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Stay@School - The School Inclusion Project Transfer of Innovation. Educational Products.

Tools

Description

The project Stay @ school developed several tools to help teachers assess the risk of school dropout, including questionnaires for students, teachers and parents.

Beneficiaries

Teachers (in certain instances also other school staff and/or parents) and students in secondary schools - both general and vocational.

Country/ies or organisation that developed the tool

Belgium, Italy, Romania and Spain

Date of creation of toolkit and periodicity of updates

June 2013

Purpose of the toolkit

Guidance on how to identify and monitor early leavers or those at risk of early leaving

For teachers: to help identify and prevent those behaviours and situations that may lead to early school leaving.

 For students: raise awareness on the issue of early school leaving.

Description of each of the tools

For teachers - 8 tools:

  • Drawing our plan for coexistence in school – an activity plan with individual and group activities aimed at establishing a set of shared (between students and teachers) school rules which will facilitate the learning process.
  • The Cube – an interactive game to be created by those involved.
  • Guidelines Against Early School Leaving – a checklist which can be followed by teachers arriving in a new school so as to implement a strategy lasting for the whole year through which to follow and assess students. There are examples provided for each period into which the year is divided (arrival at a new school; start of activities; the school year; and the end of the school year). For example, in relation to the “school year” period a possible checklist is the following:
    • absences/delays/early exits
    • conflict management (in class, including students, with teachers, bullying)
    • academic performance
    • other possible risk indicators
  • Tools for addressing the risk of school dropout – self-assessment closed-end questionnaires for teachers, students and parents:
    • Teachers – Questions regarding personal motivation on the job and other questions regarding the way lessons are conducted and how certain situations are tackled.
    • Students – There are some questions regarding the student’s background such as the parents’ occupation, income and level of education.
    • Parents – Questions regarding the relationship between school work and the home environment.

There is also a worksheet and a sheet to monitor a child at risk of Early School Leaving (ESL). The worksheet is to be completed by students and includes a series of questions aimed at gathering information on how the student perceives the school environment and their approach to learning. The monitoring sheet is divided into 2 parts, one to be completed by the teacher to describe the student at risk and a second part including possible approaches to tackle the student’s problems.

  • Lesson plans on preventing school dropout – 5 lesson plans to assist teachers in the development of interesting lessons. They have been devised to increase the awareness of the diversity of the issue under discussion and provide teachers with interesting activities meant to encourage positive and constructive behaviour in the classroom.
  • Brochure on afternoon study groups – not really a tool. It’s an introduction to afternoon study groups which aim to identify scholastic deficiencies and improve meta-cognitive skills.
  • Practical tools to learn and teach: identification of students at risk in the first period of school – a toolkit made up of questionnaires, tests and other material aimed at providing a basis from which teachers can create activities for students during the “welcome” period, i.e. September to November. For example, there is a self-evaluation questionnaire which seeks to establish whether there have been any issues with studying, any particular worries with subjects and what the student’s approach to studying is. There are also tests in Mathematics and reading as well as a template for circa 20 hours of activities aimed at the successful integration of students into their class and the school.
  • ‘Entre le murs’ food for thought – A power-point presentation on a movie (with video-clips) about teaching methods and the nature of the teacher-student relationship. It can be used by teachers to establish good practices.

For students - 7 Tools:

  • The blog ‘Stay@School -
  • Active diary guidelines – actually aimed at students, teachers, family, tutors and counsellors alike. The tool itself is to help students develop a structured plan for their assignments according to days/weeks/months.
  • Non più Squola – a video describing the potential negative effects of ESL. The product is addressed to students of high schools. It will be showed to young people in order to highlight the negative effects and the lack of future expectations and prospects when a student decides to leave school early.
  • Campaign on preventing school dropout – guidelines for a campaign on the reduction of ESL. They were devised by students for students and include an example of a campaign which was developed already and which can be used as a template.
  • ‘THE LOST CASE’ from a short story to a video clip – a short story, videos and a self-assessment questionnaire. This questionnaire focuses on the externalisation of any issues students may have in relation to their time at school, so how do they relate to teachers and to their peers and what are the difficulties in these relationships and how are these affecting their performance.
  • I Class – a web-based tool through which one can develop a video.
  • We Want S.E.X. (School Expectation Xperience) – a self-assessment questionnaire, guidelines and short stories to foster debate about the reasons behind ESL. This is a generic questionnaire regarding the student’s situation in school, their problems and expectations.

Type of indicators used in the identification of learners at risk of early leaving

Indicators are provided within the sheet for monitoring children at risk of ESL. The indicators aren’t described further and are the following:

  • large number of absences without leave
  • difficult family situation
  • serious health problems and/or disabilities/handicap of the child
  • previous cases of school dropout in the child’s family
  • major difficulties in transportation to school

Type of guidance given to users

For teachers this is usually in the realm of improving teaching methods (making lessons more interesting, etc.), increasing inclusion/involvement within the classroom and increasing cooperation with the parents of those at risk of ESL.

For students the focus isn’t so much on a particular ‘catch-all’ solution but rather on assisting them in finding individual solutions on their own through engagement/debate/stimuli.

Source of information of the different tools

They were developed by students and teachers involved in the project.

Link/s to the toolkit and further information

Downloads

Stay@School toolkit