Melitopol Specialized School #23
Address: Hetman Sahaidachny Street 262, Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Region, 72304
Project: “Let’s Turn Complicated Into Simple”
Working language during the project:
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
- Improving well-being at school
Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:
- Valuing human dignity and human rights
It was a basic value in our project. Everyone who participates in the educational process has a right to equal dignity and ought to be treated accordingly – it is reflected in the School Charter.
Students, teachers, parents were conscientious and reflective about their ideas, actions and decisions and were responsible for the outcomes of their actions.
- Co-operation skills
Students, teachers, parents participated in shared activities and tasks. The School Charter is a joint document, so the goals may be achieved only if everyone co-operates.
Target group age range:
- 5 - 11
- 11 - 15 and
- 15 - 19
Level of education:
- Primary education
- Lower secondary education
- Upper secondary education
Short description of the project:
The “Let’s Turn Complicated into Simple” Project is meant to solve the lack of democratic practice through appropriate school documents that set the framework for living, learning, working and decision-making at school. The existing School Charter is known only to a limited number of people. It does not include democratic principles and procedures. It has no underlying common values. Moreover, there are no references to European or international documents. In addition, the main school document is standard and does not reflect the unique features and peculiarities of the school community.
The students said that they had never heard of the School Charter. Teachers added that they know that it exists but have never read it.
- to create a new joint (pupils-parents-teacher-community) edition of the School Charter,
- to include democratic principles and values in it,
- to introduce an updated document to all participants in the educational process.
The outcome is a Simple and fun interpretation of an important document: the School Charter for all! (100 copies).
Also there are some quantitative results: the Project’s target audience includes in the first cycle: the initiative team (14 teachers, 6 students, 18 parents); in the second cycle: 42 teachers, 204 school students and 302 parents; in the third cycle: the neighbourhood community.
Positive changes brought:
- increased teachers’ and parents’ participation,
- developed a positive environment by bringing a sense of community to the school team,
- improved the system of student participation in the decision-making processes by activating the Students’ Councils’ role;
- established a system of effective long-term cooperation between teachers, students and parents.
Challenges you faced
- Lack of awareness of the importance of the School’s guiding practice documents;
- Lack of time to acquire a detailed knowledge of the boring school papers;
- Difficulties with tricky terms;
- An officially written document seems too complicated for students, teachers and parents.
Time-frame of the project:
It took over a year to develop the School Charter, following extensive consultation with the staff, students and parents (2016).
Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:
- Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
- Democratic governance of schools
- Managing controversy
- Human Rights and Democracy Start with Us – Charter for All