We are pleased to announce the successful completion of the COMENIUS partnership project, No Child Left Behind, on 30 November 2009.
In 2007, the partnership of educational institutions from the United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Lithuania and Romania came together with the shared desire to look at ways of promoting the key principles and good practice measures that have made the UK Study Support initiative effective in narrowing the achievement gap in schools.
In 1998, the UK government, recognising that non formal learning (Study Support) can make an important contribution to education strategies aimed at improving educational outcomes for children, launched the Study Support initiative as a national programme.
“Study Support is a learning activity outside normal lessons in which young people take part in voluntarily. Study Support is, accordingly, an inclusive term, embracing many activities – with many names and guises. Its purpose is to improve young people’s motivation, build their self-esteem and to help them become more effective learners. Above all it aims to raise achievement.” (Study Support: A National Framework for Extending Learning Opportunities, Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2006)
The UK government was keen to see schools and Local Authorities working together to embed Study Support in their strategies and development plans rather than treating it as an ‘added extra’ to the schools’ classroom activities.
The EACEA has concluded its assessment of the COMENIUS No Child Left Behind project’s final report awarding the project 63 out of 70 points (90%). The project’s product, the Non Formal Learning Training Kit (out of school hours learning) was given the maximum 10 points for the outcomes category.
This is a wonderful outcome and the partnership wishes to thank the Commission for its grant assistance and everyone involved in the NCLB project whose commitment and hard work enabled us to achieve our aims.
Excerpts from the Commission’s Assessment Review:
“ The project’s vision and objectives that every child has access and motivating learning activities were successfully achieved through best practice case studies, new NFL tools and attractive training resources for teachers and organisations involved in working with children from disadvantaged background. While encountering several challenges, internal and external, the partnership was highly committed and found good solutions to ensure work-progress and develop relevant results and high quality materials. All these results produced are available on CD-ROM and on the excellent website in 5 languages.”
“…The Final Report presents very good evidence of the activities and explains clearly the challenges and solutions to ensure that the project is on track… as planned…”
“ At the end of the project, the Final Report and the outcomes produced succeed to demonstrate the extent to which the project brought as intended a real contribution to COMENIUS action, to LLP priorities… by the approaches developed to encourage teachers to develop new pedagogical methods to increase pupil motivation.”
Partners share the belief that education opens pathways to new and exciting opportunities and that with sufficient support all young people can succeed and grow into confident adults. In a fast changing world that puts increasing demands for higher levels of skills and qualifications, the provision of innovative and exciting non formal learning activities outside normal school hours have become critical to our children’s achievement. Non formal learning offers a new way of thinking about education and it is our hope that it becomes an integral part of the education system in Europe.
The main product of the project is the non formal learning training kit (“Study Support” in the UK under the Extended Schools initiative) in English, Spanish, Romanian, Polish and Lithuanian languages. The aim of this training kit is to provide knowledge, examples of good practices and resources to enable teachers, trainers or anyone who is interested in providing out of school hours learning activities that are enjoyable and fun.
The training kit is free to download and use for non commercial purposes from this website, which will be online until 2013. The training kit can also be accessed through the partners’ and Every Child an Achiever Network’s websites: www.echanetwork.eu
On behalf of the partnership I wish to express our gratitude to everyone, particularly the pupils, from the five countries who made this project a success.
Further information can be had from Nish Vaithilingam (Programme Coordinator).
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