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B.Psy, PG Dip. Guidance Studies (Derby), MA Phil (Open)
Upper Primary School teachers from St Margaret College have just participated in a Pestalozzi Programme training event organised within the in-service professional development programme for teachers in Malta.
The Pestalozzi Programme is the Council of Europe’s training and capacity building programme for education at the core of which is the person through its focus on democracy, respect for human rights and dignity 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 targets education practitioners because they are the ones who make a difference in day-to-day practice in all spaces of learning, as they support the development of the necessary transversal attitudes, skills and knowledge for sustainable democratic societies.
The training event in Malta had a dual purpose. On the one hand it aimed to disseminate the ideals of the Pestalozzi Programme while at the same time supporting the Maltese National Curriculum Framework and the Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta 2014-2024. The 3-day training event was based on the theme of the Pestalozzi Programme Summer School 2015 – Pedagogy Makes the Difference. It looked at the core of what being a teacher means: the pedagogy, what teachers feel and think about the relation that they have with education, with knowledge, with school and above all with the learners.
In total, 45 primary school teachers from St Margaret College took part in this dissemination event. Using co-operative learning techniques, the training modelled best practices and invited participants to reflect on their responsibility to develop transversal competences in the learners and the challenges facing educators in the 21st century. The training took place at Zabbar Primary B between 7 and 9 July 2015. The Pestalozzi trainers Guðrún Ragnarsdóttir (Iceland) and Charlot Cassar (Malta) were assisted by other Maltese professionals who are also involved within the Pestalozzi Programme.
The training highlighted pertinent issues which were grounded in the Maltese and actual classroom contexts. Participants were inspired and motivated, with many expressing their interest in the Pestalozzi Programme. More than anything, the dissemination event provided an international frame of reference for local efforts, highlighting the similar issues and challenges which teachers face across borders.
This year’s Book Week celebrations included a number of literacy workshops that targeted Year 3 students in our College. The workshops aimed to promote a cross-curricular and collaborative approach to learning while integrating literacy across board, celebrating children’s writing, encouraging them to speak in front of an audience and most importantly making learning even more fun. The focus of the workshops varied and included Drama, Music, Art, P.E. and PSCD but each workshop also included an activity that focused on literacy.
The workshops were hosted at Zabbar Primary B. Special thanks go to Ms Ruth Cilia (Head of Department), Ms Amanda Morales (Literacy Support Teacher), Ms Rosann Talbot (Oracy Teacher), Ms Isabelle Cachia (Assistant Head, Zabbar B) and all the other teachers and members of staff who supported the wonderful initiative.