On September 26 – October 1, a short-term training of staff took place at the Jumprava Pamatskola school in Latvia.
Representatives of partner schools from Poland, Turkey, Italy and Romania also came to the place, a total of 14 people from foreign delegations.
Our partner school in Latvia has prepared a very interesting program of the visit. As part of the staff training, teachers learned ideas for the organization of pedagogical games for students, during which they can express their emotions, learn to understand and control them. In the following days, the training concerned the problem of violence at school. Teachers working in international groups together with students of the Latvian school were looking for solutions to difficult situations that students may encounter. The situations discussed included adolescent depression, violence at school, and problems with peer acceptance.
While the first day at hosting school the evaluation of the 1st and 2nd project year was conducted. Participants were introduced to the terms of bullying at schools , identifying the types of bullying and samples of bullying among 10-13 year old students. We discussed the possible reasons of of bullying and the relation between bullying and anger. The following day workshop was dedicated to identifying the incidents and consequences of bullying. We discussed the possible social and psychological problems caused by being bullied at schools. We worked on relevant databases and resources in order to see the widespread bullying problem in schools across the world. The third day workshop gave the participants an overview on preventing the bullying at schools. We discussed the ways of setting up and maintaining new and innovative methodologies to overcome the bullying problem at schools. All partners presented their own teaching methods to overcome bullying. The following workshop was dedicated to creating more peaceful schools via promoting cooperation, tolerance and respect. We used the activities e.g.: Hands are for helping not for hurting, Corner Game, Emoji Symbols, etc. The last day was left for evaluation and working on the gists of school policy on preventing bullying at schools. The training was evaluated by filling the feedback form. The certificate ceremony ended the training.
We focused on practical and skill-based interactive learning, immediate feedback, hands-on activities and inspiring discussions on best practices.
The workshops each day were conducted by the school counsellor. Participants worked in mixed groups together with students from hosting school. The local participants were students from the Erasmus club, teachers, project coordinators, school counsellor and headteacher and deputy headteacher. From partner countries the participants were: Poland (three teachers, including the project school coordinator), Turkey (three headmasters), Romania (five teachers), Italy (three teachers).
The activity was conducted in the hosting school during the usual school week. The event was integrated into the school work plan and was easily conducted thank to the good organization and arrangements in the hosting school. Students from hosting school were engaged in every workshop at school. The lessons for the rest school community were organised on the regular basis. After the training all participants shared their knowledge and skills within their schools.
All the participants gained new knowledge and skills. They gained awareness of bullying prevention as part of Anger-Management program in their schools. Discussing the new and innovative methodologies to cope with bullying were beneficial. Also, the exchange of partners’ schools experiences about their ongoing anti-bullying activities were a very good way of practice. All participants are now well equipped with various ideas concerning different activities with the involvement of pupils. That will let each school conduct the project activities more effectively in the following months. The suggested meeting with parents will give more details about the effects of bullying. The added value of the training was the opportunity to work in international teams. It surely had a positive impact on both all the teachers and students of the hosting school.
In the free time teachers had the opportunity to visit Riga, the castle in Cesis and the charming town of Sigulda. As part of the integration of the international team, teachers participated in workshops of herbal medicine, creating soy candles and baking traditional, regional bread. The hosts took care of every detail of the visit. The school in Latvia delighted us with its spaciousness and openness to the needs of students. We will treat our experience as an inspiration for further, fruitful work in the project.
Special thanks to the organizers of our visit: the school management, the school counselor, all the teachers, the school coordinators of the project and also all wonderful students of Jumprava Primary School.