ERASMUS Policy Stament (Overall Strategy)


Institut Castellet is a public High School, belonging to the Catalan Ministry of Education, Government of Catalonia, so it follows the directions coming from the EU, concretely the ones which refer to the learning of a second language for the majority of the European citizens, during their secondary education (14-20), being most of them able to reach the B1 level.

Another important aspect is to reduce youth unemployment.

We think that taking part in these projects together with class work will be a great help to reach these objectives.

Starting point:

In Spain and Catalonia, the percentage of youth unemployment is about 50%, and one of the solutions for reducing this number is improving the quality of higher education to have young people better prepared for finding a job. Institut Castellet tries to do this task: training competent citizens for a better Europe, as it is explained in our Educational Project.

Another important point for us is Orientation, because on the one hand many people in Catalonia don’t follow higher education, but on the other hand many others have got university degrees. We have got a lack of people studying Vocational Education and Training (VET),Intermediate or Upper, unlike in the rest of Europe.

We consider that to take part in these ERASMUS projects gives prestige, relevance and quality to these studies.

The fact that new technologies are very quickly implemented in the firms has given sometimes the paradox of existing a great difference among what it is taught in high schools and how the companies are really working. It is really necessary to link VET courses with the company real needs.

Catalonia also participates in the PISA programme, where the students’ level is tested worldwide.

Apart from that, at the end of compulsory secondary school (ESO), Catalan students are also tested in their basic skills, including foreign language. In this subject, our students are below the Catalan average. For this reason, the School direction together with the teaching staff have developed a strategy to improve the students’ results as far as the foreign language knowledge.

Strategic Plan:

– Participation in a GEP (experimental group of foreign languages) project: Teachers with a B2 level in English apply CLIL methodology in some of his classes, mainly in Science, Technology, PE and Music.

– Organisation of cultural trips and exchanges with Britain and France (VET, batxillerat,3r i 4t d’ESO) and language stays in Spain organised by the Spanish Ministry of Education in Spain for the youngest.

-We also ask for a Language Assistant to the Spanish M E when it is possible in order the students can improve speaking.

– At 2nd level (13-14 years old) students start French as a third language.

– We encourage VET students to participate in ERASMUS KA1, Intermediate and Upper.

– We are also preparing a KA2 project with our French associate in order to find other European associates and ask for it in the future.

– We also offer German as a third language in btx.

Objectives:

1)Decrease the difference of our students’ results of English from the rest of Catalonia. See a positive evolution (20% improve in 2 years)

2)Encourage our students finishing ESO, VET or BTX to attend official English and French tests to get B1 and B2 certificates.

3)Improve the foreign languages level in all our students.

4)Promote and make easier for the teaching staff the language training in English, French, German and any other languages.

5)Continue taking part in ERASMUS projects KA1, with all VET students, intermediate and upper, and start participating in mobilities for teachers.

Formative and summative Assessment:

1)The results of Basic skills Test can be followed annually. They can be compared with the ones of the previous year and the ones of the rest of Catalonia. As we have said 20% in two years. Then we will have to find strategies to maintain them in 90% and up.

2)20% of the students at the end of their formation must be able to take official language exams and pass them (B1,B2 or C1)

3)The level can be tested each term in the formative assesment.

4)30% of the teaching staff must be able to take and pass official language exams.

5)During this period till 2020 we will try to participate in the ERASMUS projects, with a minimum of 4 students in the Intermediate VET and 2 in the upper VET.

6)At the end of each course we will analyse if the adopted measures have given the adequate results, and if they are not satisfactory new measures will be adopted, counting on the internal resources of the school and the ones we can use from the Catalan and Spanish Ministry of Education.

Questions:

a)We already have the associate, by means of the relation we have with the Lycée Urban Vitry in Toulose (France), with which we have made various collaborations of the internship /work.

Please describe your institution’s strategy for the organisation and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects within the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme. If not applicable, please explain:

As we have been explaining during the project, both us and our French partner have realised that a key point for carrying out any Erasmus project is the good knowledge of the language. Although we are trying to facilitate the acquisition of a basic level of language, useful for their daily life, this is not enough because they also need the specific vocabulary for each branch of their VET studies.

This is very difficult to achieve because we need a higher specialization of our language teachers. They teach French to our students and of course our partner teaches Spanish to theirs, but the language teacher don’t normally know the specific words used in the different branches of VET studies.

Both parts are aware of this disadvantage. For this reason we have decided to start a KA2 project to start working this aspect and improve the specific language of our teachers too.

From our High School and as innovation project , we propose to our students, taking into account that they are following Computering Studies, the creation of basic vocabulary apps to learn more specific vocabulary (about Computer Science in our case and plumbing, masonry or carpentry in the case of our French partner.

Please refer to each of the 5 priorities of the Agenda for the Modernisation of Europe’s higher education system and explain the policy objectives you intend to pursue:

 

  *Increassing attainment levels:

A) Improving Orientation

Many students find very difficult to choose a career when they finish their compulsory education: either High school or VET.

In case they choose this last one, then they aren’t sure of which speciality to take.

We consider orientation a very important issue to help students decide which is the best option for them. This way we are avoiding the high rate of students who give up their VET studies and we achieve the objective of having more young people with a better training for their future professional life.

B)Improving the teachers’ learning skills:

This is one of the key priorities, to have a competent staff, technically and pedagogically. For this reason we try to motivate our school teachers to attend different seminars to improve their skills..

C)Increasing material resources (facilities, computers, workshops…):

The consequence is that students can complete better their curriculum in quality and quantity.

 

*Improving Quality

The centre has made great efforts in this field, centered in moving closer the quality processes to education, so we are now in the process of obtaining the ISO 9001:2015 qualification. This is an objective to reach in two or three years.

This has been the logic path to follow after participating in different projects of the Catalan ministry of Education: PAC, Plan for the centre Autonomy, started 8 years ago and during 5 years; another specific agreement the following 2 years an now the PQMIC, which will take us to the ISO qualification. This process was already started three years ago with VET studies, but now will be spread out for all the different levels.

This way we ensure that all the educational community participates in the same process and improves quality at the same time.

 

*Promoting mobility and cross-border cooperation:

We consider this a very important point because in a world so globalized as ours, mutual understanding among different cultures can be very productive to improve relationships and cultural interchange between students and teachers.

From Institut Castellet we do cross-border mobilities and our experience has been very positive and has became a distinctive characteristic for our school in relation to the rest of the region.

a)We are going to consolidate it at the Intermediate VET course.

b)We’ll start the mobility at the Upper VET course, so the petition of this ECHE charter.

c)The students must achieve a great professional competence together with o good knowledge of the language in the mobility country. For this reason, we consider very important the cooperation between the teachers in both countries.

Consequently, we are also studying the possibility of asking for a KA2 project with our French partner.

 

*Linking higher education, research and bussines:

The binomy school-business is inevitable. On the one hand, the school intends to provide well prepared personnel for the companies of the area. so it is very important to know which are their real needs and professional profiles.

On the other hand, some of these companies use very developed and sophisticated materials hard to acquire under the school budget. So, having these facilities in certain companies makes a good complement for the transfer of experience and knowledge company-school. This is very positive for both teachers and students.

We also offer our human and technical means in our service chart. We send it to the companies in the area and they have the possibility of continuing the training of their staff. We can also assess and recognise the professional experience af their academic life.

 

*Improving governance and funding:

This point has full relation to the previous one, by means of these agreements with the companies in our area. There are also economic compensations which will end improving the quality of our educational system and consequently on our students.