The European School of Lower Saxony (Germany)
The European School is a feature of quality schools in the educational system of Lower Saxony, an autonomous region of Germany with Hannover as its capital.
The way to convert a school into “European School”
Step 1: The internal coordination and the evaluation of the criteria (you may change the school program or the profile).
Step 2: Formal request, addressed to the authorities responsible for education with self-evaluation of school activities and measures through the credit scoring systems, the documentation of itself and the presentation of activities and future plans.
Step 3: Examination of the application by those responsible for education in the autonomous region and in the case of sufficient compliance with the criteria for the title “European School in Lower Saxony” – this title can be taken by schools and high schools during the following five years and then a new application must be written.
Criteria to become a “European School in Lower Saxony”
The self-assessment system works with a credit scoring system. In order to receive the title, the candidate centres have to get 80 points out of 140 maximum points. In the evaluation of the criteria by the authorities responsible for education it is taken into account the type of the educational centre: Basic Education, Compulsory Secondary Education, High School or Professional Training centres. Schools that desire to gain this distinction should cover the following aspects:
1. Integration of European ideas in the program and the profile of the institutes
- The European profile is part of the school program
2. Integration of European themes in education (European curriculum)
- There is a European curriculum about several subjects or it is being developed or implemented.
- Projects –also interdisciplinary–, work groups and activities/events are carried out.
3. Promotion of multilingualism and of the foreign languages that are offered
- The diversity of languages and cultures is visible and experimental; there is a culture of respect / appreciation and of recognition / admiration.
- The offer of foreign languages of any type of school is wider than the minimum conditions required.
- There are offers of foreign languages in the margin of normal education, in compulsory classes of an optional subject and in additional work groups.
- Bilingual classes are offered within the specific training; there are bilingual classes in primary education.
- Students are prepared for certificates of foreign languages internationally valid or the certificate of the KMK (Conference of Ministers of Education).
- There are courses and projects to promote multilingualism related to the origin of students and intercultural teaching.
- With older students that come from foreign countries, an examination of the German language is taken to know the language proficiency.
4. Development and promotion of intercultural competences
- The competences of students and teachers with a migratory background are recognized and included in the education and school development.
- The school offers intercultural training.
- Under a certain theme, school exchanges and trips are often organized.
- The school has active partnerships with other schools, VET companies and other (European) partners from other countries. Projects and meetings are integrated into the classes.
- The school takes part systematically in the educational programs of the EU.
- The school cooperates with other institutions (foundations, youth organizations, universities, etc.)
- The school offers the possibility of doing a professional training in a European country.
- The school offers the possibility of organizing parts of the professional training or professional training courses abroad.
- Teachers have the possibility of visiting the schools and courses in a European country in order to develop their intercultural competences.
- In schools, teachers of foreign languages and foreign teachers (of German) teach.
5. Participation in European projects, actions, competitions, youth forums, strategic games
- The school participates in European projects, actions, competitions, youth forums, strategic games as well as in events or actions that promote and strengthen the idea of “unity” in Europe.
- The school participates in “European Competitions” and / or in the “Friendship Day” between Germany and France or in the “Friendship Day” between Germany and Poland.
- The school promotes the European idea and cooperates with non-school partners of the region and forms part of the “European Schools” network.
7. Development and qualification of the staff
- Within the concept of “teacher training”, attention is given to intercultural competences, European themes, languages and exchanges.
8. Quality control
- School activities pay attention to the European idea within the school approach and the activities are evaluated by the school.
- Information and technology media take advantage of communicating with European countries.
9. Documentation of activities and events already done
10. Presentation of planned activities and events
All these points are evaluated by the institute and school authorities. If the average of the points exceeds 80 points, the school can carry the title “European School in Lower Saxony” for the next five years. This is a distinction that schools appreciate and consider as an element of educational quality.