About 8000 people live in our little town. We are a secondary school in a rural area and 85 teachers educate a little more than 1000 students from year 5 to 12/13. A lot of our students live in the surrounding area and come to school by bus every morning. After graduating, our students receive the general qualification for university entrance. Our school is very engaged in European issues. We received the title "European School" in 2007 and "European School in Lower Saxony" from the ministry in Lower Saxony in 2014. As such school we value contacts to different schools in the European Union and beyond. We took part in 6 Comenius projects (2 Regio, 4 Multilateral School partnerships) and 3 Erasmus+ projects (2 KA1 and 1 KA2), we have a school exchange with France, Finland and Russia and are organizing a yearly European seminar for our 10th graders in Brussels. We also participate in the Anne-Frank-Peace-days, which take place in Bergen-Belsen each year. A visit and seminar in the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen is also mandatory in year 10 and this relation will also come in handy for our project. In year 8, all students have the possibility to travel to England. Further contacts are hold to Slovakia and the Czech Republic which are related to different subjects and topics. Exchanges with a school in China have taken place and this contact ended in a steady partnership. Due to all those contacts and exchanges our school established a "Europe-Club" in which students maintain those contacts and work on the different activities related to projects and exchanges. The ongoing experiences with exchanges with different countries in different work fields will be helpful for the project and support mutual understanding. Most exchanges are organized by a certain group of people at our school (connected to the Europe-Club) and our expertise and our intercultural knowledge will be helpful here, too. As a school we have connections to “Europe Direct” and a “Euro-Info-Point”, which provides useful information about the European Union, is installed at our school. Every year we host a road show which informs our students about career opportunities abroad; especially in Europe. "Europe Direct" arranges this event. This connection and experience will be helpful for the project as well. Since our school sees it as an obligation to recognize diversity as a matter of course, which we should appreciate, and as a diverse school with many students with an e.g. Kurdish (guest workers) , English (due to army base) or Russian background. Our school is very engaged in different activities, different tasks are undertaken in this field and different methods and actions are implemented in our school’s curricula. The issue of diversity finds its way into the classroom in different subjects already, namely Ethics, Politics, History and more. We bear the title "School without Racism - School with Courage" for 5 years now and different activities are related to this title. As a result of the refugee crisis we welcomed many refugees at our school and soon so called "Language Learning/Welcoming Classes" were established and teachers had to react to the new situation quickly. To master the situation, inexperienced teachers quickly participated in advanced training courses and shared their knowledge. Concerning this challenge we are still in a learning process and further reacted with an Erasmus+ KA1 project with the title "Challenging Diversity in Education". This project aims at three different aspects: integration, language learning and teaching methods. Our expertise due to this project will not only be shared in our own school but with our project partners as well. We maintain contacts to the Kurdish community and our English and Kurdish parents will be of much help within the project. The same is true for our children from e.g. Syria - some of them are willing to share their experience with us and have already taken part in interviews conducted by other students (e.g. students from year 12 engaged themselves in a project which displayed the route a refugee has to take to finally be accepted and welcome to stay in Germany).
In general, our "Erasmus-team" consists of teachers who are English, French and Politics teachers as well as Ethics and Religious Education and two of our teachers are responsible for school exchanges and European Affairs. This team will support the project and its goals.
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