C-3 LTT ACTIVITIES IN FINLAND, MANTSALA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udvlSspzoBs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We4P-xxbAmU

 

C-3 LTT ACTIVITIES IN FINLAND


In the Finnish city of Mäntsälä, 62 km from Helsinki, at Kirkonkylän koulu school, teachers and students from five countries met: Finland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Poland. 
On this amazing journey to the far north of Europe, we set off on the 4th and 5th of May. We arrived in Lufthansa to sunny Helsinki, where Finnish teachers, students and their families welcomed us cheerfully. Passing meadows and forests, we arrived by car to the destination of our trip - the city of Mäntsälä, which has about 20,000 inhabitants, for approx. 600 km2. Most of the local families live in wooden, light-blue or light yellow houses with small gardens, close to the forest, where they collect berries every year. There is also a river and a lake, numerous bicycle paths, little asphalt, concrete, but a lot of greenery.

 

The TASKS CARRIED OUT:

 

a-Presentations of national education system - Finnish Inclusive Education, "National volunteering associations of my country," "Our regular voluntary
service in a social service field'', "The history and values of my nation" by host pupils.
a-Presentations of national education system - Finnish Inclusive Education, "National volunteering associations of my country," "Our regular voluntary
service in a social service field'', "The history and values of my nation" by host pupils.
b- "Voluntary celebirities lives and works in our culture" multi-media presentations by all partners
c-Through Challenges To Success - a video presentation of one adult who finished a high school or university despite difficulties - a real life story
d- Anti-bullying T-shirt with national, cultural or religious motives designed and created by each participant
e-Finnish language course by low-skilled pupils to all participants, Finnish- English language video dictionary
f-A seminar to public "Simple Steps to Prevent Early School Leaving"
g- Brochures to Public "Inclusive Education in Practice"
h - Volunteering - singing national songs for the elder people in the Senior House, offering hand-made paintings, creating cards
i- My 10 Reasons to Love School - a pop-up book by each partner school - enriching the school library
j-Project Memory Book
k-Questionnaire of What we learnt
l- Competiton of culinary art using fruit and vegetables, a Master Chef competition. The pupils worked in international teams of four and their task was to decorate a smail cake as beautifully as possible using fruit and berries. The winning teams  got a prize.
The AIM of this mobility meeting was to see each pupil as an individual and secure their possible education, human growth and well-being in our
society, to raise responsible, open-minded, balanced and respectful individuals, to fight against school bullying in every form, to promote inclusive
education in which all students learn equally together, to learn about ways to help disadvantaged pupils with their learning, social or other problems,
to increase the learning outcomes of the pupils with low basic skills, to prevent early school leaving and organise activities to keep the students at
schools and make them love the schools, to provide a language course to participants given by low -skilled pupils to make them more social and
increase their school achievements.
Anti-bullying strategies and inclusive education are the elements if everyday life school reality in the Finnish school - all the partner schools are going
to apply inclusive education and integrate newly observed and learned strategies with policies and procedures in their schools.
The participants were from Finland ( 5 teachers, 19 students), Portugal (3 teachers, 5 students), Spain (2 teachers, 5 students), Italy (4 teachers, 5 students) and Poland (3 teachers, 4 students). In fact the whole school was involved in the project activities.

 

THE BENEFITS:


-Learning about a different educational system and curriculum - discussion with the head of education
-Learning about inclusive education and anti-bullying procedures and strategies (Kiva school system), observing how they work in practice, ability to adapt some of them at one's own
school
-Breaking the barriers, prejudices, stereotypes about different nations, cultures, lifestyles, religions and setting a warm dialogue between them.
-Openness and courage in communicating with people from the world, raising students’ self-esteem and developing the ability to participate in social
interactions.
-Learning to respect somebody who is different than me, who believes differently, who has a different origin than mine
-Learning to respect and care for the elder people in our societies
-Appreciating school and education
-Awareness of other languages and the rise of awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity of the EU, improving social, language skills 
-Improving key competences, creative, artistic intelligence, manual, artistic, vocal competences
-Increasing the level of motivation to learn foreign languages and participate actively in the school life.
-Strenghtening the sense of solidarity, increasing social skills, feeling part of the group
-Learning about the Finnish cultural heritage and history-a workshop on traditional Finnish instruments organized by a famous Finnish singer Mikko Perkoila.
-Sharing experiences, rise of communication, improvement of social, basic (reading, writing), language skills, improving lifelong friendship (Project
Memory Book)
-Improving design, language, digital, social skills, gaining team spirit (brochures handed out to public, digital dictionary)
-Understanding the needs of disadvantaged people.
-Teachers: practical ideas for providing support to help pupils complete the school syllabus, offering totally inclusive education in a form of an
inclusive class, where pupils with learning disabilities learn together with non-disabled students.

