Address: Leof. Souniou 19500

Country: Greece

Project: Teacher of German language and of Greek as a second language in Reception Classes. Refugee education


Working language during the project:

  • Greek
  • English

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

  • Making children’s and students’ voices heard
  • Tackling discrimination
  • Improving well-being at school

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


Target group age range:

  • Valuing cultural diversity
    Through common activities of foreign and native students, through dialogue and exchange of experiences.
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of language and communication
    Through Greek as a second language lesson in Reception Classes.
  • Openness to cultural otherness and to other beliefs, world views and practices
    Through dialogue, songs and films which give place for thinking.

Level of education:

  • 11 - 15

Short description of the project:

Our school was founded in 2003 in Lavrion, a small town near Athens with a large immigrant and refugee population and a strong multicultural character. The first temporary residence of asylum seekers and refugees in Greece was established here in 1947 and has been a social camp aimed at the integration and smooth co-existence of refugees in the local community.

The co-existence of the local and foreign population as well as the vision of the first school principal to operate a democratic school, open to students of various ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds, led to the establishment of Reception Classes (R.C.), which have evolved and have successfully met the challenges of recent years, because of the significant increase in Greece of foreign pupils.

Since 2003, more than 400 foreign students (refugees and immigrants) have attended our school and the R.C., and have overcome their traumatic experience of war or persecution, have been integrated into the local community, have found work or have been encouraged to continue their education in Greece or in other European countries.

Intercultural education and integration of immigrants and refugees also concerns the local Greek students, parents, teachers of the school and the whole local community. The local Greek students and their families have to deal with stereotypes and avoid them and teachers have to face the challenge of teaching in multicultural and multilingual classes. Innovative teaching methods and approaches, such as differentiated, team cooperative or interdisciplinary teaching and social activities give space to all our students to express themselves and have been part of our good practice tools in our race against discrimination in our school.

The school also follows an educational model that focuses on the learning and social development of each student, and not the sterile transfer of knowledge and the acquisition of qualifications. Therefore, apart from the innovative language and disciplinary teaching, the course is followed by cultural actions and environmental projects open to the local community which teach students social and democratic skills.


Being a part of the democratic schools network our main aim is that foreign and local Greek students receive the same education, or at least they have access to the same education. Furthermore, that both types of students are raised with the principles of democracy, learn to respect the opinion of their class friends and avoid discrimination and racism. We want all student to be familiar with the place they live in and the history of the region so as to feel a belongingness. With activities where the voice of every student gets heard, we aim to cultivate democracy and fairness as an everyday practice and not as a wish.

Expected results/outcomes

To make school a place, where every student feels free to express his thoughts.

Challenges you faced

The smooth and peaceful coexistence of refugees and local Greek students in a school in this era in Greece is the main challenge. One more challenge is getting the local community on our side.

Time-frame of the project:

A school year (until 15th of May)