Design for Change is an international pedagogical movement that began in India in 2009 which we introduced to our school in the 2013-2014 school year, linking it directly with another one of our projects called “Culture Club”. The students of 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th years of Primary level participate in it. This project provides them the opportunity to put their own ideas into practice to change the world, starting with their immediate environment. This project promotes the spirit and tendency towards social entrepreneurship, innovation, collaborative learning, multiple intelligences, creativity, empathy, and the development of values in monographic sessions. It is the students themselves who propose ideas and plan out how to develop them and put them into practice, following the methodological route: Feel, Imagine, Act, Share, Evaluate.
Their projects are exhibited in the organisation’s channel, with the chance to be selected to represent Spain at the “Be the Change” Conference.
Ausiàs March Room 13 is an art workshop implemented in our Primary and Secondary level, and that is part of Room 13 International, an international organisation born in Scotland in 1994. It represents a network of art workshops in schools and community environments all around the world (two centres in our country: Grupo Educativo COAS – Ayalde de Bilbao and Colegio Internacional Ausiàs March de Picassent), that combines education and creative and artistic stimulation with the acquisition of business and entrepreneurial abilities and skills. Given that this is a self-sufficient project, its “profits” are invested in materials and in inviting professional artists so that they can interact with our students and teach workshops regarding the creation and management of an art workshop/business, and other initiatives related with the world of art.
Taught by Dalia Mai de Vial (in English) and Alicia Bonet (in Spanish), it offers our students an artistic, creative, and inspiring environment, which reinforces multilingual learning in a “different space.”
Offering our students a comprehensive education means understanding education as based on dialogue and peaceful coexistence. We are referring to the education, construction, and innovation of attitudes, values, and rules. When two people or a group of people experiencing a conflict decide to sit and talk in the presence of a third party, a unique and genuine scenario is created, giving space for mediation.
At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, we introduced the Colegio Internacional Ausiàs March School Mediation Programme, which is being developed in several phases. The first was the formative phase: students of the 1st and 2nd years of Obligatory Secondary Education that wished to train in interpersonal relationships, conflict, and mediation participated in two weekly training sessions. The main contents of the training programme revolve around knowledge of oneself, analysis of personal relationships, knowledge of conflict and the attitudes we develop when faced with it, as well as contents related directly to the mediation process, a phase that is still on-going and nourished course after course of new students entering the Secondary level. In the second -and current- phase, the students that have been trained in two/three mediation courses and who demonstrate they have developed the necessary abilities move on to serve as student mediators in the Mediation Service the School have put in place, participating in conflict resolution with the teaching and administrative staff. Interested students start the training process in their 1st year of Secondary School.
Since the 2014-2015 academic year we have been applying and implementing in the 5th year of Primary and 1st of Secondary levels the European Portfolio of Languages and e-PEL+14, which has since expanded to 6th year of Primary and 2nd of Secondary levels.
This involves a personal document promoted by the European Council in which the students that are learning or have learned a language can record their experiences learning languages and cultures and reflect on them. It consists of three parts (Language Passport, Linguistic Biography, and Dossier) and its purpose is to encourage all to learn more languages; facilitate mobility in Europe, and promote understanding and tolerance between the citizens of Europe. It is directly related with the Europass and Erasmus+ (European programme in which this institute is enrolled). Currently we are negotiating the ECAS, or European Commission Authentication System, which will allow us access to the digital services utilised by Europass institutions.
Its purpose is…
- To encourage everyone to learn more languages, each within their abilities, and to continue learning them throughout their lives.
- To facilitate movement in Europe, through a clear and internationally-recognisable description of linguistic competencies.
- To promote understanding and tolerance between citizens of Europe, through knowledge of other languages and cultures.
In 5th and 6th year of Primary level, we work on the portfolio in paper form through material edited by the European Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Social Policy, and Sports, and the Valencian Government shared with the affiliated institutions, such as ours.
In 1st and 2nd years of Obligatory Secondary Education, we work on a digital portfolio: To summarise, we can say that this refers to a personal document created by each student in which they are expected to record the learning process. It is something like a personal record, digitised and uploaded to the cloud, in which all of the student’s achievements throughout the school year can be found. These achievements are not limited to the grades obtained in different exams, but rather include a larger scope of learning areas: Improvement in oral and written comprehension and production, regular participation in the classroom, a well-structured and successful oral exposition, an interesting musical composition created in the Garage Band app, a dramatization-presentation-explanation of a story through the Magisto app, sharing a video questionnaire about prehistory with the group using the Educanon app, the improvement of distinct cognitive processes used to resolve a mathematical problem, o something as routine as keeping their workspace and locker organised.
There are many different categories which are appropriate to be included in the portfolio: production of texts, editing of video conferences, group presentations in order to develop oral and presentation skills… In this way, when the students (for having been exemplary in any of these categories) upload a document or image to their digital portfolio (created using the GOOGLE DRIVE platform), they gradually fill empty spaces around their avatar. At the end of the school year, the students will have an excellent set of “great results” from among the aspects of learning at which they have exceled.