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INDEPENDENT HIGH SCHOOL SPLOT, NOWY SĄCZ, POLAND


SPLOT Independent High School was created in 1989 as one of the first non public school in Poland

NOW our school is considered as one of best school in Poland â˜ź


THE SCHOOL

IS SITUATED IN SPACIOUS BUILDING


SPLOT

In our library

SPLOT IS THE SMALL SCHOOL OF BIG POSSIBILITIES ☼ our

school counts 100 students ☼ We have an extensive program of international student exchange


SPLOT’S STUDENTS ON EXCHANGE IN PETERSHAGEN


MALMO, SWEDEN,

THE UNITED STATES


HAKFAR HAYAROK, TEL-AVIV, ISRAEL

WE HAVE

A RICH PROGRAM OF EXTRACURRICULUM ACTIVITIES


THE MOST INTERESTING ACTIVITES ARE

 

Public Achievement Street Law Community Service

AND , WE HAVE A LOT OF FUN


CITIZENSHIP


In Poland we have subject called Political Science and Social Studies in the grade 8th to 12nd ( age 15-19). The students are taught about right and responsibilities in the democratic society, they develop their skill to be responsible member of the society and local community. They are taught about international relations and about UN and EU. Additionally in our school we have program of Street Law. The Street Law is a law that is of practical use in everyday life ( on the street). Street Law addresses general problems in the areas of criminal and juvenile justice; torts; and consumer, family and individual rights law.

Religion From the 7 grade, students have two weekly lesson in Religion, where they are taught the catholic version of Christianity by the local prist, nun or teology teacher. In the 8th and 9th degree the focus is on other religions and the philosophic aspect of religion. th

The school has a student council, which consists of students from every class from 6 th grade to 11th. The purpose is to make the students participate in the Democratic process, where we try to reach a consensus solutions. We have also School Council composed of teacher, parents and students.


The school has a plan for IT-learning, beginning from the

7th grade, where students progressively learn to use IT. As for languages, English is taught from the 6th degree,

(age 13 -14) five hours per week, German from the 6th degree (age 13 – 14) two hours

per week French optionally from 7th

degree ( age 14 – 15) two

hours per week Russian optionally from 8th degree ( age 16-17) one hour per week The school has reach program of International coopera-

tion. We participate in Several school exchange programs (Polish-American Parlimentary Youth Leadership Exchange Program, Polish Israeli Exchange Program, Polish German Student Exchange Program). We are member of International Democratic Education Network.


BULLYING


Prevention of bullying The bullying plan is divided into two parts: prevention of bullying, and what pupils and adults must do, when bullying takes place. Prevention of bullying There are many different actions that are practiced in our school to prevent bullying. First of all, every new class goes for an integration trip which helps in making new acquaintances. At the beginning of the new school year, all classes have meetings with their class teachers, where they decide on rules in their class. The rules are mostly connected with their behaviour towards each other and the rest of the school. Every class also participates in special practical courses with a school pedagogue and in similar courses with a school psychologist. They learn to accept and respect each others differences. They are also trained in non-violent communication, mediation, conflict-handling and the school rules against bullying. What is more , apart from class meetings and courses, there are also may school events to improve the whole school integity. Through many school programmes, pupils learn to help others in need. Pupils are also involved in many projects connected with anti-bullying policy. During diffrent classes, they prepare anti-bullying posters or leaflets.


Acute action

PUPILS: ● Thanks to previously mentioned actions, students are aware of their rights against bullies and they know how to say “stop” if they are bullied ● Pupils’ first step is to talk with an adult, he/she is comfortable with (any teacher, school pedagogue, school psychologist or parents) or with a close friend who could help by talking with adults mentioned before. ● If the pupil see someone who is being bullied they react by trying to stop it and telling an adult. ● If bullying continues, in severe cases, school informs the police/ services responsible for juveniles crimes .


ADULT-ACTION AGAINST BULLYING:

● First rule is to react immediately against the bullying incident, ● If the bullying is observed some steps must be taken. First of all there is a conversation between pedagogue, class teacher and the victim to show him/her the support. ● Later there are also meetings with school psychologist to improve their mental condition ● The bully takes responsibility for his/her actions, but there is also a conversation with pedagogue and class teacher to show that those actions were bad. There are also meetings with school psychologist to work on solving this problem. ● Teachers around bullied child follow-up. Teachers try to mediate between victim and protagonist, decide on a strategy to avoid future bullying. Also inform the teachers around the pupils in question. ● School informs the parents of the victim and the bully about the incident and action taken. A class meeting with pupils and parents is also a possibility.


