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Junior High School of Methoni

School   2 members

The Junior High School of Methoni is secondary (compulsory) education state institution situated in a small village in a relatively remote area of the Peloponnese in Southern Greece with very little physical access to cultural events and resources. The capital of Messinia (the regional unit of our area) is situated at a distance of about 60 km with only villages and a couple of small towns between that and Methoni. Our area has many archaeological and historical sites and monuments and is an international tourist destination, a fact that we try to implement into our projects and school activities to better engage the students in enveloping their historical and cultural heritage into their everyday life and build skill sets that will allow them to promote and develop it further.

The student age range is from 12-15 years old (1st, 2nd and 3rd grade). The number of students fluctuates yearly between 60-70 pupils with a relative gender balance. The teaching staff is approximately 14-15 teachers every year with some as a permanent staff from year to year and a number of them teach on an one year basis. The acting principal also teaches classes together with her administration duties. There is no secretarial or other administrative staff, administrative duties are carried out by the teaching staff and the principal. The school follows the State curriculum for Secondary Education. Registered students attend school and there are almost no dropouts. Students of both genders continue their education on to Senior High School or Technical School with dropout rates almost to 0%. The Junior High School of Methoni shares the school compound with the Senior High School of Methoni where the majority of our students choose to carry on their education even though it is not compulsory. A small number of students go to Technical Schools which are located about 60 km from Methoni, making access to technical education difficult.

The students come from various economical and ethnic backgrounds and a large number of them are bilingual so the acquisition and development of language learning skills are one of our primary objectives. Besides Greek that is the language the curriculum is taught, students are taught English and French as second languages, which add to the multiculturality of our school and the building of a multilingual community and enhance its chances of developing ties with schools in other countries to advance and improve our learning methodologies. The teaching of foreign languages and especially English, is used as a tool for better communication and understanding between people regardless of their origin, ethnic, religious and cultural background in an attempt to establish solid, fruitful relations that promote tolerance and peace. Our objective is for the students to develop skills that will allow them to be active participants within a democratic “ecosystem” helping their local community through their skill set acquired by collaboration in a wider European school network.   

The school, besides the mandatory curriculum, provides its students with the possibility to partake in additional projects and programs that interact with the local  community and the wider educational community of nearby and distant schools exchanging good practices.

The educators group is comprised by teachers who are well aware of the needs of the school, are effective professionals and have a deep knowledge of their teaching material. They are energetic, dedicated, creative, enthusiastic and in a constant pursue of additional training in their field. They have a long-time experience on school projects, high level of achievement in new technologies, excellent command of the English language and valuable experience in Comenius mobility projects. Their need for cutting-edge innovative ideas that will make the lesson more attractive and interesting is a given as well as the need to meet other educators, expand their network of affiliates and build on the possibility of collaboration with European schools.

The school compound features the Methoni School Library which has been awarded as the best school and youth library for 2018 from the Greek IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People). Our library has no librarian or any other administrative stuff so it operates collaboratively by the teachers of the school with the help of all the students. The library is open during the whole school schedule from 8:00 to 14:00 and extends its open hours according to need. It is also open one day per week in the summer and hosts events that further reading activities. The library is used as a classroom of differentiated learning, a multispace of learning and interactivity. It is open to the wider public. The collections of the library include books of all disciplines that can be used for research as well as a large collection of literature both Greek and translated. We have a large and unique collection of English books (donated literature and science) that are a very useful in the teaching of English. The library also has a good collection of board games, educational games, audiovisual material, puzzles, open air chess board and it is used to build and promote collaboration and better communication among its users.

The Library and staff also organise film screenings in collaboration with Youth Plan and the International Film Festival of Olympia for Children and Young People that promote the principles of UNICEF and UNESCO.

Our school is involved in many educational projects:

a)“The Tipping Point”: a project that uses a unique platform to bring together mentors from many disciplines who interact with the students via teleconferencing in order to answer their questions and inspire them to advance their learning and choose a career. The students have the possibility to find out about the skills that are required in their chosen profession and acquire first hand knowledge about studying in universities in Greece and abroad by successful people in a variety of fields.  

b) “Life Skills”:a program implemented by the British Council that develop a set of basic skills that enable students to effectively manage the challenges of daily life. They include critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, the ability to communicate and collaborate, along with personal and social responsibility. Our school is participating for the second year now, last year in “Developing Active Citizens” and this year in “Developing Social Entrepreneurs”.  

c) Our school has been taking part in Marathons de lecture pour la Francophonie, where the students read aloud to the public a designated book in order to promote language learning and understanding.

d) In order to promote literacy, reading as well as the English language, we have also taken part in a Skypeathon on World Read Aloud Day where two schools collaborate and read aloud a book to one another via teleconferencing or video.

e) Since understanding and empathy is one of the areas that our school works on, we have been active participants in Action Aid and are sponsors of a young child from Rwanda for the past three years.