The Ursulinenschule (URS) is a public catholic school in Fritzlar in the north of Hesse, a medieval, imperial town with a rich cultural
heritage. It’s a comprehensve school with a sixth-form curriculum founded in 1713 by the sisters of the order of Saint Ursula (O.S.U.).
We have 1100 students and 105 teachers. Our school consists of lower secondary school (students at the age of 11-15) and upper secondary school (students at the age of 16-19). The school is characterized by a long tradition and history which does not prevent us from looking into the future and preparing our students to be a responsible and active part of a globalized and quickly changing world.
Furthermore, social abilities are very important to us and we promote empathy and social involvement with people living in
different social conditions. Charity performances in order to support our twinned school in Miramar/Perou or people in India as well
as a cooperation between our school and the institutions in the local community, for example a home for senior citizens, are very
important for our identity.
Our school is marked by a wide range of extracurricular activities and projects covering such fields as theatre, film, music, mediation, professionnel orientation, learning methods and study habits etc. In addition, we attach great importance to supporting students who are disadvantaged in any way. We also have migrant pupils from mainly Eastern Europe. International relationships are also very
important. Therefore, we have exchanges with partnerschools in France, the USA, India and Perou. The Ursulinenschule Fritzlar focuses on health, social issues and environment awareness and has received a certificate by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs in 2014 for its “Education for sustainable development”(including e.g. nutrition, drug prevention, movement, ecology, health etc.). During previous projects , “Actions 4 change” were organised by our students: During one week they collected old mobile phones in order to be recycled by a NGO. Other topics: using more public transport, recycling of plastic bottles, the impact of the enormous meat consumption : a vegetarian week in our school canteen.
I.E.S. Vegas Bajas in Montijo/Spain:
I.E.S. “Vegas Bajas” is one of the two public high Schools in Montijo. This school was created as a High School dependent on High School “Santa Eulalia” of Merida, and 1967 it became independent from the former high school in Merida. I.E.S. “Vegas Bajas” has been offering night studies continuously for over ten years. In addition, I.E.S. “Vegas Bajas” has offered Vocational Studies of Bakery as part of our learning offer since 1999, with which the current structure of our High School was finally established.
Nowadays, I.E.S. “Vegas Bajas” hosts a total amount of 11 groups of E.S.O. (Compulsory Secondary Education) with the following levels: 3 groups of 1º, 3 groups of 3º, 2 groups of 3º and 2 groups of 4 º ESO. Within this compulsory education stage the schools also hosts 2 smaller groups of students under 18 years old with students showing some learning difficulties. About baccalaureate, our School has 2 groups of 1º year and 2 groups of 2º year, in the categories of “Natural Science and Health” and “Humanities and Social Sciences”. Appart from these groups the school also hosts some other groups such as PEMAR I, another group known as PEMAR II, a volunteer module, and other group belonging to Intermediate Training Course, in the scope of “Bakery and Food Industries”. Evening classes are taught to groups of 3º and 4º of ESPA, (the two last years of compulsory education) and baccalaureate, with only one group per school year, but with large groups in both of them. We have a total amount of 650 students, which come from the same town and nearby villages such as Lácara, Barbaño, Puebla or Guadaiana. There is a total staff of 51 teachers and non-teaching staff includes two secretaries, three custodians, maintainers, five cleaners, a computer administrator and a social educator. Montijo is located in a rural area with many farms although in the district of Montijo there are different companies in the sector of canned goods (fruits and vegetables) and olive oil. The town is also a commercial center with some businesses in the construction sector, too. The town grew in the last 60’s due to the creation of Plan Badajoz (Plan for irrigation and Colonization). The unemployment rate in Montijo in January 2017 was around 33.35%, most of the population are working class and their education skills are low. The number of dropout among our students isn’t especially high, despite the risk of social exclusion in this disadvantaged area. We have some special education students, ethnic minority (gypsies especially) and migrants pupils, although they are fully integrated. They are served by the Counseling department. Low developed area in terms of tourism, need of entrepreneurial education, high unemployment and drop-out in school.
Zespól Szkól Urszulańskich in Wroclaw/Poland:
Zespół Szkół Urszulańskich is a public Catholic school in Wrocław. Wrocław is the fourth largest city in Poland, it is also a capital of the region. Our school consists of lower secondary school (students at the age of 12-15) and upper secondary school (students at the age of 16-19). Our school is not a big one, we have 240 students and 36 teachers. For many years it was a school just for the girls, since 2014 it is coeducational.