Social skills and Public Achievement SOME SOCIAL SKILLS THAT OUR PUBLIC ACHIEVEMENT TEAM DEVELOPS:

1. 2. 3. 4.

Active Listening Being imaginative and creative Civic organizing Connecting problems to larger issues (seeing the “big picture�) 5. Consensus Building 6. Constructive criticism 7. Creating strategies for action. 8. Critical thinking. 9. Defining a problem. 10. Defining a project. 11. Deliberating. 12. Evaluating public work, individual transformation. 13. Exercising public judgment. 14. Facilitating meetings. Setting an agenda. Taking records of meetings. Taking different roles: facilitator, timer keeper, record


keeper, evaluator, encourager. 15. Fact finding. 16. Fund raising. 17. Having an open mind (suspending pre-judgment). 18. Holding others accountable. 19. Interviewing. 20. Learning and creating public language (throughout). 21. Learning to overcome setbacks (disciplinetion). 22. Learning proper protocol for acting in public. 23. Making a mission statement.

24. Mapping out stakeholders’ power and interest in problems (analyzing a political culture). 25. Negotiating. 26. Professionalism (writing business letters, making phone calls, dealing with automated phone systems, public speaking, interviewing, preparation for all of the above). 27. Public celebration. 28. Public speaking. 29. Recruiting people around public work. 30. Responsibility (to self, to others, for work in group, for work outside of group, for problem solving, for assessing situation and coming up with a plan, to school, to community). 31. Sharing stories.


32. Storytelling. 33. Taking strategic action. 34. Teamwork (willing to work with others, flexibility, ability to listen to others, ability to work with adults, ability to work with peers, encouraging, supporting, ability to share ideas). 35. Using the media strategically. 36. Working with and through diversity. 37. Writing (minutes, proposals, formal letters, journals, grants, etc.).

SKILLS THAT COACHES DEVELOP 1. Adapting to new environment. 2. Communicating with colleagues. 3. Communicating with students. 4. Conceptualizing project through guiding. 5. Conflict resolution skills. 6. Encouraging progress. 7. Facilitating. 8. Holding self and others accountable. 9. Learning responsibility to youth. 10. Modeling positive behavior. 11. Problem-solving skills. 12. Professionalism. 13. Recognizing when something is not working and figuring out how to change it. 14. Reflecting with a group. 15. Strategic questioning. 16. Teaching students new skills and development of skills already attained. 17. Working with a different age group. 18. And all of the above skills for team members.


STUDENT COUNCIL, As previously said our school was one of the first private schools established in Poland after it gained independence in 1989. The founders of the school wanted it to stand out from other ones mostly governed only by teachers and students being not involved in the process of creating the school society. They wanted it to have its own constitution written both by students and teachers. Since 1991 our school has had such a document which was written by teachers, students and parents together to show their involvement in creating a new school. In this constitution is mentioned the existence of School Council which consists of Teacher Council, Parent Council and Student Council. The students are chosen in the election which usually takes place every year, the teachers are chosen by the rest of the staff while the parents are chosen during their first meeting in September from all the parents whose children attend our school. There are usually 5 teachers, 5 students and 5 parents in the School Council. This number is good enough as there are around 100 children in our school. We are really proud to announce that the constitution was awarded as the 4 th best school constitution in Poland and people who wrote it were invited to the Polish Parliament for one of the meetings. Apart from the Student Council we used to have for a few years a Students' Rights Advocate whose responsibility was checking whether the students’ rights are complied to the regulations but it turned out that in such a small


school children did not take advantage of this institution. The Student Council in our school deals mostly with collaborating with teachers, organizing different events and initiating new ideas to improve the school life. There is usually one teacher who helps them with their work and advises them.


Creativity

We have interviewed all our school teachers to learn more about creativity in our teaching. We have agreed that all of us concentrate on satisfying individual students’ needs remembering about different learning styles and cooperative teaching. Below we want to present some creative ideas pointed out by our colleagues: -Maths – the teachers introduce games they have invented themselves. Such activities help the students understand the role of Maths in everyday life Science – the teachers introduce team teaching to show the students that different phenomena are interdependent


/Languages – the teachers introduce multimedia presentations on lessons, what lets our students use authentic language. At this point it is important to mention that Poland is a monolingual country and the students are not exposed to foreign languages in their everyday life situations

Culture The Tower of Babel project is an interesting example of teaching about the similarities among different cultures

Sports – the teachers begin their school year with a video analysis of the musculoskeletal system of professional sportsmen and our students

During our staff meeting we managed to form a list of activities which prove creativity of our students.


