(1.) Head Teachers' Conference of the Europroject network "Education Without Frontiers" in Vienna
Our project was presented at the Head Teachers' Conference of the Europroject network "Education Without Frontiers" in Vienna in October 2016.
The annual headteachers conference of the Europroject – Education Without Frontiers (http://www.europrojectnet.eu/) took place in Vienna at the Bundesrealgymnasium 19, from 6-9 October. The integration of refugee pupils in the European school systems was the topic debated by the delegations of 16 schools from 14 European countries over the three day conference work. Click this link for the media coverage.
The Erasmus+ LIFE-project, involving four participating schools (Belgium, Germany, Italy and Portugal), was presented at the conference by Koen Van Cauwenberge. Most headmasters were impressed by the possibility of working together with local companies in exchanges as to prepare their students better for the business world.
(2.) Dissemination Conference in Namur
From May 17-20, 2017 all partner schools met in Namur, Belgium to both evaluate and disseminate the LIFE project. All teachers travelled to Namur because Olaf Mertens (the 'Directeur à l'Institut de la Providence de Champion' http://www.providencechampion.be/) had heard of the project when attending the Head Teachers' Conference of the Europroject network "Education Without Frontiers" in Vienna in October 2016 (see above) and he became interested in implementing the same kind of project at his school in Wallonia.
That is why the guests presented the project to the school representatives on May 18 and willingly answered questions about it. Afterwards the whole group discussed the different steps that had to be taken and the advantages and disadvantages of organising such a programme.
A short interview with the host of the conference shows how the LIFE-concept was judged by the Belgian school.
Furthermore, the teachers discussed the different feedback that each school had got from both their business partners as well as from the involved students and parents. In various conference meetings, which could be held at the hosting school, the partners also discussed how the project will be continued at each school (and with each other) and how the idea of the project – linking schools and businesses – can be properly implemented in the long run at each school. Besides that, the different aspects that are part of the final reports which have to be handed in by the organising school from Lübbecke and also by the schools from Leiria, Dendermonde and Imola were discussed. These discussions enabled the participants to make first notes about criteria such as sustainability or project management.
(3.) LIFE in the Carpathian Mountains
When our partner school Gymnázium bilingválne in Žilina invited all the members of our European network “Education with our frontiers” (http://www.europrojectnet.eu) to their annual conference of all member schools to Slovakia, all LIFE teachers followed their invitation and seized the opportunity to proudly present their project.
The network, which consists of 15 European schools and has existed for almost 25 years, was eager to get to know about the results of the project and about the experience their colleagues could share.
As Koen van Cauwenberge had already presented LIFE in October 2016 at the last conference in Vienna, most of the teachers from all over Europe already knew about the project and were keen to hear how it evolved.
The two teachers from the coordinating German school, Jessica Stefener and Silke Horst, first explained how and why the project was conceptualized and what its core idea is - namely to link the interests of students, schools and businesses. Using videos and photos, they also vividly illustrated how the project was organized and conducted. Finally the LIFE teachers shared their experience and tried to give advice on how to plan such an Erasmus+ project.
The network-colleagues showed great interest in the project and by asking many questions underlined their enthusiasm. Many school stated afterwards that they contemplate writing a similar Erasmus+ application and organizing a project like LIFE because they also see the necessity to prepare the students better for the world of work.