The Pestalozzi Programme at Zabbar B

The Pestalozzi Programme is the Council of Europe’s programme for the professional development of teachers and education actors.  At the core of the Pestalozzi Programme is the person with a focus on democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. The programme aims to put these values into the practice of education and to support member states in the move from education policy to education practice in line with these values. The programme promotes a learner-centred methodology that supports collaborative work on issues of common concern.

Our school has a long standing link to the Programme. In July 2015, all our teachers participated in a Pestalozzi Programme training event organised within the in-service professional development programme for teachers in Malta and a number of teachers have also participated in training offered by the Programme abroad. Over the last few days, Malta hosted a training event focusing on the Evaluation and Assessment of Transversal Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge. During such training events, participants are invited to create training material which can be used in different contexts. The participants, including Ms Maria Mc Namara, our College Principal, were invited to pilot their activities at our school.

So, on Thursday 26 May, our school was “invaded” by some 30 educators coming from all over Europe. Our Year 4 and Year 5 pupils had the opportunity to participate in an activity facilitated by one of the participants and to then provide feedback on the activity. The whole experience was incredibly rewarding on so many levels. It gave our students an opportunity to meet people hailing from all over, from Portugal to Belarus, Greece, Cyprus, Norway, Denmark, Georgia and many other countries. It was also an opportunity for us, as an educational community, to open ourselves to a much wider audience than we could possibly hope for under normal circumstance. It was extremely encouraging and rewarding to see this happening, to actually feel the cross-fertilization of minds opening up to such opportunities.

What was even more encouraging, were the comments from the foreign participants who thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The experience of piloting my activity with students was very gratifying, for me and for the students. This is the conclusion I have, after finishing this enriching experience. The students liked to collaborate, cooperate and were in constant teamwork. There was an empathy with the students. – Jacinta Maria Anunciação Santos, Portugal, Participant

I was one of the lucky ones to have the opportunity to pilot an activity with your 5th grade. It was a great experience. The willingness of your students to actively participate, the helpfulness of teachers and yourself… and the excitement of all of us there. Visnja Rajic, Croatia, Training Co-Ordinator

It was really very inspiring and also challenging for participants. It is enriching when we have a module in a host country to visit a school and see how education for democracy  is lived in situ. Participants had to adapt activities designed for adults to students of age 8 to 10; this was a learning experience in itself. The activities worked, students ‘got the point’  and this is another motivational result. Pascale Mompoint-Gaillard, Director of Studies, Pestalozzi Programme

Thank you for the opportunity you gave us! It was such an important and useful experience for us! It was an honor, yesterday, to be in your school! I felt like I was at home there!  Kids were so nice and willing to help, to work with us, to cooperate! Cristina Anton, Romania, Participant

Special thanks to all who in some way or another helped to make this wonderful opportunity and experience possible – the Ministry for Education and Employment in Malta, the Pestalozzi Programme, the trainers, the participants, our teachers and students and the many individuals who support our efforts throughout!

Oħloq Kultura

A group of Year 5 students participated in this year’s edition of “Oħloq Kultura”, part of the Valletta 2018 Foundation Education Program. This project has helped the students become aware of Culture Capitals, like Valletta 2018, in a fun and creative manner.

During the 10 sessions, the children formed a made-up culture – “Stozen”, in a fashion comparable to how cultures come about in real life. The first 9 sessions were held at school, while the last session was held at Paola Primary.

By paralleling this discovery to how Valletta was created as a city with its own culture, the children learnt about history, architecture and cultural heritage. The students also devised a press release in preparation for the launch of their cultural programme for their made up town, thus helping them understand the work being done by the Valletta 2018 Foundation.

A Skype call with Paola Primary was held during which students spoke to each other about their town, and presented it to each other. This created a cultural exchange and formed opportunities for the students to make new friends. The children finalised their cultural calendar, also involving events from their partner school. They met in person at Paola Primary to publicly introduce their made up culture and discuss their cultural programme.

OLY MATHS

Ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the Department of Curriculum Management organised a series of cross-curricular sessions related to Physical Education and Mathematics.
The event, entitled Oly Maths, was held at our school on Wednesday 11 May 2016. The aim of the event was to engage students in hands-on physical and mathematical activities promoting a cross-curricular approach related to a current theme, which is also included in the Year 5 Social Studies syllabus. The day started with a Quiz and then children were involved in three different activities – Capacity Race, Standing Jump and Throwing for Distance.

Special thanks to the Numeracy Support and PE teachers for making this possible.

Italiano – Lingua e Musica

Students from Year 5.4 recently participated in a national competition aimed at promoting Italian language and culture. The competition was open to all primary schools in Malta and Gozo. Our children proudly performed five popular Italian songs related to animals. Along each song children also learnt related Italian proverbs. The songs were:

Il Coccodrillo Come Fa
Tommaso il Cane Ficcanaso
Attenti al Lupo
Quaranta Quattro Gatti
Il Ballo del Qua Qua

Special thanks to Ms J. Zahra, the class teacher, Mr G. Borg, the school’s librarian and teacher of Italian, and Ms E. Muscat, the Learning Assistant.

Well done to all involved!

Gozo 2016

In what has now become an annual tradition, on Friday 6 May, Year 6 students went on a day trip to Gozo. Leaving early from school, we got to the newly restored Ċitadella for a treasure hunt that saw the children going round the museums hunting for clues. After lunch in Xlendi, we went on a hike to Wied il-Kantra, enjoying the beautiful views before finally heading back towards Mġarr for our trip back.

Pictures speak louder than words so here are a few snapshots from our excursion.