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9th Primary School of Rethymno & Primary Science Laboratory

School   3 members

The 9th Primary School is a state/public school, which was established in 1985 in Rethymno, Crete. It is located in the suburb of Missiria, on the outskirts of the coastal town of Rethymno. The student population of the school is aged 6 to 12 and has a mixed socioeconomic background. Most pupils are of Greek origin, however, in the past few years, due to political changes that have affected east Mediterranean countries, a great inflow of immigrants and refugees were welcomed in our school. Today there are 250 pupils enrolled and 30 teachers, most of which are permanent staff and have been working in the school for years.

A consistent effort has been made to upgrade the school standards in terms of infrastructure and quality of teaching over the years. The "Primary Science Laboratory" (PSL), which has been established and incorporated at the school premises since 2005, aims to assist and support the teaching and learning of science, but also provides in-service teacher training, as well as research and development in the creation of educational content. Indicatively, three thematic "science fairs" have been organized by the PSL, which had a successful impact to the educational and local community. Also, a series of 3 consecutive "School Environmental Education Projects" has been conducted, which were co-financed by the E.U., within a framework of an open school to society, raising public awareness on scientific, environmental and ecological issues. The research work of the PSL has a strong presence and impact nationally and internationally for over 16 years through the participation and active involvement in several EU Projects (FP6, FP7, e-Content+, Horizon 2020, as well as Comenius 1 and Comenius 3 Networks & Erasmus+).

An "organic school garden" has been developed since 2005, where pupils get the chance to cultivate and grow crops "from seed to seed", learn about healthy eating, and share their produce with the local community, together with the "Cretan Kings Basketball Club" [2015-2019], within a framework of volunteerism, solidarity and active citizenship. The "prototype nature" of this school garden has led the PSL and the school to co-organize 3 national educational scenario contests, with the title: "School gardens: production and disposal of agricultural products", under the auspices of the Institute of Educational Policy and the Ministry of Education, with the support of EU Projects such as "Inspiring Science Education" [ISE], "GreeNET" & "Open Schools for Open Societies" [OSOS] (cf. Tsagliotis, 2015). In March 2019, the school garden and the PSL received an EU distinction of excellence within the framework of the OSOS Project (2017-2020) for the work on "Companion Planting in the school garden", establishing plant partnerships in micro-ecosystems and "plant societies", much like collaborations in human communities.