About The School
With the Presidential Decree (#435) in 1984 specific Schools for Expatriate Greeks were established for the first time in Greece. This is how the story of our school starts.
In 1989 according to the 1865/89 Law the aforementioned schools were renamed into Schools for Repatriate Greeks only to be renamed once more when in 1996 the Ministry for National Education and Religious Matters adopted intercultural education – a new form of education in Greece – as part of this policy.
The aim of intercultural education was to set up and run primary and secondary classes that provide education to young people with a specific educational, social or cultural identity.
In Intercultural schools, the standard curriculum is adapted to meet the specific educational, social or cultural needs of the students attending them.
Throughout the years, the school has been engaged in various projects aiming to improve school performance of repatriated and foreign students in the Greek school in order to ensure as far as possible equitable education groups with native children and their social integration. In this context the school participated in the program “Training immigrants and repatriate students” organized by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki during 2011-2013. More specifically it was involved in two actions:
Action 1. Support for reception classes
Activities under Action 1 were designed to support the proper functioning of the institution of Reception Classes through the development of cooperation between teachers who teach the Reception classes and teachers in regular classes with the aim to design, implement and evaluate specific practices for teaching Greek as a second / foreign language in children with different linguistic traits. The three sub-actions that were realized in our school were:
Sub-action 1.1 Support of school and teacher staffing the Reception classes on their organization and operation
Through scheduled visits to schools in which reception classes operate and with the use of specially designed tools (questionnaires and interviews) the program sought to collect research data based on the experience of teachers. The interest of sub-action 1.1 is directed specifically to the difficulties and deficiencies faced by teachers of reception classes and generally schools in which they operate. For this reason, teachers undertook related seminars and were provided with electronic support materials.
Sub-action 1.4 Assessment of the operation of the Reception classes
It assesses the functioning of Reception classes through
(a) students’ performance
(b) teachers’ views
(c) the views of students on Reception classes.
The evaluation of students’ performance was assessed with specially designed activities. They were classified according to the age of the students and the expected level of Greek language and literacy, controlling all four language skills (listening, speaking and writing) as well as the grammar proficiency. Teachers’ and pupils’ views were evaluated by specially designed questionnaires and interviews. The evaluation of reception classes through all three parameters is carried out by the administration of tests and tools in two time periods (beginning of the school year: initial tests (pre-test) and end of the school year: final tests (post-test)).
Sub-action 1.5 Digitization of written and oral texts of students (learner corpora)
The aim of the sub-action is to digitize a sample of written and oral students’ products for teaching and research purposes. The products of students are categorized linguistically and grammatically and analyzed through an annotation tool, taking into account variables such as mother tongue, age, age at first exposure to Greek, the type of bilingualism, etc., which affect the ratio of students. The specific objective is for the data to form a base corpus by the ratio of students (learner corpora) and be available for research and teaching use.
Action 2. Enhancing the learning of the Greek language
Activities of Action 2 aimed at strengthening the linguistic capital of immigrants and repatriates. They also seek to support language speaking students with disabilities that affect the conquest of Modern Greek language in oral or written realization. The education and training of young teachers in managing issues in linguistically and culturally mixed classes plays a central role in the development of the action. The two sub-actions that were realized in our school were:
Sub-action 2.2: Support of the school in the organization and operation of classes teaching the Greek language
The aim of the sub-action is to develop classes teaching the Greek language to the following target groups:
- foreign students who have attended reception classes, but still face problems in the Greek language
- newcomers to the country who don’t speak the language
- students who don’t speak the language and have enrolled in schools without previous experience in a Greek school
Sub-action 2.3: Operation of Summer Courses
The purpose of the specific sub-action is to strengthen repatriated and foreign students in the transition from one school level to another. In our school participants were the 6th Grade students who would attend High School the following year. The main goal of the design and implementation of the sub-action is to prevent school dropouts.