Our school is a small institution based in a rural area in the south-east of the Czech Republic. The school consists of a nursery school with 23 infants and 2 teachers and a primary school, i.e. Years 1 – 5 for children aged 6 – 11/12, with 42 pupils, 3 full-time teachers (including the director), 1 part-time teacher and 2 assistants. One of the pupils is a boy with special educational needs and is supported by one of the assistants. As the number of staff is limited, a single class typically consists of pupils in two different Years.
The school has a system of its staff’s professional development and lifelong learning. Its teachers are committed to maintaining a high professional standard.
Tradition – Ecology – Openness is the heading of our school’s basic curricular document. It is an expression of the ethos underpinning all of our school’s activities and efforts.
We live in a piece of land with rich and vibrant cultural heritage. It is precious in that it is local, folk and informal, i.e. a culture which grows and exists outside the main stream. It is passed from parents onto their children. This culture is expressed in the local music, songs, oral history, architecture, clothing and festivals. Our school cooperates with the broader community and helps keep this tradition alive.
We believe that it is necessary for our pupils to be aware of their roots and history; however, we know that our lives are set in a much wider, global context. Environmental issues are always on our minds. We discuss both local issues such as sorting waste, pollution, biodiversity and the big questions of global warming and related issues.
We work hard to help our pupils acquire a solid base so that when they leave our school they are well on their way towards becoming confident, open and critically thinking individuals with all the competences, skills and abilities necessary for their self-fulfilment in the 21st century.
These general statements are translated into concrete day-to-day activities. We pioneer new methods in teaching literacy and numeracy to children aged 7 – 11 (the Prof. Hejny method, Sfumato etc.). We provide a top-quality English education. We also employ the CLIL method (in subjects and scope appropriate to the pupils’ age).
We realise that digital literacy is one the key skills for the 21st century. Our teachers follow the latest trends in this area and employ them in their lessons. The school uses desktops, laptops, tablets, interactive white boards, cameras and other peripheries. The teachers are the authors of a large quantity of customised digital educational content, most of which is available on the school’s LMS Moodle. We strive to utilise ICT for creative purposes and to reach beyond the classroom. Our pupils meet new friends through eTwinning projects, Skype sessions with their peers from all over the world and other similar activities.
We value artistic and creative subjects as highly as the academic ones. Our fine art works have earned reputation beyond the walls of our school or the borders of our village (Ždánický plenér 2015, an exhibition of fine arts held in Ždánice and Kyjov). One of our teachers is a trained vocalist who leads a music and singing club (and organises regular shows for parents and the community). In addition, we have a responsible approach towards physical education, sports and games.
Our school boasts a large garden. The design and management of the garden is environemntally friendly and combines a relaxation and fun zone, organic farming (apples, cherries, herbs and vegetables) and preservation of the local diversity of species (natural, unmanaged places – shelters for animals). We hold the Natural Garden cerificate. We have kept sheep in the garden, and are planning to keep hens.
At present, we are seeking ways to improve two areas of our activity:
We intend to improve and enhance polytechnic education offered by our school. We have drawn inspiration from Finnish educational system. We are purchasing hand tools and converting one of our facilities into a workshop.
We also want to play more active parts in international projects so that our pupils can meet new friends from other parts of Europe, learn about European diversity, learn English in an informal and interesting context and use ICT in order to communicate with their peers.