 

DESCRIPTION
On Monday morning, our pupils and their Finnish friends went to school. First surprise - a huge parking lot for bicycles at the school. It turned out that most of the local children throughout the school year commute to school by bicycle, regardless of the weather. The second surprise - immediately after entering school, on a large doormat, you need to take off your shoes. We are in the "Sock School". Both students and teachers (including the head teacher) move here in socks. Strangely, we all got used to it quickly and thanks to this custom, we felt at home in a Finnish school. Another surprise - on the school corridor, there were bookshelves with books for reading, tables with coloring books and crayons, there was also a table with jigsaw puzzles - it attracted children, and every day more and more concrete picture emerged from the puzzles. In one of the rooms, a self-service dining room - all Finnish school-age children get lunch for free.
We have been officially welcomed by the director of the Finnish school, Mrs Taina Ahonen and project coordinator Ms. Tujia Palmunen. Then, everyone in the international environment learned basic phrases in Finnish. We watched presentations and theatrical art prepared by Finnish pupils. In the afternoon we visited older people in the nearby Atendo Onni Senior Home. Each student brought with themselves and offered a hand-made picture with elements of the culture or nature of their country. Representatives of each school sang and danced the song in their own national language. The audience was large and there were also people in wheelchairs and lying, the oldest lady was 108 years old! Everyone liked the performances and paintings. The daughter of one elder lady thanked us a lot - her lying, rarely responsive mom, opened her eyes and applauded us. These were special moments for us all. We are very happy that we could bring a breath of joy and youth there.
On the same day, at 5:00 pm, all teachers and students along with their Finnish friends and their families set out on Haukankierros. We walked through a beautiful Finnish forest, passing smaller and larger white boulders along the way, colorful mosses and a lake. At the end of the route a bonfire with sausages awaited us. The weather was beautiful - the sun was shining and it was warm. The path through the forest was conducive to conversations and establishing new or deepening old international friendships.
On Tuesday, in the Finnish host school, our students took part in the mathematics workshop of Varga and presented their  "Pop Up Books" under the title "10 reasons why I love school." Teachers at that time visited a secondary school and saw a detailed presentation about the Finnish education system.
 In the afternoon we went to Helsinki. We visited the Helsinki zoo, located on one of the islands. Along the way, we saw at the sea powerful ships - ice breakers, used in the winter when the Baltic Sea is frozen. We ate ice cream at Senate Square, watched the Lutheran cathedral, the University buildings and the monument to Tsar Alexander II. We took pictures at the Sibelius monument - a sculpture in the shape of steel organs, listening to the pipes of the sounds of nature and the city. We visited a museum that had a section for children - we saw how a school in Finland once looked.
On Wednesday, students designed and made T-shirts against harassment using paints and markers - the effect was great.
At that time, teachers were admitted to the education department of the City of Mäntsälä by local authorities - they learned about many details about the city, the educational  system.

In the afternoon we went to Helsinki. We visited the Helsinki zoo, located on one of the islands. Along the way, we saw at the sea powerful ships - ice breakers, used in the winter when the Baltic Sea is frozen. We ate ice cream at Senate Square, watched the Lutheran cathedral, the University buildings and the monument to Tsar Alexander II. We took pictures at the Sibelius monument - a sculpture in the shape of steel organs, listening to the pipes of the sounds of nature and the city. We visited a museum that had space for children - we saw how a school in Finland once looked.

On Wednesday, students designed and made anti bullying T-shirts using paints and markers - the effect was great.

At that time, teachers were admitted to the education department of the City of Mäntsälä by local authorities - they learned about many details of the city, education system, school organization, care for students with special educational needs. The amount allocated to the budget for education in the city of Mäntsälä (20,000 inhabitants) - 47.5 million euros per year, has stunned us!

In the afternoon, the teachers and all students went to the Heureka Finnish Science Center in Tikkurila, near Helsinki. The interactive museum has provided an amazing experience to all of us. Among other things, we could experiment with wind, optics, balance and perspective. There was also a part with moving dinosaurs. After wearing 3D glasses, we discovered the world from the perspective of a dinosaur, hatching from an egg and getting to know his mother. The planetarium made the biggest impression on us. Lying on comfortable armchairs, we set off on a journey into space with great speed, to see meteor trails on Earth from a proper perspective, and to see planets, stars and various constellations from close up. There were times that we were afraid that we would fall into the abyss, everything was very real.

On Thursday, teachers had the chance to observe lessons, facilities  and equipment at the latest Riihenmäki school in Mäntsälä.Before the school was built, there was a broad discussion about the needs with teachers, pupils and parents. Only then a project was created, taking into account the space with playgrounds at the school and many specially designated rooms for students and teachers at school. A huge, spacious dining room was planned, and a stage, a spacious music room next to the gymnasium, small glazed houses in the corridors for students seeking peace and round couches for students looking for others. Classroom benches that can be combined freely, enabling work in groups.

A group of Polish teachers watched the first class lesson - all students in socks, without shoes, felt comfortable in the classroom, raised their feet with their feet that dropped them. When the teacher began to practice reading with them, the assistant took in the corridor to the prepared for this purpose a colorful table with comfortable benches, all students who read at a slower pace. There were students in the class who were able to read, so they quickly went through the whole read, no one was bored. After a while, the other students returned, who were practicing reading with the assistant and the lesson continued.

While we were getting to know the secrets of Finnish education from the inside, our students took part in the  Europe Day - there was a solemn appeal, international team racing, puzzle game, guessing European languages, card workshops for residents of the Attendo Senior House and a concert by Finnish singer Mikko Perkoil , combined with the creation of traditional Finnish instruments.

On Friday, we all felt sad about the upcoming farewells. The teachers took part in a seminar run by a school psychologist and a school social worker on the steps that Finnish schools have taken to prevent early school leaving. The students, on the other hand, had a great time at Master Chef cooking art workshops with the use of fruits and vegetables - they created beautiful compositions that they later ate with joy.

After the certificate ceremony, we went to Porvoo, one of the oldest cities in Finland with characteristic wooden architecture and a medieval cathedral. It is a city that everyone would love.

It was difficult for us to part with new friends. We did not tell them "Goodbye!" But "See you!"