Apart from the common interaction patterns such as a pair work, a small- group work, our students have a chance to present their creativity in other ways: Village is a programme in which students build a real-life model village using lots of different materials – paper, paints, clay etc.

This project allows the students to build a place into which they insert various institutions. Students are a kind of architects this way. On Science lessons students are allowed to invent experiments individually or in small groups - On Language lessons students make projects on culture of English/ German speaking countries in forms of posters and drama invented by the students themselves -


Being a part of the school community students create a script for a school performance, they publish a school monthly paper - Public Achievement is a programme engaging a group of students who go through the process of brainstorming, action plan making and devoting a lot of their precious time to the voluntary work for the local community. They either physically change for better different aspects of other people’s life or at raise awareness among the local community members.


EXTENDED COMMUNITY


Our school SPLOT is located in a relatively small city with the population of around 80 000. The school was funded in 1989 as the second private school in Poland and the accompanying idea was to create a school which would be open for the whole community and would teach teenagers how to hone their social skills and become aware members of society. We have been trying to do our best to fulfil the assumption. First of all, our school, since its beginning, has been strongly involved in the idea of volunteerism. Each of our students spends many hours helping others: some decide to help children from poor families to do their homework and play with them while parents are at work. Some decide to collect goods before Christmas, prepare bags with gifts and go to people in need’s houses to give them food and toys. Last year students from the high school decided to organise a day room for children who lived in our neighbourhood. They spent a lot of time playing with really small kids – like 3 years old ones, preparing some food for them and looking after for a couple of hours. That definitely taught them to be responsible and allow them to think more about time managing.


Every year there is a championship in skiing organised by our school. It is called PUCHAR SPLOTU. It is a big event for every teenage skier.

Every year we also organise a writing competition PIĂ“RO SPLOTU and there is usually a big number of young writers who decide to take part in it. In Nowy SÄ…cz our school is famous for its exchanges. Since now our students have visited and spent some time studying is schools in Sweden, the USA, Israel and Germany. Our Public Achievement group this time decided to concentrate on the problem of abandoned dogs and cats and cooperates with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Last week after selling self made bird tables they managed to collect enough money to buy 165 kg of dog food.


There is a small community of Chinese students in Nowy Sacz and this year we decided to involve them in the school life – this is how the Chinese Club came into being. The students come to our school and teach here about the culture, food and Chinese language. We even manage to organize a Chinese New Year!


INTERCULTURAL COMPETEN-


Intercultural Competence Cognitive • Cultural self-awareness • Culture-general knowledge • Culture-specific knowledge • Interaction analysis Affective • Curiosity • Cognitive flexibility • Motivation • Open mindedness Behavioral Skills • Relationship building skills • Behavioral skills: listening, problem solving • Empathy • Information gathering skills

In our school we teach intercultural competences in following way: ♦ Comprehend the role of teaching in the learner’s culture ♦ Facilitate multicultural groups ♦ “Code-shift” from one communication style to another ♦ Paraphrase circular or indirect statements respectfully for linear and direct group members ♦ Express enthusiasm for the topic in culturally appropriate ways


♦ Develop multiple frames of reference for interpreting intercultural situations ♦ Demonstrate good judgment in selecting the most appropriate interpretation in a transcultural situation ♦ Avoid ethnocentric idioms, slang, and aphorisms ♦ Interview a cultural informant to obtain needed information on subjective culture ♦ Recognize ethnocentrism in goals, objectives, content, process, media, and course materials, as well as group interaction ♦ Motivate learners based on their own values ♦ Deliver courses in a variety of methods ♦ Interpret nonverbal behavior in culturally appropriate ways ♦ Monitor the use of humor for cultural appropriateness ♦ Be culturally self-aware We develop intercultural skills through the following initiatives


International Student Exchange (Germany, Israel, Comenius countries, USA) Chinese Club in SPLOT Global Education Week Study Tours to Poland project for the youth of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova International Christmas Eve International Environmental Camp in Hakfar Hayarok, Israel We improve intercultural competences through different subject: Languages (English, German, French) Religion Citizenship History


SPLOT