Address: 39/63, Velyka Perspektyvna Street, Kropyvnytskyi City

Country: Ukraine

 School website

Project: School Values Unite Us


Working language during the project:

  • Ukrainian

Themes of the Council of Europe project “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:

  • Making children’s and students’ voices heard

Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:

  • Responsibility
    While taking part in the interactive exercise on choosing values “Game of Senses”, students had to choose the most important values for the whole school community and take the responsibility for their choice.
  • Co-operation skills
    While taking part in the exercise “Game of Senses”, students had to choose 5 major values for our school out of 60. The work meant discussion, argumentation and mutual understanding in order to make a decision.
  • Civic-mindedness
    This was formed during the lessons, extra-curricular activities and through implementing projects on the civic competence.

Target group age range:

  • 11-15
  • 15-19

Level of education:

  • Lower secondary education
  • Upper secondary education

Short description of the project:

Different views are held on the priorities of educating students’ at school. In addition, children of different nationalities and social strata study here. Thus, we faced the problem of choosing the most important values of our school community.

We carried out a survey asking in the form of an exercise “Game of Senses” to determine the opinion of our school community. A consensus building game was played to learn the values that are important to parents, teachers, staff and students.

The students of Grades 5-11, all students’ parents, teachers and other staff members were involved in the process of defining the school’s values.

Our desire was to harmonise the parents’, teachers’, staff’s and students’ aspirations for the sake of the students’ well-being. We think that choosing and working to common values will benefit the future of our school and community. Each group (parents, students, school staff) defined 5 values which were then discussed at the meeting of the School Council. Using a method of rating by voting, the 5 major values of our school were defined: EDUCATION, RESPECT, HEALTH, RESPONSIBILITY and CULTURE.

US Peace Corps Volunteers were consultants and observers during the game. We used their advice on the democratic conduct of this procedure. After defining the values, we had some meetings and discussions to agree on a common understanding of them in our school community.

While doing this activity such competences as responsibility, co-operation and civic mindedness were instilled among students and staff. We realised that the values chosen by our school community are part of the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC).

At the second stage of our project we had some meetings with the students and presented them the results of the choices made, worked on their critical understanding of those 5 major values and made plans for continuing to develop students’ civic competences.

We understood that it was necessary to include themes on the development of civic competences into curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Since 2016 our school has taken part in the programme “Democratic School”. We have learnt how to implement interactive exercises and methods of formal assessment. Teachers developed students’ civic competences in different subjects and carried out STEM projects.

We will continue to work on this project in 2019/2020 school year.


  • 1. To involve the school community in the project.
  • 2. To get students involved in school activities.
  • 3. To identify priorities in the students’ education and development.
  • 4. To harmonise the aspirations of parents, teachers/staff and students for the benefit of students and the school.

Expected results/outcomes

  • 59 groups comprising 418 students, 351 parents, 76 teachers and 12 school employees took part in the interactive exercise “Game of Senses” to choose the school’s major values.
  • The major school values and their common understanding were identified (21 class meetings and 36 parents’ meetings were held).
  • The teachers used interactive techniques in their work. 41 exercises for developing civic competences were created in different subjects for lower and upper secondary level students. 3 cross-curricular projects were carried out.
  • A plan of action was developed for the ongoing development of students’ civic competences.
  • The major values of the school were set out in the form of a tag cloud and printed as calendars, which were displayed in each classroom and on the school’s notice boards and information resources.


  • Some students and their parents have changed their formal understanding of their role in the school community.
  • Students have become equal participants in the school decision-making process.
  • Some teachers have changed their way of teaching and as a result, students have become more motivated to study. Teachers have shared their successful practices with the colleagues.
  • Our parents and teachers have agreed on priorities for the students’ education.

Challenges you faced

  • It was impossible to involve all the students in the interactive exercise “Game of Senses” (there are more than 900 students at our school).
  • It was impossible to conduct the exercise “Game of Senses” in grades 1 – 4, because the teaching method is too difficult for elementary students.
  • Some of the teachers did not want to spend time during the lesson on developing students’ civic competences, preferring to develop curricular competences.
  • Not all the teachers find it easy to implement interactive exercises.

Time-frame of the project:


Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:

  • Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
  • All Different – All Equal
  • Compass
  • Compasito

Additional material provided by the school