The school provides different learning possibilities for the students, e.g. they can learn English in a group with the FCE program , have regular law classes at the Faculty of Law at the University of Wrocław, for those interested in science there are chemical laboratories at the Faculty of Chemistry and classes at the Faculty of Biotechnology at the University of Wrocław
The students finish their education by taking a final exam and can continue their learning on a higher level.
We stress the importance of foreign language learning (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin). On the premises there is a dormitory which enables the students from the smaller towns to get access not only to education but also to other facilities which the city has to offer. We cooperate with non – profit organisations and we take the opportunity to benefit from various types of activities for schools.
Varppeen koulu in Laitila/Finland:
Varppeen koulu is the only lower secondary school in Laitila, a small town situated in south-western Finland. The municipality of Laitila has about 8500 inhabitants. Compared to the other schools involved in this project, our school is fairly small with about 350 pupils and 40 teachers. We have three classes for students with special needs and special education teachers in charge of them. Besides teachers the personnel of our school comprises of about 20 adults more, such as class room assistants, school nurse etc. Students in our school are between the ages of 12 and 16. Varppeen koulu is a school with exceptionally good sports facilities. There are an athletics field, an ice rink, an indoor sports hall and an indoor swimming pool in the school premises or in close vicinity to the school building. There are also excellent hiking possibilities in the woods nearby.
Laitila has had inhabitants since the Middle ages and has modest but cultural-historically important sites. Laitila is a rural town but well known in Finland for its production of eggs, beverages and agricultural products. It also has a large range of various industries and about 40 % of the income of the residents of Laitila originates from them. The beverage factory (Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas) is famous all over Finland whereas the windscreen factory (Pilkington) and the plastic factory (Coreplast) have international export and trade. Nature and wildlife with wild animals (elks, wolves, lynx, wild boars, bears, foxes, deer) play a big role in everyday life in the region. Laitila is located close to the former capital, Turku (60 km) and about 200 km from the capital city of Helsinki. Rauma, a town with two UNESCO World Heritage sites, also lies nearby (30 km).
We have done a few international projects with student exchanges to Spain, Italy and Norway, but they have been private with no Erasmus grant. Since we don’t have any previous experience on Erasmus projects, this would be a great opportunity for our students to widen their vision on European countries and cultures and enable them to make contacts with their peers in other countries. Not only students but also the teachers of our school would benefit from this project a great deal by gaining new and inspiring experience of cooperating with foreign colleagues in a large-scale project, which we have never done before.
Istituto technico C. Cattaneo in San Miniato/Italy:
The Italian school is a Technical Secondary School located in San Miniato, a town near Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Siena, in Tuscany. It has about 1.000 students aged 14-19 and about 100 teachers. Students attend our school for five years and after that they can go to university or look for a job. There are are four courses: “Administration, Finance and Marketing”, “International Relations for marketing”, “Tourism” and “Chemistry and Materials”. The students study English, Italian, History, Geography, Computer Science, Maths , Economics , Physical Education, French, German, Science , Art, Chemistry , Legislation and Leather Technology, depending on the course .
The students, who attend the last three years of our school, have a compulsory period of training (at least 400 hours ) during the school year and the summer months .The type of job they can do depends on the course they attend. Students can have their period of training in local businesses, the taxation office, surveyors’ offices, travel agencies, hotels, museums, tourist offices , holiday farms, tanneries and chemical laboratories. During this period they also attend meetings with entrepreneurs and experts and participate in business projects.
Our school is located in an industrial area famous for its tanneries and factories producing leather goods. The area is also famous for its cities of art, tourism, the white truffle, slow food, olive oil and wine. Our school provides various activities in collaboration with the Local Authorities to help the students to integrate in the school and the local area. This project is very important for our school in terms of internationalisation, the use of languages and in particular because it is dealing with tourism. We have participated in Comenius Projects and exchanges with foreign countries such as the Netherlands, France, and Germany for many years.
Our school provides various activities in collaboration with the Local Authorities to help them to integrate in the school and the local area. This project is important for our school, because the students can use English and cooperate with students from the other European countries and exchange experiences with them.
The project will increase the students’ motivation, and promote their mobility.