Trinity Academy and its pupils. For more information visit the Peer Support section of the website.